Spectre: Worth Seeing But This is Not the Same Bond We Saw in Casino Royale [Review]

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I was surprised by how crowded the theatre was when I went to see Bond.  It was Sunday afternoon, the movie had been out for two days already and the place was still packed.  That’s rare for Lethbridge. James Bond is pretty popular and it’s not hard to see why.  You know what you’re getting into – there’s car chases and fights and seductions and witty repartee all of these things done very very well. They must have sunk a ton of money into that thing, it was breathtaking to watch.

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A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

Daniel Craig is my very favourite Bond.  That isn’t saying much really – you could substitute any other noun in place of Bond and it would probably be pretty accurate.  The man is beautiful.  Still, watching him in Spectre made me feel like Bond has maybe worked at MI6 too long.  Please bear in mind, I’m not saying that Daniel Craig was unenthusiastic, (though it’s very possible he was) but that the character Bond was.  This could have been a stylistic choice:  I could be mistaking his signature Dignity and Charm for Tired Professionalism.  I don’t know but it does seem like this is not the same Bond we saw in Casino Royale.

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148 minutes is a long time for any film – if you’re going to be longer than about 100 minutes, you should have a good reason for it.  This film did not have a good reason.   Nevermind that I waited the entire film to see if Daniel Craig would take his shirt off (he did not); the pacing was not as good as it should have been.  The third act was a little weak but that’s okay because there’s an entire, possibly unnecessary, FOURTH act after it.  I think this was because Bond is formulaic and Spectre wanted to break from formula.  I’m glad they did – this worked very well in other parts of the film.  They set up one expectation only to blow it away with something completely surprising.  Good films have great twists.

james-bond-spectre-official-teaser-0The Villainous Organization, the eponymous ‘Spectre’ didn’t seem that bad-ass.  We hear throughout the film how they control everything and have people everywhere, but there’s never really a sense that they do control everything or how pervasive their reach is. All we see is Bond fighting henchmen and goons throughout the first three-quarters of the film.  So yes, they’re everywhere, but are they really that powerful and scary?

I feel like I’ve been critical up to this point and Spectre really doesn’t deserve it, so let me tell you it was still very well done.  The sets were gorgeous – Mexico, Rome, London, all very lovely.  Each shot was beautifully designed.  The acting was spectacular – not just Mr Craig but Ben Whishaw and Ralph Fiennes too.  Andrew Scott was amazing as ‘C’ and Christopher Waltz was the perfect villain.  One scene in particular, a faceoff between Bond and the villain, was terrifying.  Also, the film has some interesting things to say about to surveillance and the Information Age.

Lea-Seydoux-in-SpectreShould you see this film?  Yes, it’s worth it.  Maybe not as good as Skyfall but still pretty good.  I’m not going to see this one again, but I’m glad I went and I hope they make another.

Spectre

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