Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: Spectre (2015)

             'Spectre': An Entry In The Bond Franchise That Goes Down Like A Bitter Martini

         Earlier, when I did a review of Bridge of Spies, I mentioned how it has been a banner year for spy movies. Yet one of the bigger disappointments of the year turns out to be a film in THE spy movie franchise. Like the great Alanis Morissette once said, "Isn't it ironic?"

   Spectre follows the story of James Bond as he pursues a global organization known as Spectre which looks to invade the governments of countries all over the world and is led by Ernst Blofeld (Christoph Waltz).

   I really loved the opening sequence which incorporated a long tracking shot. I thought that was very nice. I kind of wished that technique was used throughout to make things a little more interesting. Also, the cinematography by Hoyte von Hoytema was absolutely beautiful. One of my favorite sequences was the one where Bond infiltrates a meeting of Spectre members and once Blofeld enters the room, he is mostly in the shadows. I thought that was haunting and masterfully done.

     Lastly, I loved that we got to see more of M, this time played by Ralph Fiennes, as well as more Q and Moneypenny and I liked the scenes they all together.

    My biggest problem, that really disappointed me, was how it is the same old formula. Granted many other Bond films follow the same formula. But after Skyfall, which is the best Bond film with Daniel Craig and reinvigorated the Bond film formula, I was left so disappointed that we were given something so basic. Also, with the whole plot of Spectre invading global governments, it felt like I was watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier again but without the political thriller elements that Captain America had.

     Also, while Daniel Craig does a fine job as Bond, some of the actors see their great talents go to waste. Lea Seydoux has a pretty sizable role as the latest Bond girl Madeleine, and is quite good in the role, but she doesn't have much to do. Christoph Waltz wasn't as wasted yet I still felt it was a paycheck performance from him as he spoke his lines rather phonetically. Monica Bellucci has a smaller role as the wife of a member of Spectre and she is WASTED. She does a fine job with what she is given, but she only has one big scene then disappears from the rest of the film which I thought was unfortunate.

     Not only was the storyline involving Spectre cliched, but there was even a big twist towards the end that I could easily sniff from a mile away and in which I won't reveal in case you guys want to see the film.

   Overall, Spectre is a disappointingly back-to-basics Bond film that features deja vu-inducing storytelling and wasted talent. The action sequences are fine and some of the actors have roles that flesh out their talents, but none of these elements could really save the film.

 Grade: B-