Title – Spectre (2015)
Director – Sam Mendes (American Beauty)
Cast – Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Dave Bautista, Naomie Harris, Monica Bellucci
Plot – James Bond (Craig) goes against orders in his plight to track down the head of nefarious organisation Spectre known as Oberhauser (Waltz). Along his world spanning mission Bond runs across Madeline (Seydoux) a woman that may just represent his best chance at true love and a normal life.
“You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr Bond”
Review by Eddie on 22/03/2016
It was always going to be a tough ask for Spectre to follow on in the footsteps of its beloved predecessor Skyfall, the most critically lauded and successful James Bond film ever and while returning director Sam Mendes and star Daniel Craig belt up for the ride once more, you can’t escape the feeling that Spectre was a big budgeted non-event that will likely herald in the last time we see the nigh on permanently bored looking Craig as the lady killing 00 agent.
Spectre feels like the companion to Skyfall the film Quantum of Solace was to the well-received reboot of the franchise Casino Royale, a film lost in a procession of scene after scene with no real glue holding it all together, no true structure and fluid tone and as his press tour for the film attested to it seems as though Craig has now officially outstayed his welcome within the body of perfectly tailored suits and sleek sports cars.
Craig was always a curious choice as Bond but in both Casino Royale and Skyfall he seemed the perfect foil to what was going on around him where in Spectre as Bond tracks down the shady organisation run by the underused and thankfully not hamming it up Christoph Waltz’s definitely not Blofeld and falls in love with Lea Seydoux’s bland Madeline, Craig seems like the anchor dragging the ship to a stop while Mende’s somehow loses his mojo that served him so well in Skyfall.
Skyfall was energetically put together, beautifully lensed (thanks Roger Deakins) and in many ways thrilling and while Spectre certainly looks the part (thanks Hoyte Van Hoytema) and harbors some great scenes like the standout opening stanza during the Day of the Dead parade and an explosive desert set getaway, the film manages to forget to gel any of the no doubt intricate set pieces into a manner that befits an entertaining progression of events.
These procession of events eventually culminate in such a lacklustre and disappointing finale that you’ll be feeling rightfully ripped off as the film’s best moments were when Waltz got some screen time and it’s very likely that even the most ardent of Bond fans will be wishing Mendes and his team had forgone another OTT set piece in favour of the sadly unexplored opportunities that lay at their fingertips regarding this intriguing villain and his history with Bond.
While it’s got bright moments and made a huge haul box office wise, Spectre feels like the end of an era for this particular moment in the Bond series and when a film on this scale feels so forgettable this surely can’t be a bad thing much like Craig passing on the baton to the next and hopefully more enthusiastic martini loving superspy.
2 ½ white fluffy cats out of 5