In the current James Bond (Daniel Craig) flick, a secret message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover an invisible organisation. While M (Ralph Fiennes) battles political adversaries in the form of Andrew Scott (Sherlock) to keep the 00 service alive and kicking. 007 unravels the layers of lies and trickery to display the honest but horrid truth behind SPECTRE.
I will begin with a bit of background behind the title of this movie, Spectre. Spectre is quite an obscure word. It’s etymology is Latin deriving from the word spectrum and then the French took it and made it “spectre” at the dawn of the 17th century. Spectre literally means ghost or phantom. Shadow and spirit are other synonyms that appear when describing spectre. The other meaning is dangerous so thus we have the title for this Bond movie. Spectre being a dangerous ghost organization.
The movie is fast paced but not to the quality of Skyfall. Skyfall was in its own league. The action was scenes were structurally sound and the composition of car chases and SFX were good. It was good and that is all. I feel the film was lacking in places and it drags on towards the end.
As always, Daniel Craig delivers a first class performance. It’s full of witty one-liners, womanizing and the odd martini, shaken not stirred. I did enjoy the scene with Bond and Hinx (Dave Bautista) playing cat and mouse in very expensive cars. The idea to give Dave Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy) not many lines was excellent. We focused on what he does and how does it. The fight scenes between the two were also very good. Hinx is truly menacing, brutal and straight to the point. He has no problem killing anybody. Just say the word and he’ll do it. Emotionless, cold and unflinching. The scene with him and James on the train was also great. He made James look like a big baby. Truly remarkable.
James kills a man in the beginning and then goes to the funeral which then leads to him enchanting his widow into having sex with him. I know he’s James Bond and he’s developed a reputation for doing things like that but this bond girl doesn’t appear again in the movie so she wasn’t that significant to the plot. It was basically just a filler to bump the running time up.
I first saw Andrew Scott as Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock. In Spectre, he delivers another good performance but I think he could have been a more prominent villain. He is in the movie, but behind the scenes and having political foreplay with M. Andrew Scott plays C and they have this ongoing banter throughout the movie. C is surveillance obsessed in comparison to M preferring the more traditional methods of espionage.
C: And now we find out what ‘M’ stands for – ‘moronic’.
M: And now we know what ‘C’ stands for
Ben Whishaw (Suffragette) and Naomi Harris (Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom) return as Q and Miss Moneypenny. They help Bond when he gets grounded by M. Both performances were sound, also with amusing lines. Especially when Q shows Bond an a really nice car, describes all the new gizmos that it has and then tells Bond that it’s not for him whilst smirking to himself.
The main Bond girl is Madeline Swann (Lea Séydoux), daughter of Mr White (Jesper Christensen) who makes a cameo in the movie. Mr White is Bond’s former foe from Casion Royale. Madeline is quite badass if I do say so myself. She’s taken a leaf from Black Widow’s book. Also a great performance from Séydoux. It didn’t take long before Bond and Swann partook in a little of the…rumpy pumpy.
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) plays the main villains whose name is Oberhauser. Unlike Bardem’s Silva in Skyfall, Oberhauser is more subtle. Bardem is in your face with evilness but in comparison, to Oberhauser is subtle in a more low-key way which is what I believe many people didn’t like about Waltz’ character. Most Bond villains are in Bond’s face trying to kill him. Not Waltz. His voice was enough to send chills down my spine.
Waltz is an amazing actor and his performance was awesome. He is too subtle until the end. This is when his inner sociopath is revealed. Christoph Waltz’ performance is truly groundbreaking and is the main reason why I wanted to watch this movie in the first place. Waltz in anything is worth a watch and after seeing him winning two Oscars in Django Unchained and Inglorious Bastards, I knew I had to see him in this as well. Germans make awesome villains and he was no different.
He is Spectre personified in a way. You don’t see him coming because he’s so subtle. He’s a phantom or a ghost, and dangerous. I admit the end scene was lengthy but it revealed his mortality to himself and the audience. He truly thought that he was invincible and James took him down a notch. He thought he had everything worked out and James bamboozled him by handing him over to the authorities instead of putting two bullets in his head.
The greatest thing about this movie was the concept. The concept of invisible organizations pulling strings and playing politics from the shadows. It’s about the top 1% of the top 1%. The people with great power pulling strings. Spectre could be mirrored off The New World Order or The Illuminati in this regard. Although, this could be my tinfoil hat talking.
In conclusion, the film was good but too long. They were a few filler scenes that could have been removed and that would have made for a better movie. Great acting from the whole cast. The writing was very good and the cinematography was also good. The main let down to me, is the theme song. Sam Smith’s Writing On The Wall was horrendous. After the success of Skyfall from Adele anything but that was never going to be as good. As soon as he started singing, I wanted it to be taken off. It was awful. All in all, a great movie but not as good as Skyfall.
NB: I’m still having withdrawal symptoms from the lack of Dame Judy Dench as M.