Saturday, April 30, 2016

Spectre (2015) - 7 stars out of 10

Spectre (2015) - 7 stars out of 10

“Spectre” is a worthwhile one-time watch in the world of Bond films.  It has an interesting story balanced with impressive action sequences but it didn't grab me in the same way as "Casino Royale" and "Skyfall."  Besides, I don't ever want to watch that sequence with the miniature drills again.  You can count on a successful execution of the Bond formula when you pair up an Oscar-winning director like Sam Mendes with quality actors.  Daniel Craig continues to masterfully interpret the role of James Bond with his smooth delivery of sophisticated dialogue.  Léa Seydoux is a worthy addition to the “Bond girl” legacy and is more of a sidekick than a fling.  Inevitably, I would have liked to see more of Christoph Waltz.  He makes a great villain in any film and his relationship to Bond gave this story a cool twist, yet he appears in a much smaller percentage of the film than you would expect.  It helps to build the mystery of his character but Waltz’s charisma would have helped to keep the film in the moments when it began to drag on.  In regard to the special effects, they are stunning.  There are explosions, collapsing buildings, and an amazing car chase through Rome.  I do feel that the film goes a little too far over the top with two helicopter sequences and a plane sequence.  I'm pretty good at suspending my disbelief but they were pushing it by the second set of helicopter acrobatics.  Still, it has everything that you expect from a Bond film.  It actually may have been too formulaic.  There is something to be said for the extended opening sequence (the Dia de los Muertos setting was particularly cool), artistic title sequence with Sam Smith’s Oscar-winning song, and debriefing scene at MI6 that we expect from the Bond series.  After that, there weren’t many surprises in the pacing of the film as we could predict “There’s probably going to be a big chase scene coming up in the next few minutes.”  Even though “Spectre” inevitably falls short of the highly lauded “Skyfall” that preceeded it, this is a positive addition to the Bond catalog of films and is worth experiencing once.

[Pictured: The filming of this scene with the bad guy hidden by shadows is classic Bond]

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