The dead are alive.
Spectre is a 2015 spy film directed by Sam Mendes, written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Jez Butterworth, produced by Eon Productions, MGM Pictures, and Columbia Pictures, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It's based on various James Bond stories by Ian Fleming. The film stars Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux. It was nominated for and won Best Original Song. This is the twenty-fourth film in the James Bond franchise, and the fourth in the Daniel Craig era. It was preceded by Skyfall and followed by No Time to Die.
"It's always been me. The author of all your pain." -Ernst Stavro Blofeld
After 007 receives a mysterious message from the past, he is put on a mysterious path towards a terrorist organization called SPECTRE. Bond is sent on a mission to protect the daughter of an old enemy, and, along the way discovers chilling secrets about who he is truly facing. As the pieces come together, Bond realizes that his true foe has been always watching him in the shadows, slowly tearing his world apart.
One of the best things about this film is the story. It is somewhat simple and much easier to understand than some of the other Bond films, and it digs a little bit deeper into Bond's past. Some people may not like that aspect of the film, but I found it enjoyable.
Daniel Craig is great, as always. Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, and Christoph Waltz were all fantastic as an ensemble cast. Ralph Fiennes was much more prominent in this film than in Skyfall, which I liked a lot more. Q and Moneypenny also felt like they were more important in this film than in Skyfall. Waltz was good as Blofeld. I thought his performance was scary, but underutilized, which I will touch base on later.
I thought that the plot made sense, and was simpler than some of the previous installments. I also think that Blofeld was a very strong villain. He is menacing, violent, and clearly doesn't give a crap about human life.
The scene where James Bond gets tortured is hard to watch. That is a positive in this because I think it's meant to be that way. That scene had top notch direction and acting. Bond's screams seemed real, and Blofeld isn't phased by the amount of pain that he's in. It's terrifying and real at the same time, which is hard to get from a James Bond film.
The action in this movie is fantastic. The opening helicopter scene is a huge thrill and super cool. The other sequences are all fun and unique, and some of the stunt work is jaw-dropping.
I thought that the final sequence was good enough. It had some elements that I didn't love, but I will touch on that later. It's intense and thrilling and, once again, felt hopeless and real. When Bond was trying to save Madeleine, you could feel his anger and hopelessness.
Since I just talked about the final sequence, let's start with that.
It goes on for way too long. Actually, I think that the whole movie is a little bit too long, but the final sequence is most of the extra runtime. It is all enjoyable, but it keeps doing this trick ending. Also, Blofeld should've died...twice. It seems like it's over when Blofeld's little camp blows up. Then Blofeld is alive and fine except for a scar on his face. He captures Madeleine and tries to kill her and Bond by exploding the building that they are trapped in. Then they chase Blofeld's helicopter and take it down. That's pretty much three different action sequences for the finale. That is too long.
The second thing is that this should've been the last Daniel Craig 007 film. I am incredibly excited for No Time To Die, but this movie wraps up the series perfectly. Blofeld is behind the villains from the rest of the films and the deaths in Bond's recent life. Since he gets defeated at the end of the film, it'd make sense that this would be the last film in the Daniel Craig era of Bond.
I also think that Blofeld is underutilized. He doesn't have a ton of screen time in the film, which was a disappointment. He was a good villain that had the chance to be a great villain if he had more screen time.
Final thing is the subplot about C, the head of the intelligence service. He tries to shut down the "00" program, but is secretly an agent for SPECTRE. I thought that the plot line was just there to have another plot line in the movie. It feels like a good idea that was lazily written and executed.
This is a successful installment in the 007 franchise. Despite an excessive runtime, an underutilized villain, and a lazy subplot, the cast, characters, and main plot lead it to success.
I'll give it a Savory rating. The age range is 10+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Fun Factor: 8/10
WHERE TO WATCH
Amazon Prime Video: Available for rent
Apple TV+: Available for rent
Directed by Sam Mendes
Released on November 6, 2015
Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, thematic elements, and disturbing themes
2 hours and 28 minutes
Daniel Craig as James Bond
Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann
Christoph Waltz as Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Ralph Fiennes as M
Ben Whishaw as Q
Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny
Monica Bellucci as Lucia
Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx
Andrew Scott as C