Daniel Craig returns as James Bond for his fourth outing as the most popular spy in film history. While taking on his biggest adversary yet (Christoph Waltz), Bond is also facing double the pressure as he also goes head to head with the box office smash, Skyfall.
Following on the trend of the damaged and darkened Bond, we enter the most important part of his journey of self discovery and his purpose in life. The status of 00 agents is being threatened as the world turns to drone’s for protection instead of agents such as 007.
‘Spectre’ is directed superbly by Sam Mendes, once again delivering what looks like an art house Bond movie. Helped by Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, the film looks stunning, if not for a slightly disappointing story. Teasing to be an eventful and emotional one, it never seems to get to those massive heights that people expect it to hit. ‘Spectre’ being the longest running Bond in the series feels massively overdrawn in places, especially when it doesn’t need to be. The inclusion of Christoph Waltz as the lead villain is masterful casting, but his lack of screen time is scandalous. His character is teased and used expertly well towards the start, but the mystery disappears quickly and the magic of his character fades, quickly.
The ending is very abrupt, and we aren’t treated to a typical over the top and long drawn out finale that wets our taste buds. Instead, I left the cinema disappointed. The opening sequence wasn’t gripping or even remotely good. The CGI was questionable and didn’t get me off to a good start. Thankfully, although I wasn’t a big fan of Sam Smiths song for the film, his track Writings on the Wall was a millions times better and effective on the stunning title sequence – a definite plus.
Of course we have big car chases and the normal Bond stuff. But it never recaptures the magic of Skyfall or even Casino Royale. Spectre has its moments and is visually stunning to watch but it’s massive running time is its biggest problem and the fact that the story line doesn’t seem to be expanded in particular moments when you’re begging for more.
The acting is fairly standard but special mention goes to Dave Bautista. Playing a typical bond villain and with little to no words, the towering ex wrestler is one of the most enjoyable parts of Spectre. This is the first time in Daniel Craig’s Bond series that physically he has been outnumbered and it was enjoyable to see him physically outmuscled.
Overall, Spectre is a stunning film to look at. The fantastic use of different locations including Rome, Austria and London, Bond travels the globe in style and in fantastic fashion. Bond’s story is continued but we don’t seem to learn a great deal more about the 00 agent. But it’s great to see the co-stars become more comfortable in their roles including Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris. Spectre is a good continuation of Craig’s Bond story, but the massive running time is a hindrance on the film which in turn make it a tad boring in places. 4 out of 5 stars.