Movie Review: “Spectre” – Bond is Back

Written by Caitlin Cooper November 11, 2015

spectre

It’s been three years since the delightful “Skyfall”, but now Bond is back in “Spectre” much to the delight of Bond film fans everywhere. “Skyfall” was a dark installment in the spy franchise that saw us learning more about M’s past – and some of Bond’s past – and how vulnerable MI6 really is. But “Spectre” makes all of the puzzle pieces in Bond’s tragic story make sense. It doesn’t hurt that during this 2 hour and 30 minute revelation, there are action scenes galore and enough glamour to please any Bond fan. What does hurt is the relatively slow pace (and what was with that long and bizarre intro?).

“Spectre” picks up with James Bond (Daniel Craig), our favourite brooding MI6 agent, shortly after the tragic events of 2012’s “Skyfall”. As you can imagine, Bond finds himself in trouble right away as he uncovers a web of danger he can’t ignore. And the web leads straight to a person from Bond’s past who made it his mission to make 007 pay for being a nuisance in his schemes. With the help of Q (Ben Whishaw), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), and M (Ralph Fiennes) he delves into his past to find and stop the man determined to control the world.

“We’re watching everyone.”

The opening of “Spectre” jumps right into the thick of things, and it makes you feel like you somehow missed something. But I think audiences will be all too happy to enjoy the good drama of Bond film action scenes. Once the plot begins to become clearer, things get really interesting. Bond comes to learn more about his dark past, and why villains have been targeting him specifically. His adopted brother Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) never liked James, and when James’ occupation interfered with Blofeld’s evil plans to rule the world, Blofeld painted a target on James’ back. And now Blofeld is ready for a family reunion full of torture and drama. Bond’s search leads him to Dr. Madeline Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of a man who used to be involved with Blofeld’s Spectre organization. Swann surprises Bond by knowing how to take care of herself – I mean, it’s not like she had a father who was involved with an evil organization or anything – and doesn’t fall into his arms as soon as he starts admiring her. The script doesn’t do the character justice until it becomes clear that she doesn’t like James’ occupation because of what life it forces people to lead. And therein lies a different potential outcome for Bond, one in which he might get to have his happy ending after all. It’s too bad that their romance goes from attraction to love almost as fast as his shiny new car. But perhaps the biggest issue with “Spectre” is that the pacing is quite slow. Honestly, the climactic scene even seems a little anti-climactic because the pacing is glacial. But if you don’t mind that the film takes its time to indulge in drama, romance, and countless action scenes with goods guys (and girls) fighting the bad guys, then this probably won’t bother you.

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I can’t deny that “Spectre” has a truly talented cast. Craig does a good job of playing Bond, and I’d be glad to see him do another Bond film. Fiennes, Whishaw, and Harris may be smaller figures in “Spectre”, but they each add their own flavour to the film. Fiennes is good at playing a more sympathetic character for once, one who fights for what’s right (and he’s not bad at comedy). Seydoux as Madeline Swann is the Bond girl this time, and she does a good job of portraying all the nuances of the character: a woman who’s lost a lot and remains vulnerable, but knows what she wants out of life. Andrew Scott plays C, one of the villains in the film, and obviously casting directors find him good at playing a bad guy (he has previously played Moriarty on BBC’s “Sherlock”). But no one’s better at playing a villain than Waltz, which is probably why he keeps being cast in those roles. He plays insane madmen bent on wreaking havoc and controlling the world as though his ideals are completely sane to some people. He plays Bond’s ultimate nemesis with flair and a creepy smile.

“You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond.”

“Spectre” probably isn’t the best Bond film to date, with its slow pacing and moments of weak writing, but it’s an entertaining installment in the spy film franchise. The plot is interesting, the fight scenes entertaining, and the comedy is typical dry British humour. It also doesn’t hurt that the cast is quite talented. There’s been multiple spy films on the big screen in 2015, and “Spectre” is not one to miss for those that like action movies and especially for those who love spy movies.

My Rating: 7/10

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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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