November 9, 2015

Spectre: Movie Review

No questions are answered in Daniel Craig's latest outing as the suave, damaged, and confused James Bond. In the rebooted modern era of 007, it has become a tradition for every other Bond film to be subpar from the last. Spectre is that Bond film.

Spectre falls victim to over plotting and poor character development. Every scene sets up another question that needs to be answered. When the question is answered, five more questions pop up. The plot jumps from one locale to the next without regard for story depth, and characters are skin deep. Spectre becomes a bucket list of what Daniel Craig needs to accomplish before he can leave the franchise. Have an unstoppable muscle-man chase Bond from place to place: Check. Car chase: Check. Love interest that only serves the story when necessary: Check. Evil villain connected to everything Bond has done: Check. A torture scene: Check. Have a Bond-girl who can seemingly hold her on, but it still held back in the sexist world of Bond: Check. The list goes on and on.

Craig's latest, and possibly last, incarnation as Bond is campy and forced. You start asking yourself why Bond is doing all of this, or if you missed a scene important to the plot. You didn't miss anything. The first action scene dazzles with helicopter aerials and a long, continuous opening shot following Bond from the streets of Mexico City to the rooftops. It's an overlong, confusing action sequence that leaves you wondering why it was in the film. Later, it is discovered that his mission pertains to something that happened in Skyfall. Bond's mission then becomes to find a secret society that has deadly links to his past, but nothing makes sense. Interest is piqued in the first 30 minute and everything else becomes an afterthought.

Spectre is the bookend to Craig's Bond career. The film finds thin ways to connect each of Craig's previous films, but never doing so in interesting ways. The connections are hinted at throughout the film, and when it is time to reveal everything, the surprise is gone. The Casino Royale-Quantum of Solace-Skyfall connection speaks to the modern Bond's tortured past. Even Spectre's characters are simple vessels for metaphors of Bond's psyche. Unfortunately, the script isn't clever enough and the characters too thin. In the end, Spectre is neither the worst Bond film nor the best, but somewhere in the middle.

Good Qualities: Action scenes
Bad Qualities: Poor writing, poor story, too many questions, too few answers.

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