Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Spectre (2015)

Directed by Sam Mendes

Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes

Author

Another polished character piece from Mendes. Pacing, score, action, and photography are all top-notch. Shot digitally, the picture was pristine, at least in the theatre I saw it in.

It’s too bad Craig is sick of playing Bond because he’s good at it. The broody, cerebral, very physical Bond he has created is unique and good for the franchise. But in this one, there’s something subtle lacking. Gone are the witty and smart one-liners that made Casino Royale so great.

Seydoux and Bellucci are interesting, atypical choices for the Bond girls. One is clearly older than we’re used to seeing, and one does not have the classic beauty expected of a Bond girl. They both pull it off, but just barely.

When he’s on screen, Waltz is amazing, but he’s conspicuously absent for most of the middle of the movie. I feel like we could have used another anchor scene with him somewhere in the middle. And Bautista does a wonderful job bringing back the henchman, a staple of the early Bond films. Would love to see him have a recurring role in the franchise.

The helicopter scene at the beginning and especially the fight on the train are two of the best action sequences in recent Bond history. The aging Craig can still get the blood pumping.

One moment in the film bothers me… After a battle scene at the base in the African desert, Bond and Swann climb a mountain and turn to watch the entire base explode (in what turns out to have been the largest explosion in the history of film). Why did it explode? And why did they turn around as if they were expecting it to explode? It’s a cool shot, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

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