Spectre: Builds up hope, but fails to deliver
To begin this review, I need to admit something. I am not a James Bond fan. There, I said it. I’ve never seen any of the original films and while growing up, the Pierce Brosnan films looked incredibly corny to me, so I never had any interested to even see them. Then Casino Royale came out in 2006 with Daneil Craig helming the famous secret agent, and for the first time in my life, I was interested in a 007 movie. Royale blew me away for what it is. Craig brought a grittiness to the role that showed even James Bond can have difficulties with his job. Not everything was perfect and he developed Bond as the film progressed from a new agent learning how to win his battles to the suave 007 we’ve come to know over the past decades. It was refreshing to see a more realistic take on the character.
I didn’t have a chance to see its sequel, Quantum of Solace, which I had heard didn’t live up to its predecessor, but I did manage to see Skyfall, which once again got me excited about a Bond film. The villain was excellent, plot and story was well written, and the ending had a good shocking surprise. Then Spectre was announced and starring one of my favorite actors, Christoph Waltz, as the villain. I don’t think I could’ve been more excited for a Bond film. For the first time of all Bond films, I decided to see it opening day.
Spectre was the third Bond film for me. I knew what to expect. A grand opening sequence, beautiful locations, etc. The film opens in Mexico City with Bond following a specific man, trying to prevent a major attack on innocent people. The camera work alone for this extended scene is impressive. Of course there are some explosions, fighting, and comedy all worked in well with each other. We soon learn the opening is linked to the greater overall plot of the film setting Bond on a journey to find one man linked to it all.
Meanwhile, a new intelligence agency which is running the newly merged MI5 and MI6 departments is trying to pass a major surveillance system and shut down the ’00’ department at the same time. The leader behind all of the changes is C, played by Andrew Scott, and is new to the department. Unfortunately, no one trusts him, including Bond and M, now played by Ralph Fiennes. Thanks to C, Bond is under strict supervision and even Q is forced to oblige to assist in keeping tabs on Bond, but he does slightly help Bond disappear from the country so that he can continue his search for this mystery man. Of course, the audience knows who this mystery man is.
After some time, Waltz finally makes an appearance in the film but is only seen for ten minutes and barely has any lines. Of course, they could be saving him for a much larger part in the film. After all, Waltz is a two-time Oscar winner. And it does all comes together. The devious plot run by Waltz’s villainous character is revealed, but with unsurprising details.
Well known from the trailer, Waltz runs the evil group named Spectre, and he knows all to well who James Bond is. Unfortunately, Waltz is largely under-utilized in this film; one of the most disappointing aspects of Spectre. The evil plot is all to familiar to audiences with its ‘big brother is watching you’ underlying theme behind it all. There are some attempts at plot twists, but none are surprising in the least, with one quite obvious from the very beginning. Even the love interests and bedroom scenes felt forced, as if they felt they had to put them in the film just because it’s Bond.
Thankfully, as a spy film, it is still pretty solid. But when compared to its predecessors of Royale and Skyfall, it fails to live up to the interest and excitement the Bond films can deliver. Is it worth seeing? Yes, very much so because it is still a quality film, which I why it has the rating I’m giving it. It just doesn’t deliver on the things that make it a good Bond film. Could this be the final time we see Daniel Craig portraying Bond? Possibly. I’ve always been a fan of Craig, but it could be time to bring in a new face.