“My name is Bond… James Bond.” Daniel Craig is back as agent 007. He now must deal with a mission that involves a secret organization known as Spectre, which leads Bond on a personal journey to discovery while MI6 is struggling to prevent C, the head of the Joint Intelligent Service, from keeping the organization under surveillance.
This is the 24th James Bond film and it is nowhere near as good as Casino Royale or Skyfall (which is my favorite Bond film thus far). It’s definitely better than Quantum of Solace and a decent action film, but the problem lies in the storytelling and the script.
Let’s start of with the positives. The direction by Sam Mendes and is terrific and the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. The action is superbly well filmed and you can tell what is going on. There is a fantastic sequence on a train that was superbly well handled.
Daniel Craig is terrific as James Bond once again and he’s also my favorite Bond ever. He’s slick, cold and a downright assassin. He captures the character perfectly and his chemistry with Q (Ben Wishaw) is fantastic and the best part of this film hands down. There banter back and forth is just brilliant.
Monica Belluci is barely in the movie at all. She’s fine in the one scene she’s in, but doesn’t add much to the overall picture. She’s just another Bond girl without much substance.
Lea Seydoux is great as the other bond girl. She’s clearly capable of taking care of herself and more than a damsel in distress. Her chemistry between her and James Bond is serviceable. It’s a bit cheesy at times and the film returns to the old classic Bond formula that was abandoned in the previous installments which was disappointing. He asks a Martini at a bar even though in Casino Royal he clearly stated “Do I look like I give a damn?” to the waiter when asked what to drink. That character is almost completely gone, replaced by a campier version.
But the main problem with Spectre is the story. The storytelling is not great and doesn’t flow as well as Skyfall, which was lean and straightforward. The plot goes all over the place, which makes it hard to get invested in the characters. And the film is written by four people, which clearly shows. The story is jumbled and has long drawn out sequences we’re nothing really happens and could have been removed from the film entirely. There’s also a link between the other 3 films of the Daniel Craig series, which was incredibly forced and it did not need to be in the film at all. There’s also the subplot of the MI6 being observed by British Intelligence, which was straight out of Mission Impossible 5. It was done much better in that film and every time that they kept coming back to that storyline Spectre dragged and dragged.
Daniel Craig is always likeable as Bond and the film feels like a James Bond movie but the script really felt disoriented and a bit clumsy. The opening action sequence was entertaining, nothing exceptional or really mind-blowing unlike Casino Royale, which had one of the best opening chase sequences, I’ve ever seen in a movie.
The villains we’re sadly sloppily handled. Christophe Waltz is a terrific actor, and sadly he was wasted as the villain for this movie. The scenes he’s in, he’s absolutely terrific and his introduction was perfect. It’s just that his motivation is almost nonexistent and his character development is extremely weak. We see him for perhaps twenty-five minutes in the entire movie, and I’m being generous and he’s there to cause Bond some pain but we don’t really understand why because it’s hardly ever explained.
Bautista, who is one of the henchman, is all right, but he literally speaks one word of dialogue throughout the entire thing. He is far from an Oscar Worthy actor, and it clearly shows that Sam Mendes was using more for his physique than his acting ability.
The villains we’re not well handled and that’s incredibly disappointing, considering that James Bond has face off with Silva and Le Chiffre, two of the best villain’s ever. Christolph Waltz could have been a much more menacing bad guy if we had understood his motivation more and if he had gotten more screen-time. If you’re a James Bond fan, than you should absolutely see this film in the theater. It’s a good film, just not a great one and doesn’t match the expectations that Skyfall and Casino Royale promised us.
Overall, Spectre is superbly well-filmed and is beautiful to look at, and has fun action sequences which makes it an entertaining time at the movies, but the story is sloppily handled and not very cohesive and the villains aren’t used as well as they should be.