Movie Reviews

October 27, 2015

SPECTRE: A spoiler free review

It has been three years since the momentous success of Skyfall, directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes. Doubts surfaced as to whether he would direct another 007 movie, but after some swift negotiations he went back to the directing chair once again to manage this month’s release of Spectre. The Bond razzmatazz has been in full swing for months. But did Spectre live up to it all?

Daniel Craig returns for the fourth time as 00 agent James Bond and uncovers some rather startling information that he attempted to conceal. But the resurrection of a prominent dark figure threatens to cause imminent danger for him, as well as those who are closely connected!

Craig returns in fine form, although he modifies his portrayal ever so slightly. The familiar one liners that classic Bond’s of yester year used to express make a return, however, they are few and far between. It is interesting to note that actor Craig admitted once before that he finds it difficult to play with humour and at times he looks a little awkward. However, most of the absurdity is not due to the Bond character himself, but are often the cause of the events that unfold before him. Unfortunately, these rather goofy moments prevent Spectre from elevating to a level that it would have risen to had it not have been for these aspects.

The narrative was told with hard edge, sometimes so much so that it is easy to forget that this is a James Bond movie. At times the spirit of Spectre, especially early on, felt as if it was more of a dramatic thriller that was telling the audience to prepare themselves for the new ground it was about to break. In the final act it is discovered that there is indeed a road that the franchise had not been down before, but whether fans will accept it is a question that is yet to be answered. On a more personal level here, it was quite unacceptable but it will be interesting to see what the implications for the series will be in the future.

Action sequences are often explosive and furious, as they should be, but one often discussed element during the hype was unfortunately a little underwhelming due to gags that became quickly excessive. Spectre proves that filmmakers do not need to rely on large extravagant settings and that sometimes the more simpler environments can be just as exciting.

Ben Whishaw and Ralph Fiennes return as Q and M respectively, and they have just as much of a sizeable part as they did in the last feature. Although Whishaw’s Q was felt to be severely lacking in Skyfall, the actor has grown into the part a little more and his presence is more welcoming. It is a case of “out with the old and in with the new” and we don’t have much choice but to attempt to get used to the fact that Ben’s take on Q is here to stay whether we like it or not. It will be better for him to have a minimal role in the next one. The same goes for Fiennes’ M.

Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux are the Bond girls this time around, but as what happened with Skyfall and its use of Berenice Marlohe, Bellucci was underused, and one wonders whether she was included simply for filler purposes. Her character has very little relevance to the plot, especially the events that occur later on. Seydoux is the main Bond girl and has a more notable role who gets the opportunity to join in on some of the fun with Bond as well as uncover relevations that affect her own life. This review is not complete without mentioning Dave Bautista’s henchman, Mr. Hinx. He is a brute force of nature and proves to be more than a match for 007. An inclusion this time of an outlandish right hand man is something that is well embraced and harks back to the days when Roger Moore was facing the likes of Jaws back in 1979 in Moonraker!

Spectre is yet another triumph for Sam Mendes. Daniel Craig only seems to be getting better at playing the most famous cinematic agent despite the signs that he is approaching his advanced years are showing through now. But some of the chosen characteristics in this particular entry prevent it from topping its predecessor, Skyfall, as does the inclusion of a very risky narrative route that is sure to split opinions!

The masses should waste no time in hurrying to watch but hardcore fans of Bond should approach with an open mind and a degree of caution.

About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.


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