Sunday, November 15, 2015

Movie Review ... Spectre


Spectre posterThe James Bond film producers have long claimed their determination to put ‘every penny spent on screen’. Occasionally this has been a hollow promise although ‘Spectre’ deservedly lives up to that boast.  Like no other series, the Bond franchise is top-tier movie-making with the massive budgets providing for spectacular action sequences.  Like its predecessors, ‘Spectre’ has a huge scope as it reverts to the series’ more traditional trappings to deliver a spectacle others movies find hard to match.

James Bond (Daniel Craig) receives a cryptic message from his past.  Going to Mexico to chase leads, he uncovers a sinister organisation called SPECTRE.  Led by the mysterious Oberhausen (Christoph Waltz), it has links to Bond’s history.  Soon involved with a daughter of an assassin, Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux), Bond enlists the services of allies including Q (Ben Whishaw). Untangling the web of secrets and deception, Bond uses his licence to kill with utmost frequency.

After his success with the previous Bond movie ‘Skyfall’, director Sam Mendes returns to direct ‘Spectre’.  Familiarity must have blunted his edge as Bond’s latest adventure has a low-key feel. Whilst that sounds absurd for a famed action franchise, ‘Spectre’ infrequently embraces the high-spirited colour for which the series has been known.  Although the action sequences are excellently portrayed, the rambling plot and tonal inconsistency detract.

Saving any minus points are the fantastic cinematography and performances. Craig effortlessly moves into his Bond persona and leaps into the action with gusto.  His co-stars equally do their best against a story occasionally drifting into tedious exposition.  This is especially evident with Waltz’s scenes as his primary villain barely registers.  Overall ‘Spectre’ isn’t the most memorable Bond movie with its slow pace dragging what should have been an amazing adventure.

One can’t quibble about the glossy veneer in which ‘Spectre’ resides.  The producers have spent their money well in this point.   Unfortunately the unengaging script gives this – apparently final Daniel Craig-starring Bond – a muted farewell than the rousing finale he deserves.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  6

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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