The fourth and seemingly final installment of Daniel Craig’s portrayal of Britain’s most iconic hero super spy has its ups and downs but like every Bond movie, it’s a roller coaster ride of action adventure and intrigue.
Spectre makes an effort to tie together pieces from the earlier films; going back to Casino Royale with Mr. White and showing that the organization known as Spectre has been an ever-present albeit unseen villain behind the scenes. There’s an aspect of this which seems interesting. Shadowy societies are by their nature secretive and not to be noticed on the surface; but as a moviegoer I would have expected there to be indicators along the way hinting at this larger story. Maybe I missed them; but if that’s the case then so did a lot of other people and that’s a poor way to run a franchise.
The connection of Spectre to all the villains Craig’s Bond has faced seems more forced than clever plot.
Bond’s connection to the Double-O program was strained at best in this version of the storyline. In many ways, Craig’s Bond is reminiscent of Sean Bean’s 006 Character in Goldeneye – angsty and fraught with discord over how he was brought into her Majesty’s service; which culminated in the prior: Skyfall.
The film tries hard to both wrap up unknown loose ends by bringing Spectre to the forefront and a man from James’ past (whom we didn’t know about before) as his arch villain who had been planning his downfall for so long but still fails to kill him in classic Bond-Villain fashion. I mean, it’s no fight with a dangerous hat inside Fort Knox but…it’s still pretty cool.
The character of James Bond has always walked that fine line between being a complete misogynist and being a total and complete misogynist; and so the idea that this man who has slept with more women than Wilt Chamberlain would finally decide it was time to settle down is…kinda dumb. I get that basically everyone he’s slept with previously is dead; but don’t shove this kind of thing on the audience; it just feels forced and out of character – even for those of us who’ve seen the Lazenby film (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – where Bond gets married).
Of Craig’s four films two were real winners: Casino Royale and Skyfall. Both were tremendous scripts with fantastic action sequences and drama mixed in. The on both drew you in and made you care about what was happening and characters while still maintaining its sensibilities as an action flick. Quantum of Solace is where Spectre should have showed up…but it didn’t. It was hinted at in the plot points but failed to deliver even a hint to help bring everything together; perhaps if the lovely Gemma Arterton wasn’t just a pretty face to be slept with and die instead of being the badass heroine the film could have been salvaged.
Spectre comes in third place amongst Craig’s Bond films; at least for now. I left the theatre feeling less than satisfied with the outcome; maybe that’s because I know this run is over, but I tend to think it’s because the culmination of four movies worth of plot shouldn’t end with a whimper – it should end with a bang. Christoph Waltz as a villain was seemingly wasted here; his screen time was altogether too limited to be truly effective.
Not to pile on but the writer and director really missed a cool opportunity with Dave Bautista’s character. In a lot of ways he seemed to be an homage to the classic Bond villain: Jaws, but much like the rest of the film there were failures in how this character was utilized and portrayed.
I wouldn’t tell anyone who is a Bond fan not to go see this movie in the theatre as the screen size and sound quality for this kind of film is a must. But for those you who are more casual fans of the genre or lean more towards just liking Craig as eye-candy; wait for rental.
Writer/Editor at 8DaysAGeek.com