Spectre (2015) - IMDb

Spectre seems to be looked down on by a lot of people. I will readily admit that while not perfect it is a solid follow up to Skyfall. There are parts of the story that don’t feel great especially making everything tie together from the previous movies. While I appreciate them trying to do that it feels awkward in execution.

Sam Mendes returns as director with John Logan, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade returning as writers and setting the story. Jez Butterworth is a newcomer for the writers. The returning writers help Bond feel like the same person while the new writer helps him feel like an evolving person that continues to change from what he has gone through. Sam Mendes offers the continuation of the visual style from the previous movie. This all adds up to a visually interesting and fun movie.

Daniel Craig returns as James Bond and there is a continued evolution to this version of Bond. Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, and Ralph Fiennes all return as Miss Moneypenny, Q, and the new M respectively. I do wish we got to see more of Dave Bautista because he’s very memorable in the little screen time he actually gets. Léa Seydoux is a sight and looks like she was picked right out of the old Bond movies. Christoph Waltz is just as underused as Bautista was. The underutilization of villains is probably the biggest downfall of the movie. Andrew Scott serves as a secondary or maybe third villain, either way he’s another villain but he’s used the most.

The story arc is continued from the previous movies. Judi Dench’s M’s shadow looms heavy on the movie. A good portion of the plot continues the plotline of the government arguing that the double O program is obsolete in the current time. Bond is on the hunt that began after the previous M died. This leads him to learn the mastermind of the events from the past three movies was someone from his past.

The first thing I want to mention is the insane helicopter stuff that goes on at the beginning of the movie. The main thing is the helicopter barrel rolls that happen. I’m not entirely sure but I’m pretty sure it was digitally placed in the sky over Mexico City because it would be way too dangerous to do it over the city itself. The other stunts are great, but that helicopter stunt is amazing. The subtle use of CG is fantastic. I don’t know if the explosion in the villain’s lair is something that was done practically then put there digitally or just all-digital, but it looks good enough to be real. The music was done by Thomas Newman, and he did a fantastic job. That being said the Bond song is underwhelming, especially coming from the previous movie. There was a Radiohead song that was considered that was much better than the Sam Smith song that was chosen.

Spectre is a solid Bond film that had to follow up after an instant classic. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy Spectre as much on my second watch as I did on my first. I did though the awkward parts of the story feel that way doubly so now. The continued addition of elements from the previous Bond movies is interesting even if they’re implemented in awkward ways. I give Spectre 8.5 rings out of 10.

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