Monday, 9 November 2015

Movie Review: Spectre

From the same team – director Sam Mendes and screenwriters John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade – who gave us the extraordinary Bond film Skyfall, here comes the continuation and the culmination of the preceding films (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall) - Spectre. As we all know by now, Daniel Craig's Bond is regarded as the best Bond series that ever reach the great heights in terms of story and character development. So how does Spectre fare against its predecessors?

Spectre opens with an extended Mexican action sequence with our usual arrogant, reckless Bond, dismissing his superior's orders and is seen running from rooftops and walking past the vast skull-painted crowds of Mexico City to chase an assassin during the colourful Dia de los Muertos (Mexican Day of the Dead festival) which slowly leads him to uncover the same shadowy criminal organisation that has been behind the events of the last three Bond films. However,  back in London, the new M tries his very best to protect the entire "00" secret agent programme from being replaced by a centralized global surveillance system spearheaded by C, the head of the Joint Intelligence Service, which consists of the recently merged MI5 and MI6.

It's important to mention that all Daniel Craig Bond films share a tightly connected continuity that gives the most complex portrayal of the 007 agent. Therefore  it's crucial to remember the events that happened in past three films to fully understand the events that are unfolding in Spectre. Spectre tries to show us that everything that's happened, from the beginning, was the work of a powerful criminal organization hellbent on world domination. Spectre also shows the character's (Bond) return to his traditional form... well-equipped (well, not so much yet) sport car, assistance from Moneypenny and Q, incredible marksmanship skills, pretty Bond girls for him to sleep with. We have another new Bond girl this time, Lea Seydoux, who makes the best of what she's got on screen. Craig has some nice together moments with Seydoux, and there's a noticeable spark between the pair that makes the relationship believable.

The film's biggest disappointment is that the head of Spectre, played by Christoph Waltz, turns out to be a sociopathic child with daddy issues. Although Waltz tried his best for the role, the film just doesn't give him enough screen time to show that he's a menacing villain who is not to be trifled with. Dave Bautista's character, Mr. Hinx, the main villain's personal henchman, assassin and member of Spectre is nothing more than a hulking guy created to fight with Bond. Moreover, Spectre also suffers from too many contrivances as Bond knew where to go at times to find the next clue and it feels like too easy for him to escape from several dangerous situations.

All that aside, Spectre does provide a satisfying conclusion that successfully ties up all loose ends in previous Craig's Bond films. It also gives Bond a happy ending as well. While it's not the masterpiece many would have expected it to be, it's still a solid Bond film that's worth a watch.

Rating Comparison:

Casino Royale (2006)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Skyfall (2012)
Spectre (2015)