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Review: ‘Spectre’ falls short of fabled Bond legacy

“Spectre” is the 24th movie in the James Bond franchise and Daniel Craig’s fourth appearance as the famed assassin. But practice doesn’t seem to make perfect as “Spectre” seemed to simply fall short.

“Spectre” is directed by Sam Mendes and stars Craig, Léa Seydoux, Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes, and is about Bond discovering a cryptic message that takes him on a path to uncover a villainous secret organization.

This is a movie I was very excited to see, with the series coming off of a terrific sequel in “Skyfall.”  I am a big fan of Craig’s grittier, more realistic Bond, but this film just didn’t live up to its full potential.

Craig is still excellent in the role as 007, as he is still a great fit for the well-dressed assassin.  He is witty, has solid action scenes and adds some humor that worked well in a few scenes.

The action was well shot and very entertaining when it was all going down, with the camerawork being enough to catch the main action, while maintaining the frantic feel of the scenes.

Christoph Waltz was excellent in his role, but he was criminally underused. Waltz has won two Academy Awards for playing two villains (“Inglorious Bastards,” “Django Unchained”) so he was the clear choice to be a Bond villain.  He nails the part. There is just not nearly enough of him.  For a film that runs for nearly 150 minutes, it feels as if there should have been more than a half hour of Waltz.

While some of the comedy that Craig used did work, I did think that the movie attempted to lose some of its grit and dark tone in turn for the campy, less realistic Bonds of the past, and that just does not work.  Some humor is fine, but Craig’s character needs a serious movie around it. So when some scenes felt that they did not make practical sense, the movie lost some credibility.

Seydoux is just not good in terms of a Bond girl, or in general.  Her performance felt wooden and she lacked chemistry with Craig. I did not buy the romance that they shared.

For a Bond movie, I found myself checking my watch way too frequently.  Whether it was from the confusing plot that I still don’t fully understand or the overly long moments without action or even interesting dialogue, I was actually bored in this movie quite a few times.

Overall, “Spectre” is quite a letdown for a huge fan of the Craig’s Bond movies.  Craig is great, and the practical effects and camerawork are excellent, I just could not get into this confusing storyline. The movie did not flow exceptionally well, and Waltz’s talent is completely wasted by a lack of screen time.  “Casino Royale” and “Skyfall” are both exceptional Bond movies that have been led by Craig, however, “Spectre” falls more into the category of “Quantum of Solace.”  This film is just not good enough for its incredibly high expectations.

One comment

  1. I agree with this review completely. “Spectre” was nearly full of everything a Bond fan would want. However, some parts of dialogue very completely unnecessary. I didn’t like the fact that they made this film a bit more humorous- which honestly does not fit Daniel Craig’s version of James Bond.

    This movie was mostly satisfying to an avid Bond fan, like myself, but not to an average moviegoer. The film contains a lot of references to past movies relevant to the plot, which would not make sense to someone watching a Bond movie like this one for the first time.

    Although this film contained all the action, adventure, and thrill of a Bond film, it fails to deliver a powerful follow-up after the success of Skyfall.

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