Let me just start by saying that I love James Bond and the James Bond films. Yes some are good and some are bad and some are really bad. But they’ve all got good parts in. I’ll also say that I’m not a huge fan of the previous film, Skyfall. The same can be said for this film. It’s good enough. It’s got some good parts. But it’s just not that good overall.
The film starts off well enough. The opening action sequence is pretty good, with some good fights and stunts. Sam Smith’s opening theme Writing’s On the Wall is growing on me. It works better with the opening titles, as weird and tentacle-y as they are. But the opening titles also set a precedent for the rest of the film: trying to connect the events of the past three films to this one. It’s a bold move but one that seems so tacked on and last minute that it just doesn’t work.
The films continues on with Bond now trying to track down a mysterious organisation known as SPECTRE (which disappointingly never gets spelled out in the movie). What the film is most lacking however is any actual action. A car chase and a particularly brutal train fight are the highlights, but everything else falls pretty flat. The story itself doesn’t fare much better. The plot moves forward slowly but at the same time too fast, with Bond moving from one scene to the next with very tenuous connections and motivations.
And that’s not all Bond moves on from quickly. The marketing for Spectre made a big deal of the two new Bond girls, Monica Bellucci and Lèa Seydoux, and claimed they would be different and new. Monica Bellucci is certainly different in that she gets a mere 5 minutes screen time if we’re being generous. She literally appears to move Bond from one scene to another and give him yet another sexual conquest, despite the fact she was at her husband’s funeral hours before. Lèa Seydoux fares a little better, but still functions as a basic damsel in distress for Bond to save. Other characters include Ralph Fiennesas the new M, Naomi Harris as Moneypenny and Ben Wishaw as a very enjoyable Q. Dave Bautista turns in a memorable performance as new henchman Mr. Hinx, which is more than can be said for Christoph Waltz as ‘Franz Oberhauser’. His villain is fairly bland and he is given little to work with. He’s not overly menacing (at one point he tortures Bond, a torture which totally fails) and the fact he claims to be responsible for the events of the last three films is almost laughable. Waltz is a brilliant actor, but the script is the real letdown here. The man of the hour however, Daniel Craig, has really grown into the role of Bond. Even if he does hate making them, he’s made this version of Bond his own and it works really well. However once again the story is the real villain here.
That being said, the film is still enjoyable. Overly long and complex but still enjoyable. I just wish these films would get back to the ‘Bond on a mission’ style of the earlier films. That being said, I will still watch the next one and probably enjoy it just as much. I mean, who doesn’t love James Bond after all?
JACK’S SCORE: 3/5