As the MI6 is being merged, and the 00 program is being shut down, James Bond must face off against his next greatest threat, the mysterious organization Spectre. Spectre sees Daniel Craig return for his fourth performance as the iconic British agent. Spectre picks up where Skyfall left off, as 007 is back in action performing one last mission for the deceased M (Judi Dench).
Spectre begins with Bond tracking down an assassin named Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona) in Mexico City. After a massive explosion and a chase involving a helicopter, the scene in Mexico City becomes worldwide news. The issue arises as to whether or not the 00 program is necessary. This is a continuation of the events of Skyfall.
While Spectre has its bright moments, it feels somewhat jumbled and rushed. It feels as if it’s trying to balance too many components. Craig’s performance is brilliant again, and the supporting cast consisting of Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux and Naomie Harris also perform well. The acting is not the issue, it is the crammed script. While 007 being hunted instead of doing the hunting is a creative switch, it seems Spectre attempts to deal with too much. While the movie’s runtime is two and a half hours, it still feels like events are forced. Mostly the relationship between Bond and Madeline Swan (Seydoux) is rushed. This is one of the first Bond movies in which the audience actually needs to have watched the previous three installments to really understand what’s going on.
Spectre also features subplots of the question of universal surveillance. The idea of nations combining intelligence is a major driving force to the plot. The first hour of the film produces heavy intrigue and the possibility of a truly suspenseful thrill ride. However, the last hour and a half fails to live up the hype set up by the beginning of the movie. Spectre tries too hard to tie up its loose ends that it leaves the audience feeling a little underwhelmed by the end. The action sequences were creative. Since it’s a Bond movie, it features a solid car chase scene. It also features fight sequences in a helicopter and train. One of the main issues is that these action sequences are just too brief and feel like they don’t really matter to the grand scheme of the film. The fight scene between Bond, and a Spectre henchman named Hinx (Dave Bautista) is the exception. It’s outstanding choreography and unpredictability allows it to be the standout scene of the movie.
One the most disappointing parts of the movie is the villain. The mysterious Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) falls a little flat. Waltz’s performance isn’t necessarily bad but fails in comparison to his other roles such as in Django Unchained. What has made previous Bond movies successful is the villain. Franz falls flat due to lackluster motivation, a predictable plan, and no physical intimidation. The movie seems to underutilize the organization of Spectre as a whole because it had so much potential to be Bond’s toughest test in years, and yet he almost single-handedly defeats them with ease. Despite its faults, Spectre is a middle of the road Bond film. It’s the third best bond film since Craig took the titular role. Casino Royale and Skyfall were better films, but Spectre isn’t as disappointing as Quantum of Solace. Spectre still provides entertainment from its action sequences, and dry humor that’s always present in a Bond film. The questions raised regarding rights to security and the question of democracy in the film’s subplot are very intriguing and provide a more modern and realistic taste to the movie. Spectre is possibly the last time Craig will play Bond, and its ending will leave you wondering what happens next for 007. Spectre earns a 6/10 in my book.