Directed by Sam Mendes
Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, and Andrew Scott
Yay! Time for a new James Bond movie. I geeked out hard at the end of Skyfall. It felt like the reboot they started on this Daniel Craig run was complete. We had a new M, Q and Moneypenny were finally back…all the pieces were in place. And then, when they announced the title as Spectre, the geeking out went into overdrive. James Bond’s arch-enemy — the international terrorist organization known as SPECTRE, led by Ernst Blofeld — is finally back! While I have enjoyed the Daniel Craig run, I was starting to look forward to some of the more classical elements of Bond to return. Would Spectre provide that payoff?
We catch up with 007 where it appears that he’s gone rogue in Mexico, tracking down an assassin. When he accidentally destroys a city block, he’s placed on leave. Bond then reveals to Moneypenny that he was on a mission given to him by the previous M’s dying words, and his rogue investigation is starting to uncover a terrorist organization known as SPECTRE…an organization that may have been responsible for all the acts of the previous Bond films. As Bond continues peeling back the layers of SPECTRE, he’s soon confronted with many ghosts from his past. Who is in charge of SPECTRE? And why do they have it in for 007?
What I Liked
Again, so many of the classic Bond elements are being reintroduced. We get gadgets! We get a gadget-laden car! The villain has an honest-to-goodness lair! And, for once, the Daniel Craig Bond is allowed to ride off into the sunset with the Bond girl! And speaking of, there is a lighter tone to this, as Bond is able to crack a smile now and then, and there’s some much needed levity re-injected into the proceedings. This is starting to feel more like classic Bond.
What I Didn’t Like
Well, given the dour seriousness of the previous Craig outings, the classic Bond elements do seem a tad out of place. There is one moment, while hilarious, does make Bond out to be a tad psychotic. They also add some new wrinkles to the mythology of SPECTRE and Blofeld that seem a touch pointless. In our new world of cinematic universes and continuity, trying to link it all with the previous Craig films is a touch forced. And, in all honesty, I’m not a fan of the Sam Smith theme song.
While Skyfall is still truly the best of the Bond run, I enjoyed this. It’s still not the Bond of yore, but it’s closer to it than it’s been for a long time.