Howdy people of the internet, time for another film review from the cinema and today I’m finally getting around to talking about the 24th James Bond film, Spectre. To say that I’ve been forward to this film would be an understatement, and after the great sense of satisfaction and fun I had with Skyfall, I was ready for more. So how’s the latest Bond adventure? Well read on and find out in this spoiler-free review.
The story can be described as the following:
“A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.”
The story in this film was quite interesting with a great deal of mystery, intrigue, death and more connection’s to Bond’s past coming back haunt him in the present. Like Skyfall, this was another personal tale for not only Bond but also the characters who surrounded him and it was great to see another character-driven adventure. The humour is also back with a lot of great one-liners and visual humour, oh and the call-backs/references to the former Bond films whether they be visual or verbal were awesome and it was the kind of material I had kind of missed from these newer films. However, for me the story was at its strongest when it found was referencing the previous Bond films and tieing them in with the current story, it was smart, well-thought out and allowed for some interesting continuity not only from the last film, but also all the way back to Casino Royale. The only nitpicks I had were that I thought that this plot wasn’t as captivating as the last, the pacing was a little slow at points and there was certain decisions made with the story that I wasn’t as keen on.
As for the cast they were all pretty good. Firstly there’s Daniel Craig as James Bond, what can be said that hasn’t been said already? Craig did a terrific job, he’s smooth, sophisticated and badass, but also focused, aggressive and thoughtful. Léa Seydoux was also great as Dr. Madeleine Swann, I didn’t know that she’d be so integral to the plot but she had a great backstory and had an interesting relationship with Bond. I’ve seen Seydoux in a few films here and there but she did a wonderful job here and damn she is gorgeous woman. Oh and of course Christoph Waltz was good as Franz Oberhauser, this character has a history shrouded in mystery and once he came into the light things got a lot more interesting. Waltz is a great actor and he had a lot of his charming and intimidating traits that made him cool in Inglorious Basterds, but I wish I’d seen more of him and I didn’t find him as memorable as Raoul Silva.
Ben Whishaw was good as Ql, in this film I felt like Q’s appearance was expanded as he had more to do and had some pretty memorable moments whether it was for the sake of humour or story. Naomie Harris was also good as Eve Moneypenny, like Q, she had some interesting moments with Bond and was key to the story. I really liked Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx, all I can say is what a beast! From the time Hinx steps on-screen he leaves an impression, he’s a man of few words but is tough as nails, tenacious, scary, smart and resourceful. Bautista was so cool and intimidating in this role and when he wasn’t around I missed him. Ralph Fiennes did a good job as M, he had a lot to deal with the changes in government and Bond’s personal ventures, but I appreciated how he was central to the plot and had some great lines. As a fan of Sherlock I enjoyed seeing Andrew Scott’s performance as Max Denbigh, his character was smart, witty and a bit of a prick but very relevant to the plot. Monica Bellucci was beautiful as Lucia Sciarra, however like Bérénice Lim Marlohe her presence wasn’t as large and she wasn’t utilized as I’d hoped. And finally Rory Kinnear as usual was good as Bill Tanner and it was nice to see Jesper Christensen return as Mr. White.
When it comes to the presentation it was lovely. The visual presentation was good with some wonderful cinematography and pretty awesome action sequences. There are a lot of memorable sequences including one with a helicopter, a really cool and tense car chase or another hand-to-hand combat sequence later on which was really crazy, intense and badass. And Thomas Newman returns again to craft the film score and it is great, Newman’s soundtrack always has this great level of energy, drama, sensuality and has the right sound for the right situation. One thing I was happy about was the inclusion of one key theme from Skyfall returning in this film (“Mother” I believe is the name of the track) it was my favourite piece from the last Bond film and I’m glad Newman brought it back. As for the new theme song, “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith I’m a little indifferent to it, on one hand it is quite lovely, subtle and Smith’s vocals shine through, on the other hand the song’s a little too light on the instrumental side of things and I do prefer my Bond songs to be a little more epic.
In conclusion Spectre is another solid entry in the Bond franchise, it has all of the great elements that make the recent trend of Bond films fun to watch, but it also features a lot of cool throwbacks to the older films too. I will admit that there were certain narrative and character choices that I didn’t agree with/would have handled differently, but putting my issues aside, this is still a very good film and if you’re a fan of this franchise it deserves your attention.
So have you seen or are you going to watch Spectre? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below, until the next time, laters! 😀