Director: Sam Mendes
Cast Headliners: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Lea Sydoux
Original Release Date : November 6th, 2015
The time has come for another James Bond film. And while Spectre delivers the staples of a new entry, it also brings in some cool connections as well. This is the fourth incarnation of Craig, and the second by director Sam Mendes so coming off the excellent Skyfall hopes were high. It lives up to a good amount but not all of those hopes but is overall pretty recommendable. But who can hate a Bond film, Quantum of Solace aside....
The movie picks up with a amazingly cool looking sequence in Mexico during a Day of the Dead festival. James Bond (Daniel Craig)'s world has been shaken up after the events of the last film and he's on a mission to track evil to its source. Scenes like this , with its colorful locale and skeleton costumes, really showcase Mendes' skills from a cinematic aspect. There's some greatly shot pieces from a visual aspect, whether its the pop of the unique scenery, sweeping vistas, crazy car chases, or following people through facilities. His touch has definitely been evident and one would hope he can return again. The one who also brings back good form is Craig with his ever great balance of charisma and coolness. Q (Ben Whishaw), Ms.Moneypenny (Naomi Harris), and the new M (Ralph Fiennes) also bring back their great supporting presence and actually get to be a bit more in on the action this time.
On that action specifically there are some quality things. Sequences like the finale and various encounters with Hinx (Dave Bautista who is all too undeveloped) are intense and exciting. Action makes sense and is visceral (with a couple exaggerated moments up to variable enjoyment depending on how crazy one likes to see their Bond films get) but that's when it happens.
A problem with the film is its pacing . A bit too long is spent in some sequences that could have been spent in others. While everything makes sense there is just some meandering moments in parts of the plot and repeated themes both from within the film and from Skyfall.
However once the plot gets going to its best beats its great. This comes from meeting characters like new head of British Intelligence C (Andrew Scott) who is shaking up Bond's organization, main “Bond girl” Dr.Swann (a great Lea Seydoux), and of course from the villian in Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz). Waltz, and his character's syndicate SPECTRE (brought from classic franchise films) are presented wonderfully. Their evil operation and objectives leads to some great scenes and really ties into all of the Craig films in some cool ways. And as for the man himself, his performances are so good. His villain is deliciously, diabolically evil. The problem is that there's not enough of him. Due to various circumstances, he gets sidelined to happenings. Between this and the sparse action the film does not use enough of its strong suits.
But though those good moments make up for any plodding. They keep one going through the film which arguably nearly matches the best of the franchise but falls short through little innovation. That doesn't mean its not a overall entertaining showdown, and perhaps says that sometimes all that a good James Bond film needs is just another adventure done mostly solidly. 8.3 out of 10