Directed by Sam Mendes
Based on characters created by Ian Fleming
Written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth
Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris
James Bond’s (Craig) past is catching up with him, leading him into a hunt for a secret organization. As political pressure threatens the existence of the secret service, Bond begins to discover the truth about SPECTRE.
This is the 24th James Bond film, carrying on the series that began in 1962 with Dr. No. The script for this one was completed by John Logan (Gladiator), Neal Purvis (Skyfall), Robert Wade (Quantum of Solace), and Jez Butterworth (Black Mass). Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition) returned to direct a second film in the series. The movie brings back Daniel Craig (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as James Bond. This film also includes Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), Léa Seydoux (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List), and Naomie Harris (28 Days Later…).
This is a classic Bond adventure, filled with intrigue, sexual tension, and plenty of action. Spectre starts off with a bang, mixing action with a mystery that twists through the film and around the globe. The story mixes in lighter moments while pushing forward with a much darker arc. The characters in the film are exactly what you’d expect from a Bond film. The over-the-top villains, enticing women, and inhuman thugs all help to keep this one going.
Unlike most of the Bond films, this one seems slightly more reliant on the previous film in understanding the big picture. This isn’t a major issue, but it does make Skyfall a bit more important to the audience. This one also draws things out a bit more than necessary. While it’s not a slow movie, it does have some moments that undercut the pace. Overall, fans of the Bond franchise won’t be disappointed with this movie. It is definitely a step towards the style of Bond movies the franchise is known for.
The actor do a nice job throughout this movie. Daniel Craig has established himself as an excellent 007 throughout the previous three films, and this is another nice performance to add to the list. He also continues to handle the physical demands of his role with great style. Like most of the other Bonds, Craig seems to make getting beat up look good. Craig also has good chemistry with Fiennes, Harris, and Seydoux throughout this movie. Each of these three also do good work with their roles in the film. In another fun role, Christoph Waltz brings something special to his role in this one. He continues to remind me why we should love to hate him in his movies. This time he has all the flair and evil that a Bond villain should have. Craig and Waltz are the standout performers in this one, but everyone does a nice job throughout.
This one looks good, like a Bond movie should. The action is solid and the locations and set designs are just the right amount of over-the-top. The only issue with the visuals was the decision to tone down the color to a series of bland greys, browns, and blues. There doesn’t seem to be much motivating the choice, but it takes the luster out of some of the great locations of the film. The score for the film is another nice addition to the movie. Taking some of the classic Bond themes, composer Thomas Newman (American Beauty) creates a nice musical backdrop for the movie. Unfortunately, this one also comes with a poor musical choice. Sam Smith’s song “Writing’s On The Wall” is awkward and unsophisticated. Following Skyfall‘s hit title song by Adele might have biased me with this, but it just doesn’t work.
Fans of the Bond franchise should love this one for all of the ways it connects to the rest of the movies. I would also suggest this one to fans of the stars. This might be a good movie choice for fans of action and adventure films as well. While this might not be a great movie, but it’s a lot of fun. I give this one 3.8 out of 5 stars.