Spectre is just short of spectacular


People say it was always going to be tough to follow the success of Skyfall. Also, Skyfall left us in no doubt as to what the new 007 would be like: loyal, sensitive, and haunted by the past, with ever more personal missions. But the new James Bond film Spectre was not as predictable as it could have been, and made significant improvements to the weak areas of the last film. From positive to negative, here are my thoughts on the latest Bond film which was released yesterday.

Exhilarating start, with one of the most nail-biting stunts I’ve seen. Followed not long afterwards by another action-packed scene sequence that really sells the location. The Ministry of Culture must be glowing with pride, to see so many perspectives of its city being captured so differently.

Mesmerising women, with the main “Bond girl” played by Léa Seydoux almost upstaging Bond with her intelligent allure – if only she hadn’t reminded me of Sophie from the Da Vinci Code – and another “Bond woman” possessing a most fixating gait for all the brevity of her screen time. Mesmerising for their sorrowful defiance, not death or fashion sense.

Skilful continuation of the effort to modernise James Bond. He leaves hardly any destruction in his wake in terms of innocent casualties, and does not attend a fancy evening party. Still, among the recurring cast Q stole the show with his witticisms and proof of mettle. No more the naive young foil to the outdated Bond.

Evanescent quality of the song made it just about memorable enough, but otherwise it was lacklustre and seemed not to have tried much to compete with Adele’s ballad. The music video was a tame send-off for Daniel Craig’s Bond, full of photographic memories echoed later in the film rather than a timeless kaleidoscope of sensuous graphics.

Insipid arch villain who spent a lot of time motionless, only sinister when obscured in shadow, and whose line of work was unimaginative compared to predecessors. The cronies were just as bad, with one being a poorer version of his other famous on-screen self. A pity for Bond, as the measure of a hero depends on his nemesis.

Crumbling anticipation as I watched the closing minutes of the film. I appreciate the revolutionary nature of it, but really it is too similar to TV spy dramas like Spooks. Also, the film should have ended earlier than it did – in not doing so it missed its chance of creating an iconic new type of ending for Bond films.

I was kind to Spectre, but this review from Forbes most certainly is not. It seems like Sean Connery’s Bond is the only one whom people are not divided over.


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