Over the many years we have come to know what to expect from a Bond film. Bond will be given a mission, some new gadgets, some attractive women to seduce and some entertaining action. If there is one thing they have done since Daniel Craig’s 007, it is give the films a feeling that there is more to play than each self contained story. This started to ramp up in Skyfall and Spectre rounds it up in great style.
The opening sequence in Mexico City during The Day of the Dead celebrations is amazing and in normal Craig Bond fashion it is an intense, exciting action scene to get you into the film. It is actually my favourite sequence of the movie, with the Craig things do not go right all the time but with the Bond quick thinking and luck style, he gets where he needs to be. The helicopter sequence was especially outstanding, with the practical effects really making it stand out on the screen.
The rest of the movie is really good too. It is a great story as Bond makes his own mission and uncovers one hell of an organisation to beat. The problem is a lot of scenes felt pointless in hindsight once you get to the end of the film. Large parts felt like they could have been cut and they just wanted to show more of the globe to tick the boxes rather than them being meaningful. That is not to say any of it was bad, just that portions of the film just felt more drawn out than it needed to. Add to this in the overly long film they really do not explore the villain Franz in depth. He seems like he really would have been a great bad guy and all the ideas were there waiting to be explored. This initially is fine as he is a mysterious bad guy, but as you learn more about his history you feel robbed at the end of knowing more about him.
The overarching plot of MI7 potentially being merged to be under MI6 and the insidious plots as it ties into James Bond’s mission is really interesting and well done, even if at times it is diluted in scenes that felt a little pointless. This really gives a lot of gravity to the final stages of the film and makes the conclusion that much more satisfying, though I can’t delve to far into this without spoilers.
Daniel Craig is excellent as always in his Bond films. His suave yet bumbling moments really make the action much better. Particular stand outs were Lea Seydoux who fills the more Bond girl role and is very central to the plot and Monica Bellucci who does not spend too much time on screen but she absolutely owns the screen while she is there. Christoph Waltz was excellent as always as the villain and they used Dave Bautista very well by limiting his dialogue and just making him do what he does best, the muscle who just needs to hit things hard and drive fast.
The standard editions features consists of a few featurettes used in promotion of the film. They are fun enough for the ten minutes it takes to go through them all but it does not provide a lot of content and insight behind the film.
8.5/10 – Another excellent bond film and probably one of the best of the Craig flicks. It does a great job of tying up the long story that has woven through the Craig films, while being its own entertaining film, though I would recommend seeing Skyfall first if you have not). The practical effects look fantastic and the action is amazing, the film is really only hampered by its length and not enough Christoph Waltz.