Spectre (2015) Review

Director: Sam Mendes

Writers: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade

Stars: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux

RATING: 3 Stars

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A cryptic message from James Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover the existence of a sinister organisation named SPECTRE. With a new threat dawning, Bond learns the terrible truth about the author of all his pain in his most recent missions. – From IMDB

I was a big James Bond fan growing up, I watched all of the old moves dozens of times. But Daniel Craig’s Bond has just never really done it for me. They are trying too hard to make all the films tell a cohesive story, rather than each film being it’s own self contained thing, with recurring characters. So for me the narrative always falls short of where I want it to be. The one is no different. I feel that Spectre is just the set up for the last of Craig’s outings as Bond, ‘No Time To Die.’ which looks to be a really interesting conclusion to his run, but is also a film I am going to be happy to see the back of as I have been reading and watching about it for nearly two years now.

The villain in Spectre had such potential to be amazing. In the earlier films Blofeld was a huge antagonist to Bond, and returned serval times, with several different faces, to face off again our hero. I feel like here we was underused and the full potential of his evil genius was not put on display. Of course this may change in NTTD, but if so, it seems a waste to have him in this film and not use him effectively. Same with the introduction of Spectre. They are meant to be a huge criminal organisation, that will have huge repercussions on the Bond story telling in the future, but they too are underused here. Instead the story focusses more on Madeline’s relationship with her father, and her tentative relationship with James. Don’t call the film ‘Spectre’, then underuse your title characters.

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Lea Seydoux does give us a lot more interesting ‘Bond Girl’ than the ones we have had previously. She has an interesting background that actually gets explore in this film, not just hinted at. She is capable and can look after herself without the help of out hero, thank you very much. Her chemistry with Daniel Craig is great, though I do find him to be one of the least charismatic of the incarnations of the character, and their romance is believable. For me, Daniel Craig never really shone as Bond. Instead he is outshone by his supporting cast. Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, and in this case Christoph Waltz all give great and memorable performances. And as always, the stand out star for me in these films is Ben Whishaw. A fantastic piece of casting. He had some big, and well loved shoes to fit into as Q, but he does it admirably, and is still my favourite character in this version of Bond.

Lacking in dramatic storytelling in place of set up, this isn’t my favourite in the series by a mile, I am hoping NTTD can recover my love for Bond, because these recent films have dwindled it a little.

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