Movie Review: Spectre (2015)

Posted: November 25, 2015 in Action, Comedy, Drama
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spectre

After thwarting a terrorist attack in Mexico, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is grounded by M (Ralph Fiennes) for disobeying orders.  At the same time, Bond’s new boss C (Andrew Scott wants to shut down the 00 program completely, and be part of a global intelligence gathering initiative called 9 Eyes.

One of the people Bond killed in Mexico was Marco Sciarra (Alissandro Cremona) He killed Sciarra to meet his wife Lucia Monica Bellucci) at the funeral.  Despite being grounded and being tracked with nanotechnology in his blood, Bond goes to Marco’s funeral. Lucia tells Bond that Marco is part of a secret organization named Spectre meeting in Rome as they speak.  Bond crashes the meeting and sees Hans Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) the head of Spectre, who intelligence officials thought was dead 20 years ago  Spectre has been plotting and executing terrorist bombings all over the world, and now they want to kill Mr. White (Jesper Christiansen) a former member of Spectre, who refuses to carry out attacks on innocent women and children anymore.

Bond reaches White, and finds that he has been poisoned by Spectre and is dying a slow death.  Bond promises White he will take care of his daughter Madeleine Swann. (Lea Seydoux)  White tells Bond where Madeleine is and that she will lead him to the American, and then White kills himself.  Does Bond find Madeleine?  Does he find Hans Oberhauser? What is Spectre’s grand plan?

Spectre is a weak follow-up to the movie Skyfall.  The plot is weak, and overly intellectual.  The evil plan hatched by Oberhauser isn’t that evil.  Oberhauser is kind of a bland character, his motivation for attacking Bond psychologically and physically is flimsy, at best, and his method of torture is hardly fear inducing, it looks like something out of Marathon Man. The henchman, Mr Hinx is a cross between prior Bond henchmen Odd Job and Jaws, and the fight scene where Bond disposes of Hinx is an odd cross between Jaws the movie and Silver Streak. The womanizing is distressing, Bond ditches Lucia, a woman closer to his age to find and bed the much younger Madeleine, after promising to “protect” her.  Don’t worry older men, you can chase after the daughters of your colleagues, as long as you promise to “protect” them.  Nice message Hollywood. There is a reveal, but there are enough hints along the way to spoil the reveal.  It tries to be an homage to Bond, but it is in reality, a muddled bloated mess.

Daniel Craig seems to be going through the motions in Spectre.  I hate to say it but he looks old, tired, and bored.  This is not a good combination when playing a spy with a license to kill.  Here’s what I don’t understand, he badmouths Bond, which is inexplicable because Bond made him famous, and he’s producing this film, so why badmouth it?  Doesn’t he want his money back?  Ralph Fiennes does a fantastic job as M, he bring heft and gravitas to the role.  Monica Bellucci is good in the two scenes she’s in.  Christoph Waltz gives such an understated performance that he’s almost invisible, I expected much more from him, he needed to make Oberhauser much more menacing. Lea Seydoux is just ok as Bond’s lust interest, I didn’t find her character interesting at all.

The direction was spotty at best, Sam Mendes should know better, he directed Skyfall, which was really well done. The pacing was erratic, the opening sequence is done at breakneck speed and then the movie slows down and not for the better.

Spectre:  Doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance with true Bond fans.

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Comments
  1. Raviananda says:

    I agree with this review. The movie started off with such a bang. The Dia de Los Muertos opening was action packed with great visuals and camera work. The opening primed the viewer for a great movie. Sadly this great movie never arrived. The way they used Waltz rendered his talents pointless. The character was introduced as enigmatic and trecherous which they could have done so much with, considering who they cast for the role. Instead he waltzed (forgive my pun) around in penny loafers and no socks and made silly attempts at villainy. While I appreciate their attempt of tackling relevant subject matter, they did not use it in way that was threatening enough for a Bond flick. The fear of a global intelligence network just didn’t keep me at the edge of my seat. The movie was predictable and rather disappointing. The end where Bond shoots down a helicopter with a handgun was also disappoiting. With the rest of the movie I was not left exclaiming “oh yea!” when he did that, instead I just exclaimed “oh come on!”. Daniel Craig was clearly over the role, and it seemed that the movie as a whole was phoned in. I expected a lot more from his farewell Bond flick. Instead I give it a yawn and a half. He busted onto the scene with Casino Royale, setting himself apart from Brosnin by being a far grittier Bond. Quantum of Solace put me to sleep. Sky fall was definitely his best bond flick. So really he’s batting .500. Not a bad batting average I suppose, but I really expected a lot more from Spectre.

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