DIRECTOR: Sam Mendes STARRING: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen, Alessandro Cremona UK/USA 2015
Sam Mendes’ second Bond outing has divided opinions upon the Bond fan community like no other film in series since 1989’s Licence To Kill. Although Spectre is the reverse opposite, while fans were divided due to Timothy Dalton’s gritty, Fleming-esque portrayal of the 007 character, fans are now divided on the fact that for the first time in nearly a decade, Bond is having fun again.
Spectre, while tonally similar to 2012’s Bond outing, the outstanding Skyfall in some areas, the film is a lot more lighthearted. While most Bond fans and critics found this to be majorly disappointing, I personally found it refreshing. I love the dark Craig and Dalton films, I prefer them to the campy movies of the Roger Moore years, but this more fantastical approach to Spectre feels like a homage to the 60s Connery movies which 2002’s Die Another Day was trying to be back at Bond’s 40th anniversary but turned into a giant pastiche (at least the first half was pretty great).
Spectre is one of the “formulaic” Bond movies, which again has had critics feeling let down, but it’s the best use of the classic formula since 1995’s Goldeneye. The Bond girl was the best since Eva Green in 2006’s Casino Royale and Christoph Waltz’ villain was fantastic, he certainly deserved more screen time. The rest of the supporting cast were excellent too, Ralph Fiennes was a suitable replacement for the great Dame Judi Dench, Ben Whishaw is one the path to becoming the best “Q” since the late Desmond Llewelyn and Naomie Harris’ Monneypenny has great chemistry with Daniel Craig. The villain’s plot is a bit underwhelming, but he does cause more destruction and threat to Bond himself more than most classic Bond villains.
The critics will have you believe Spectre is an uninspired nostalgia trip, personally I believe Spectre is one of the best Bond movies in recent years. It’s not as good as Skyfall or Casino Royale, but if you are an enthusiastic of the classic Bond adventures, you will be pleasantly surprised and entertained all the way though Spectre’s two and half hours of fantastic Bond fan service.