Sam Mendes returns for his 2nd Bond outing and Daniel Craig for his 4th as the ever suave super spy, James Bond in Spectre as Bond is forced to face his dark remnants from his parts and the shadowy organization, Spectre, the film stars Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Rory Kinnear.
Spectre is… okay, arguably the most divisive of Craigs bond films (as everyone loves Skyfall, Casino Royale and hates Quantum of Solace) but I lean towards the film being decent, not reaching the quality and narrative cohesion of Casino Royale but also not being as incomprehensible or dull as Quantum of Solace. Many things have been said about Spectre in criticism, including it being too Bond-like for a Bond film which is a fair point and fans feel like the film sort of went through the motions, going through familiar Bond tropes and clichés but for what it does, it does decently.
Another decent thing about the film is its cast, no one is particularly spectacular but I think Craig does a decent enough job, I didn’t get the impression that he sleepwalked through the role and I thought he was passable, Waltz was good, as was Fiennes as M and Léa Seydoux was alright as Madeleine Swann, albeit a tad unremarkable in her performance. Also the other side plot point to the film involving M trying to protect the existence of MI6 felt a bit throwaway and simply wasn’t that interesting, though having M and Q do more in the plot was a welcome addition.
This is no Skyfall with an unpredictable villain and a topsy turvy plot but I still found it fairly enjoyable and I didn’t think there were many dull moments, following Bond tropes for a Bond film isn’t a cardinal sin however and it’s far from the worst thing about Spectre, said worst things would simply be the lack of a crescendo or high note for the film, that feels like it goes from set piece to set pieces without a truly exciting action sequence or mind blowing scene. Though in saying that, a few of the set pieces in the film are actually quite thrilling, the helicopter scene for example, which I thought was fantastic and the car chase scene in Milan was also a highlight, Bond returns to its thrilling classic routes with some of these sequences and they’re a joy to watch. However they should have been complimented by more lethal and menacing villains Spectre and Blofeld (we all knew it was Blofeld) – probably the biggest disappointment of the film, Christoph Waltz is a phenomenal actor and the role fits him like a glove but he really doesn’t get to do that much with it and feels like half the villain Silva is, though he’s the head of the biggest evil organization in the Bond universe.
The villains of the film in general are a weak link in fact and I simply didn’t get the feeling that Spectre was a truly formidable force, though certain scenes in their headquarters invoked the feeling of classic Bond, to the level of unintentional humour in fact. And speaking of villains, Dave Bautista as Mr Sphinx was brilliant and also slightly underused. Spectre is a perfectly decent outing, far from terrible but not great either, invoking themes and the tone of classic Bond of old while infusing Craigs swagger, new technology and some fun set pieces, the result is an engaging albeit not spectacular Bond film that probably falls short of the great thrill ride that some people were expecting.
. Has some fun, well done set pieces/sequences
. Plot is engaging, has nice moments
. The film lacks a notable, memorable ‘high point’
. Waltz is great as Blofeld but underused and Spectre feels a bit weak