Bond is Back
When reviewing any film I find sometimes you have to wait a time to let everything sink-in. I recently watched the latest James Bond film, Spectre. I have seen every Bond film many numerous times and can remember both the plots and memorable moments both good and bad.
After Skyfall, I thought it would be very difficult to push Bond further, in fact as Skyfall finished I did think that was a perfect end to both a good story and Daniel Craig’s time in the role, if he wanted. But both he and the franchise came back.
I am not going to give away anything from the plot that has not already been said in the media or the trailers. So down to basics, the film is very good. It takes a step further than Skyfall, which is very hard to do given its success. The opening of Spectre is one of the best I have seen in ages. It is ambitious to say the least, the action starts calmly, almost nonchalantly as we watch. With one single shot, that pace changes dramatically. It is gripping, you get drawn in, you cannot help it. Craig is Bond. Even the theme song as its place when you see it. It makes sense.
For the record here is the promotional summary of the plot. A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. 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.
The story has much more to it pushing boundaries and there are reasons. It digs deep into Fleming’s past regarding Bond. What is most interesting for me, is how Sam Medes has woven so many threads into this film. You do have to watch and listen, the clues are all there. There are so many respectful nods to past Bond stories I suspect only a few will see.
The pace of the movie is such that I had not realised the passage of time. That is the mark of a good movie. The first just flew. There are some parts everyone should be able to figure out, but you still have to watch to see if you are right. I was.
The production was at its best, the most locations visited in one movie and a couple of memories again. There is a car chase, its in the trailers, its Bond. The supporting cast does have more to do yet again. There is more of M, Moneypenny, Tanner and Q. They do support both the story and Bond. Music to many films is now a key part and once more there is the old and the new.
Many critics will review this movie with a differing eye. For me I see these as what they are, hours of escapism, entertainment forged to please as many as possible. The one element of this Bond movie is the end. Now, I am not going to give anything away here so do not worry. We all know there is a villain in Bond movies and we do meet him. Again it is clever. But the end is what I think will cause the greatest problem not for Bond himself but for Daniel Craig. This is his fourth outing and by the looks of it the most popular. And here is what I think is the problem. The movie ends, but it also can be a start. Will Daniel Craig start the next movie? The way this one has been put together is basically to say, it took four to complete the story. So will the next story take one movie or two or more? If he starts the next would it look odd to change actors in the next? Is that what weighs on his mind?
The prior actors all had single stories in so much as how Fleming had written them. Yes, we had bad guys who popped up in other stories and one group kept on appearing but, the stories were self-contained until now. That has been partly driven by other franchises and their success, which meant Bond had to adapt.
Spectre is good in my view. There are plot holes but tell me a film which does not have at least one fault? Given some films and how they drifted from the books, this has no book to follow, like Skyfall. There are few left to be honest. Daniel Craig is excellent as Bond, along side Lea Seydoux and Christoph Waltz in the main roles. They are support from the newly promoted Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Rory Kinnear as Tanner returning to their roles.
I am sure it will do well yet again and ensure Bond will return. I would give this 4.5/5.
Tagline: ‘Is the ghost of the past the Spectre of the future?’