Spectre

Spectre will be a huge disappointment for Daniel Craig James Bond fans as it falls to the level of Quantum of Solace.  For older Bond fans you might appreciate for its old school formula and in that mindset I kinda enjoyed it BUT…

Note this review might come off more as a rant…

The film starts off strong with an interesting setting, a Day of the Dead parade in Mexico. The music is cool, the costumes are freaky and then Bond decides it is time to get the bad guy. After some henchmen jibber jabber the chase scene begins. This is probably the most boring chase scenes in all the James Bond films. Casino Royale and Skyfall  opening chase scenes had me on the edge of my seat and still do with rewatches. Spectres chase scene leaves me wanting more and is not a strong start to this film. Spectre overall, unlike Casino and Skyfall,  has zero rewatchability. I think the Craig/Bond movies excluding QoS really spoiled us.

One of the most infuriating things about this film is how every actor is underutilized, including Daniel Craig himself. Christoph Waltz, who plays the villain in this film, is such a grand actor able to really draw your attention with his screen presence is given a very weakly written character. Remember when you first saw him in Inglorious Bastards? Yeah nothing like that, his character in Seth Rogans Green Hornet had more substance (and yes, he was in that). Waltz character’s motivation is also very silly. Underutilization happens for Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes and Lea Seydoux. Lea Seydoux also plays one of the most unlovable Bond girls in the entire series. She seems dead inside for the entire film and they fall in love with each other in what, two days? Eva Green in Casino Royale was probably my favorite Bond girl.

The directing by Sam Mendes was not memorable which is very surprising considering how beautiful Skyfall was. Skyfall was full of rich lighting and incredible shots of Scotlands landscapes. We were not even given something beautiful to look at or listen to in Spectre as the soundtrack was not memorable other than Sam Smiths Writing on the Wall during the beautiful opening credits and the one song with the cool beat at the beginning that lasted 30 seconds.

Alright so the film as a whole was poorly written, the actors were underutilized, the action scenes were lackluster and badly choreographed but what were the positives?  Again the opening credits were beautiful, Bond films never fail when it comes to that. The humor, when it occurred, was also something that was on point the entire film.  The formula and pacing of the movie is reminiscent of the older Bond movies that some might find appealing but it is 2015 and that stuff might not work for general audiences. By formula I mean the way the film unfolds and that all the tropes are in place. From what I remember about the old films, Bond does not encounter the villain full on until the last half or quarter of the movie. Also majority of these films is Bond taking on henchmen and working his way up the ladder to the villain. Spectre has a whole lot of nothing happening for a while which again, is a problem of this old school formula. Speaking of henchmen Dave Bautistas Mr. Hinx had some cool thumbs (if you watch you’ll know what I’m talking about, even though he only uses them once). That’s about it.

Overall, Spectre accomplishes nothing for the entire franchise and is a non-factor for the Daniel Craig installments but may come across as a love letter to all the Connery/Moore Bond fans.

 

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