Spectre? I don’t even know her.
Spectre is the latest film in the insanely popular James Bond franchise, and like many previous iterations it fails to deliver. The story follows Bond on a mission outside MI6 jurisdiction, in search for a man he must find and kill. MI6 is also being phased out for a global security organization, and at this point even Stevie Wonder can see where this is going. It’s a plot akin to the latest Mission Impossible movie, or maybe you’ll find it more similar to The Winter Soldier, but much less playful than either of those. The story also moves at a glacial pace and are punctuated with extremely brief action scenes, and not all of them are very thrilling to say the least.
At this point I’ve found Bond, or at least Craig’s version of him, rather uninteresting. His look seems more apathetic than suave, more bored than cool, more stoned than sexy. He also does repeatedly stupid things throughout the movie that make viewer pause and reflect on whether Bond is just a lucky idiot, or maybe everyone is just slightly more incompetent. He jumps onto a helicopter and fights two people, including the pilot, for about five minutes and somehow amidst all the barrel rolls it doesn’t crash into a crowd of people. Later he steals a plane, from…somewhere, and attempts to ram it into moving cars that have the person he is trying to rescue in them. It’d be one thing if Craig’s Bond was ever silly or over the top, but throughout most of the series it’s been played deadly serious. These scenes, which are supposed to be fun action sequences, seem to tear down Bond’s character as some crazy idiot rather than the cool bad-ass we’ve come to know over the years.
The supporting cast is given more to do in this film than previous, but it comes off as more of a Mission Impossible knockoff rather than something you’d find in a Bond film. The leading Bond girl Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) is serviceable besides the fact that she is devoid of much character and her relationship with Bond develops into love in about three days. It’s pretty typical of a Bond film, but you’d hope they’d try to spice it up this time. Unfortunately that’s not the case. What makes matters worse is that the main villain Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), is on screen for maybe 15 minutes of the movie. Not only that, but he is supposed to be portrayed as the baddest Bond villain yet despite that he is hardly menacing or even competent in being evil at all. He also has a hilarious twist that is supposed to surprise you, but you’ll probably not care because there is zero buildup or emotional payoff for it. Even Bond didn’t seem to give a shit when he brought it up, so what was the point?
There are some silver linings amidst the weak characterizations, lazy writing, and this long and boring affair called “the plot.” The opening sequence might be the best one I’ve seen in a Bond film, or at least up until a certain helicopter scene it is. It’s filmed as one long take and looks absolutely stunning, thrilling, and gripping which is every thing you could ever want in a Bond film. It’s all downhill from there however. Most of the action sequences are at least decent, though others dreadfully uninteresting, with a notable standout fight against the main henchman (Dave Bautista). I don’t feel any of the actors did a poor job seeing how little characterization they were given, and the effects were all top notch as usual.
I wont even go into how Spectre tries to tie all the previous films together, à la Scream 3. That’s pretty much a nightmare in its own right, and is a great way to undermine the previous films in the franchise, but I’m not mad…just disappointed.
Overall Score: 2.5/5 Stars
Time to watch Casino Royale again I guess.
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