Spectre attempted to bring back the glory of older James Bond films but stumbled and failed to do anything truly spectacular.
Directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Finnes, Ben Winshaw, Andrew Scott, and Dave Bautista, Spectre takes place after the events of the previous film, Skyfall (2012). In Spectre Agent 007 was given a cryptic message by M in her will, which sent him on the hunt for a secret, terrifying organization known as “Spectre.”
To start off, this film was a huge disappointment, but at least the actors that returned for this film did an overall good job. Despite this, I questioned why some of the characters were in the movie.
Daniel Craig was still a decent Bond, as he portrayed him as a tougher and livelier individual in this film. This Bond, however, paid homage to the past Bonds, which meant that Craig delivered poor puns about sex as well as that James Bond machismo that I have come to dislike.
Oh, and Waltz, who played the main villain, Oberhauser, was barely seen in the film. He was the only fun, enjoyable new character in the film but was shown for approximately 20 minutes.
Not all of the actors shined. There was Dave Bautista who was probably in the movie only to pay homage to Oddjob from Goldfinger. Hinx (Bautista), however, has no personality or charm and does not come close to the classic Oddjob.
The rest of the cast served as helpers to Bond in his quest, and they did their jobs decently, especially Ralph Finnes as M and Winshaw as Q.
The story was messy and all over the place, and it soon became boring to watch. Also, the film’s pacing was awful to say the least. It actually felt like the film was two and a half hours long, which for an action espionage film is never good.
Additionally, the film had corny one-liners, implausible situations, and seemed to let every solution just drop into Bond’s lap without him even having to try. I point this out because the film that preceded this one was Skyfall, which was absolutely fantastic and did not need to rely on these tropes.
This brings me to the point of how the movie was portrayed to the general public. At the beginning of the film and from the trailers, it looked like a dark epic finale to the Bond series. Despite this, there are more jokes than there have been in the other recent films, with more cheesiness and old-school Bond, but in the misogynistic jerk kind of way opposed to good-natured humor.
At least the technical side of Bond was kept up rather well. There were wide-sweeping shots of vast landscapes and foreign cities. Everything looked sleek and clean, just like Bond. The beginning of the movie had a gorgeous tracking shot that looked over the Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City. The editing was also clean cut; it never felt jagged or out of place.
Also, the music was a little odd. Sometimes the film would be silent and then music would unexpectedly pop in, more intrusive than natural.
Mendes, I understand your intentions with this film, but the old James Bond hijinks and tropes just do not age well. With a more contemporary audience, something like Skyfall feels much better suited.
I was really disappointed with this film, especially since it was one of the most anticipated films of the year for me. It is really sad that the follow up to Skyfall was a complete 180-degree flip from what the Bond films have been building up to over the past few years.