Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott
Directed By: Sam Mendes
Written By: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 28 min
On this trip to the movies I was joined by my brother, Andrew (38). Who, unlike me, isn’t a huge fan of the Bond series.
There’s something very comforting about having a new Bond film in our theaters, and Spectre, with its opening gun barrel shot set to Monty Norman’s theme music, along with a nice opening action scene and strong song by Sam Smith, gets off to a decent start. Daniel Craig wears the suits well, and as ever, looks confident and comfortable as he trots the globe in search of exotic women and nefarious super villains.
Let’s face it, Mr. 007 is cool. Men want to be him and women (don’t deny it) want to meet him!
Bond’s sustained and ever popular presence in our theaters is due to his continued growth as a character that changes with the times. While also remaining true to the core fixtures that make these films so much fun to watch. The cars, gadgets, over the top villains and beautiful women. The misogynistic elements of his personality have long been pushed aside, and the role of women in this universe has expanded. They’re not merely pretty distractions anymore. They’re Bond’s partners, competition, and even his superiors.
When Bond grows as a character, we tend to get better Bond films. We saw this in Casino Royale and Skyfall. Bond was more than just an action star in those films – he had dimensions. Spectre on the other hand, like Quantum of Solace, doesn’t expand our understanding of Bond all that much, and seems quite happy to rest on past laurels. Delivering a run of the mill plot about big data, privacy and an evil organization with tentacles everywhere *cough* Captain America: The Winter Soldier *cough*. Hail Spectre! I mean Hydra. Jeez, even their logos are similar!
Bond in this film is merely there to drag the familiar plot around the globe, crack heads, drink Martini’s and trash exotic cars. Like an expensive and slickly produced victory lap after the huge success of Skyfall. Doing what we expect, and nothing more. And while this film doesn’t harm the franchise, it doesn’t expand it either, and will likely not make it into many people’s top five for the series.
Spectre for me was slightly better than Quantum of Solace, but nowhere near as good as Casino Royale or Skyfall. If you’re a fan of the series you’ll likely get some enjoyment out of this. Just don’t expect that San Mendes/Skyfall lightning to strike twice. This film is rated PG-13, so the violence never gets too gruesome.
This is a gorgeous film, and looks great on a theater sized screen. If you wait for the rental, a HD screening on a huge TV is the best way to go. This film will look crap on a laptop, tablet or phone sized screen.
Best Moment: << mild spoiler >>
Your average henchman or security guard in a 007 film isn’t too smart, and will usually try to take on Bond even if it’s painfully obvious they don’t stand a chance. My favorite moment in Spectre came about half way through when Bond is tackled by several guards. He easily takes out the first one, and then commands the second one to ‘STAY!’ Which he does! It was hilarious. I loved that guy. I want a whole movie centered on the guy. The man that wisely took Bond’s advice, and didn’t get involved.