Spectre (6/10)



A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

Title Spectre
Director Sam Mendes
Director of Photography Hoyte van Hoytema
Runtime 2 h 28 min
Certification PG-13
Release Date 6 November 2015
IMDb Id tt2379713

The James Bond franchise is now 53 years old and is in its 24th movie and sixth actor. With such a weight of history it is hard for the film makers to be too bold: they have a rigid set of expectations to meet and a $300 million budget to recoup.

Spectre starts out with a single camera shot action sequence (hinting at the opening of “Touch of Evil”) in Mexico City, a suitably dramatic way to set the pulse of the audience racing. The film never really catches up from that opening, lurching from set piece to set piece with a plot that after a while doesn’t even try to tie things in even the most tenuous way to plausibility. Instead Daniel Craig’s rugged interpretation of Bond runs and jumps through the requisite sequence of explosions, pausing only to seduce a wasted Monica Belluci and an oddly limp Lea Seydoux, who gurns forgetfully through each scene as if she is constantly wondering as if she left the oven on at home.

Even the excellent Christop Waltz cannot wrench life from this script, as he tries to be as menacing as a man with a fluffy white cat can be. There are air miles a-plenty racked up as the action shifts from an Austrian mountainside to Tangiers to a desert lair and back to London, but the evil super empire of SPECTRE seems to have gone corporate, a cross between Google and Glaxo, so it is not so much threatening the world with nuclear obliteration but rather to get access to everyone’s internet browser history, and maybe peddle a few generic medicines. Scary as the former may be it hardly compares in the imagination with the all-embracing global threats of the Bond films of yester-year. Q manages to introduce some gadgets, the Aston Martin gets an outing around Rome and there are wry nods to earlier Bond films in a couple of scenes, but knowing self-reference does not really cut it when the plot is as full of holes as this one.

I hope for the next film they repurpose some of the budget away from a little mayhem and towards a writer who can weave a vaguely believable story and interesting characters. This audience member was left shaken but not stirred.

6/10 (just)

Spectre (6/10)
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