Monday, November 9

Spectre

If Daniel Craig's planning to end his run as James Bond, this is a great movie to end it with, no strings attached. Set after the death of M (Judi Dench), Bond was given a task to locate a man and kill him. The opening sequence leads to Bond's hunt for the man, eventually masking the organization that has been behind multiple terrorist attacks. It doesn't help that the man in charge has a link to Bond's past. Besides that, MI6 has also been dealing with a new head of international security whose mission is to announce the Double 0 program obsolete and shut it down.

Spectre in many ways isn't like Skyfall; the predecessor paid tribute to the 50 years of Bond films, putting all the elements together to form a slick, smooth production. Spectre returns to the Bond film form - building up the suave, charismatic character, the prolonged sequences of finding escape, and facing off with a villainous antagonist that is very determined to destroy the very core of Bond. Yet the 'modern' Bond characteristics were still there, from parts of his past to targeting the humanistic personality Craig's Bond has developed throughout his run. As a whole, Spectre seemed to play like one last outing from director Sam Mendes, franchise-wise. He returned the franchise to a familiar road without losing the essence and modernity that the character was built on from many years. 

Craig, in return, still impresses as Bond. No longer broody compared to his previous exploits, but still keeps check the development he had. It seemed that he had moved forward from all the terrible things that had happened to him, the writing no longer dwelling on his losses and treating his experiences as learning opportunities. This relaxed, rogue version of him comes to fruition through his interactions with Madelaine Swann, played well by Lea Seydoux. His need to protect her was evident, he was playing hero to her damsel. In hindsight, I found Swan to be the least capable Bond girl Craig's Bond has been partnered with. Despite her knowledge in weaponry and the assumptions of her physical strength, Bond has been seen running to rescue her after so many times that she really appears to be delicate. I had hoped the writing had played her characteristic more into the scenes instead of her being occasionally slapped to unconsciousness. 

Waltz played a good villain. I don't think he could have topped Javier Bardem's performance, but his character was determined and heinous. He isn't a stranger to playing a villain, but in terms of villainous turns, this is his calm and tame one. He could, however, make an impressive M. It's against the kind of characters he plays, but during one of his scenes, his expressions and tone of speaking could have made a feared but respected M. Not that Ralph Fiennes doesn't make a good M, but Waltz could have definitely gone in character. I was also hoping to see more of Monica Bellucci, her minimal screen time did not suffice.

Spectre didn't skimp out in terms of location, and is also one of the stylish Bond movies I have seen. Craig and Seydoux looked like they both stepped out of fashion catalogues, and don't get dirty or grimy despite all the running they had to do. The theme song however, was a bit unmemorable. 

Looking at the four Bond films, this was quite different from its predecessors, but fun and excellent. It's serious, but doesn't take itself seriously. It did take a different approach to how things ended. It has its flaws, but it's still a fantastic outing from Craig and Mendes. 



Final Word: It's not the best, but a great flick nonetheless.

Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux
Director: Sam Mendes
Year: 2015

8 comments:

  1. Having enjoyed Skyfall and Casino Royale, it does sound like I'm going to enjoy this one. Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard mixed reviews about this but I enjoyed this one. Not to the extent of Skyfall, but it's a good movie nonetheless.

      Delete
  2. Nice review! I've heard mixed things for Spectre. It's a shame Lea doesn't seem to be used better; a lot of my excitement for the new film was for her. The movie seems to be at least okay. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Her role was more of the distressed type as Bond always seem to have to rescue her. I would have liked to see her get more action.

      Delete
  3. Found it a bit disappointing, although the dose is only a little. What disappoints most is Christoph Waltz. I'm hoping he'll be as menacing as in Inglourious Basterds, but he never gets anything in pacticular in Spectre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Waltz played much better villains than this one. It doesn't seem like he was putting much effort to it.

      Delete
  4. I found this one to be a little disappointing. It all felt a little familiar, which is a shame because Craig is such a unique Bond. Great write-up :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It took some time but it's starting to grow on me. It's still not his best, but I thought it was a good parting movie for Craig.

      Delete