REVIEW: Spectre… This time it’s personal… I mean, again. It’s personal, again.

Directed by:  Sam Mendes

Starring:  Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Andrew Scott, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Ben Whishaw, Naomi Harris, Dave Bautista

Trailer:  Spectre – Official Trailer

Spectre poster

Let’s face it.  The “Daniel Craig as Bond” franchise changed things. It elevated Bond and expelled the winks and kitsch to make room for serious spy business.  I guess that’s why we have such high expectations.

Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre…  The writing team has been pretty consistent, which is why these films have more continuity than past Bond franchises.  What I guess we didn’t figure, though, was that they were taking us on an Easter egg hunt.  I mean, I get that there are only so many world dominating crime lords, so you are bound to come across them once and again, but manufacturing an underlying plotline to tie up these four films is my biggest issue with the movie.

Even so, I enjoyed Spectre for the popcorn movie it is. It opens in Mexico City as a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE. (Thanks for the logline imdb!)  The plans to do away with the “Double O” program altogether leave James on his own to go rogue and prevent world dominating evil forces … oh wait… well, yes, a few things sound familiar to me too.  These super secret spy organizations sure have things rough. 😎

Bond and Q

Sam Mendes sets Spectre in motion on the coattails of Skyfall.  But, boy howdy, was this one long! He does true Bond fans well as this film has all the elements we are used to:  gorgeous locales, beautiful women, magnificent stunts, breathtaking chase scenes, and cheesy one-liners that seem less cheesy (just because Daniel Craig’s Bond is the coolest). Oh, and the bad guys are indeed, sinister– though believe it or not, the terrific Christoph Waltz was not my favorite. We get to see less of Moneypenny, and more of M & Q – which was equal parts shame and fantastic.  Andrew Scott is so, so good as his smarmy bureaucrat.   Monica Bellucci and Léa Seydoux are the obligatory Bond gals.  My thought is that Bellucci offered a great deal of depth in her character despite her limited screen time, yet Seydoux was pretty unremarkable with all that she had to work with. I am realizing even now that there just wasn’t a whole lot of chemistry between her and Craig.

Bond snow

The Bond legacy lends itself to reinvention better than any other, and there will be Bonds until there are no more movies.  This may not be the best Bond we’ve seen lately (that may have been Skyfall), but if you are a lover of Bond and/or the genre, then don’t let it deter you. It’s still great escapist fun.

It will be interesting to see where Bond’s journey picks up with the next film — because of course, there’s a next film!  Bond 25 has been announced for release in 2017, coinciding with multiple anniversaries of many of its predecessors.  For all his posturing, Daniel Craig seems to be attached and possibly even Mendes.  We will just have to see.  The hopeful news is that this next one should begin with a relatively blank canvas.  Also, I think I have actually figured out why Craig came off so angry and ranty lately.  He’s just tired of having to dash around the world chasing criminals in such tightly, tailored pants.

Cindy Says: 🌟🌟🌟3/4 stars. Go ahead; get your big bucket of 🍿popcorn and watch Spectre on the big screen.

Recommendations:  Did I say it enough… watch Skyfall or Casino Royal. 

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