Spectre

Director: Sam Mendes; Main Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa SeydouxRalph FiennesBen WhishawNaomie HarrisDave BautistaAndrew Scott;

spectre

Sam Mendes as director, Christoph Waltz as main villain, Daniel Craig finally owing the role as 007, after good performances in Skyfall and Casino Royal, at least one age-appropriate Bond-girl (Bellucci)… this film had all the ingredients for being a worthy new chapter in the suave spy’s history. Alas, it doesn’t deliver on all its promises. To begin at the beginning: the title sequence with Sam Smith’s song is neither remarkable nor particularly memorable, so no, not a good start (it was difficult to top Skyfall, I know). Our hero is on a mission from M (the deceased one, not the current one) but he doesn’t really know what he’s chasing or looking for. The not-so-greving widow (the above mentioned Bellucci) of the man Bond most recently killed points him to a secret meeting of a secret organisation… and I was waiting for someone to say “Hail Hydra!”… I’m too jaded I guess for a serious take on an all powerful, worldwide criminal syndicate. It did work well in the sixties when the franchise started but now, after so many homages and parodies (I’m looking at you Austin Powers!), I think it lost its aura of menace and uncomprehending evil. Blofeld is not truly convincing as psychopathic megalomaniac, Waltz’s valid efforts notwithstanding, and makes the whole story a little flat. While our globetrotting spy is involved in all the classic Bond-action scenes — foot and car chases in cities,  beating up henchmen, saving the damsel in distress and gathering intelligence — on the home front M (Fiennes), Q (Benshaw) and Moneypenny (Harris) are fighting the ugly face of progress, personified by C (Scott), who wants to bring the British intelligence into the 21st century. Of course, we know from the get go that there’s more to it and it helps bringing the plot full circle in the third act of the film but…really! Demonising the digitalisation process it’s a bit old… Sarah Connor told us decades ago. Anyway, I’ve been very negative so far, so here’s the good part: the  cinematography is spectacular, the action is quite breathtaking and the cat-and-mouse chase during the Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City is amazing. All actors give solid performances and the story moves along smoothly, Mendes, after all, knows his job. Maybe my expectations were too high and I felt let down, only time will tell. Spectre wants to be sinister and serious but lacks the more raw and grim elements of Skyfall to be as good as the latter. Unsatisfactory –5.5/10

 

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42 Comments

Filed under Seen at the cinema

42 responses to “Spectre

  1. Lol waiting for someone to shout “hail hydra!” — that’s too accurate, I had the same though

  2. I’ll disagree with just a bit of what you have here. I do think that the film is a little flat in some of the transitions but the set pieces and sequences themselves are excellent and thus earn a higher rating in my book. The song was one of my least favorite elements but having gone back a couple of times it grows on me and the theme music is excellent. The problem is the Day of the Dead Sequence starts the film and it never can live up to that start for the rest of the film.

    • I hear you and I agree that opening with such a bang might have been counterproductive. I’ll watch it again in a few months and see if my opinion improves.

  3. It seems I liked this movie a lot more than you, but your review was really good and concise.

  4. Nicola

    Thumbs up for full frontal for Craig! Oh wait, that was not the topic…. The film was one of the most disjointed Bond efforts I have seen, on par with Quantum of Solace. Stony performances by Bellucci (who may be age appropriate, but really lacks any acting skill) and Léa Seydoux (same acting skills, different age) do not help. The subplot with M and Moneypenny fighting against Moriaty was actually more engaging, which is saying it all….

  5. Paragraph Film Reviews

    Gave the same score too – it didn’t feel like Waltz’s heart was in it, and the turn they gave Blofeld (being raised with Bond) was a proper boner-killer for me.

    Really wanted to love this, but it felt more like a rejected 50th anniversary script pulling the ‘essential’ bond elements from the previous 22 films together and going for safe.

    • I completely agree about Waltz, I felt let down. It seems that they had a check list about classic Bond elements and they needed to tick all the boxes, such a shame!

  6. I though Spectre was good, not great. Would appreciate it if you checked out my 100 Word review:

    http://scribblesofstageandscreen.com/2015/11/28/spectre-reviewed-in-100-words/

  7. I thought the villain was fairly well-done, I especially loved the homage to his appearance in You Only Live Twice. Bautista’s henchman was particularly awesome 🙂

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