Spectre Review

6 Nov

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Spectre has everything going for it: a talented cast, a great cinematographer, the same team that wrote and produced Skyfall. It also has a promising opening sequence, an extremely entertaining Day of the Dead chase scene that ends with helicopter fisticuffs and Sam Smith sobbing his way through the theme song. Once we get down to the story, though, we realize that there is none. For a movie about the ghosts of James Bond’s past, there is remarkably little emotional connection to the audience or between the characters. There are certainly characters and callbacks and people doing things like running and shooting, but we are given no reason to care. This is an opportunity to tie Craig’s movies together, to provide a satisfying ending to his run* as James Bond. What it is instead is a mix of weakly written motivations, a Daniel Craig who has had enough of this shit, and a subplot about surveillance and security that would be more interesting coming from a textbook. In fact, the writers attempt to tie so much from the last few movies together that it all just comes across as frustratingly contrived.

The most disappointing aspect of the film is how wasted its cast is. Christoph Waltz and Monica Bellucci belong in a Bond movie, but the former just goes through the motions and the latter doesn’t have enough screen time to go through the motions. Lea Seydoux does a good job with what she’s given, but the relationship between Madeleine Swann and James Bond features quite a few head-scratching moments throughout (seriously, it gets plain idiotic near the end). Andrew Scott and Ralph Fiennes are also here to try to make that aforementioned subplot entertaining, but to no avail.

I won’t deny that the movie can be entertaining, though. Q and Bond have the most chemistry out of anyone, and their interactions are always fun to watch. There’s a From Russia with Love-esque train fight scene between Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista) and Bond, and although it makes absolutely zero sense in the context of the plot, it’s still a well done sequence. The problem is that these fun moments are few and far between, weakened by the dullness around them and by the nonexistent scope that the writers want you to believe the movie has. There are some big twists at the end that we all saw coming a mile away, and they feel more tired and obvious than surprising or hard-hitting. I still enjoyed watching James Bond kick ass, but as a movie, Spectre unfortunately remains stuck in mediocrity.



-*This is not the end for him, according to a producer.

-This is pretty much the same thing as Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, right down to the locations. However, that movie was a little bit more fun.

-James Bond as superhuman is back again. It can get kind of groan-worthy at times.


-The whole needle torture sequence is incredibly stupid. The needles just seem to make Bond stronger. It would’ve been much more interesting to see him attempt to escape while dealing with the effects of what the needles were supposed to do.

-The whole “shoot the helicopter from the sky” scene at the end. Ugh.

-I was interested to find out Blofeld’s motivations, but then…daddy issues?

Photo credit: Spectre, Eon Productions

10 Responses to “Spectre Review”

  1. JustMeMike November 7, 2015 at 7:20 am #

    More than enough action to make it entertaining – but so little story with an impact, that as you stated it is so very hard to care. Walz’s Oberhauser is the least interesting Bond villain ever, as well as the least scary, and most creepy.

    This film is really just the standard Bond trophes – all done by the numbers – meaning fun at times – but all of it done without a heart. Plus so repetitive: 2 Aston Martins, two helicopter scenes, a redo of the train fight from the classic From Russia With Love.

    The train? Why were they on it? We find out only when they get off the train. Second – no one else on the train except a cabin steward, a water and Hinx? An empty train to no where what was the point…If Bond knew why they were on the train – he didn’t tell us. And if he didn’t know – then where were they going and why.

    As you said – a story without a reason….

    • polarbears16 November 8, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      Yup! Plus, why would Hinx even attack them when they were on the way to his boss anyway? Some things just plain didn’t make sense in this movie.

  2. Steve Powell November 8, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    From the feedback I’ve heard so far the hardcore fans (myself included) loved it, and everyone else was left baffled. But I can’t get away from the fact that after reading scores of bad reviews I still loved this movie and think its one of the best Bonds.

  3. killkenny16 November 8, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

    The movie got off to an incredible start, petered out in the middle, and just kinda went through the motions for the entire third act. Lea Seydoux’s character was annoying and Christoph Waltz’s character and backstory was frustratingly stupid and probably could’ve done with another rewrite or two. If it wasn’t for that Day of the Dead sequence… I would not have been happy.

  4. Keith November 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    Definitely a mixed bag. It had its moments but I was so surprised at how flat it was at times. The story would just stall and I felt Waltz wasn’t given near enough screen time or good material to give us a memorable villain. Sigh….

  5. boxofficebuzzab November 11, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    Entertaining for sure, but not as good as Casino Royale or Skyfall.

  6. Nigel November 14, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    I completely agree with your review. For me, the movie was so unexciting from beginning to end, filled with typical Bond cliches that have become so tired. The only exciting part of the film was the fight sequence between Daniel Craig and Dave Bautista on the train, which was followed by an obvious cliche when Bond asked what were they to do next. I wasn’t surprised that they made love in the immediate following scene. The movie was just okay in my opinion, and wasn’t worth my time or $8 to see in theaters. It looks like it’s time to reboot James Bond yet again.

  7. MovieManJackson November 15, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

    I was absolutely hooked…for the first half or two thirds of the film. Once all of the exposition and motivations started to be revealed, I began losing interest. All of Waltz’s mystique is taken away in about 5 minutes. That ending sequence with the helicopter felt very “Fast & Furious-ish” to me. Only thing is, that universe does over-the-top better, and (comparing this year’s Furious 7 to Spectre), had a better villain and comparable story.

    But, I did have some good fun, for the most part.


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