Movie Review: “Spectre”

Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

Fast cars, faster women and a shaken, not stirred, vodka martini all combine into a movie with a man many are familiar with: James Bond. The international super-spy makes his way into theaters once again in the latest film, “Spectre” starring Daniel Craig in his last foray as 007. However, the latest iteration of the legendary spy, while being a fantastic Bond, falls a little short of the mark.

“Spectre” is a direct follow-up to the previous Bond movie “Skyfall” and finds Bond in the aftermath of the previous movie. Starting in Mexico City during Dia De Los Muertos, Bond finds himself on the hunt for a man and group with only clues from his late mentor, M. However, with the “00” program being put out of date by advancing technology, Bond must travel the globe in search of these men off the grid.

As a Bond movie, synonymous with tension, cars, beautiful women and incredible action scenes, “Spectre” holds up. “Spectre” has everything that a Bond movie is supposed to, but there is nothing that makes “Spectre” stand out in that regard.

The chase scenes are intense with incredible looking cars, the fight scenes are excellently choreographed and there are almost as many scenes with Bond being suave with women. There was also a series of surprisingly humorous moments throughout the film which did a good job in breaking up the action and tension. But, not much beyond this makes “Spectre” unique.

The soundtrack and musical score are classic; there is nothing more iconic than the opening theme for Bond. What is impressing is that after the classic opening, there were opening credits and a musical montage of sorts with Sam Smith’s “Writing on the Wall,” which actually captured the feel of the movie.

There is only one part in the movie though when there is no music, and it coincides with one of the best fights in the movie. Bond and an unnamed, indestructible assassin get into a brawl on a train and the music stops, the only sound being broken furniture, punches and grunts. This was hands down the most intense fight of the film because all the audience focuses on is the actual combat between the two men.

In regards to camera work, the film excels here. The movie took every perfect advantage for large sweeping landscape shots, and makes use of living environments which Bond works through. One of the first scenes in the movie is Bond walking across rooftops in Mexico City and a parade is going on behind him on a lower street, and this shot alone is just incredible to look at and is only followed by more throughout the film.

Daniel Craig, the man behind Bond for the past four movies, does a very good job of keeping to “his” Bond. There is a good level of brooding, the typical suave nature of a Bond, but there was also a level of enjoyment to Craig’s performance. This being his last Bond film, Craig did not seem to put the ultimate level of “Bond” into his performance, but what he did was play a role he enjoyed and knew audiences liked and enjoyed as well.

Bond’s lover for the film actually only makes her appearance in the second half of the movie, however, Léa Seydoux plays Dr. Madeleine Swann and adds an interesting flair to the role. Seydoux’s character, while being the love interest for Bond, also is competent in fighting, and is able to hold her own, even saving Bond at one point.

In the end, what “Spectre” does is give audiences a Bond movie. The plot and timings are predictable to a degree, but the action does make up for it in some aspects, but there is nothing too unique or spectacular about it except being a good watch.

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