Spectre: Movie Review
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With the price tag of a whopping 300 million dollars, Spectre better rake in the dough at the box office this weekend. The success of its predecessor, Skyfall, sets up this new addition to the more than 50-year-old James Bond movie franchise rather well. But, does Spectre pay off? Almost.
This continuation in Bond's storyline offers moviegoers more spectacle and insight into 007's past, but it lacks the edge, clarity, and impact of Skyfall. Rated PG-13 for various reasons (explained below), Spectre is not a film you'll want to see with for your family.
THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE
Spy extraordinaire James Bond's on trail of a new villain. His pursuit, compelled by a cryptic message he receives from an old friend, leads him to the front door of a particularly ominous organization. While M. battles forces at home determined to dismantle the 00 program, Bond wages his own war as he tracks the players in this global web of villains all the way to its mysterious leader.
THE GOOD AND BAD IN SPECTRE
Sam Mendes returns as director with Daniel Craig reprising his role as the dashing and dangerous agent 007. Craig's rejoined by Ralph Fiennes as M., Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw as Q. New to Bond's world of high-speed espionage is Oscar winning actor Christoph Waltz (as the villainous Oberhauser), LÃ©a Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann (the damsel in distress), Andrew Scott as C. (the new head of intelligence) and Monica Bellucci, who takes an all-too-quick turn as a grieving widow. The lot do well in their respective roles, with Waltz lending his unique talent to portraying this new disturbing Bond villain.
Action packed and sometimes humorous, this globetrotting sequel feels like a lot of Bond movies rolled into one. And that's good and bad. Spectre contains quite an interesting mix of nods to past films, so much so that you lose a little bit of the Daniel Craig Bond that's been on the scene since Casino Royale (2006). Its extreme car chases, elaborate sets, and intricate fight sequences can't fully compensate for the film's muddled latter acts. Moneypenny's strong presence in the storyline fades, as does the movie's ability to surprise you. Even the psychological tricks played on Bond don't seem all that chilling.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language, Spectre contains all of the questionable content one might expect from a Bond movie. At one point, a henchman pokes the eyes out of another bad guy before snapping his neck. Bond's sexual escapades are thankfully only alluded to in Spectre, with passionate kissing the most you see. However, one of the Bond girls is seen sitting on a bed after she and Bond have been together, in corseted lingerie. Foul language plays a part and the opening scenes are set in Mexico City during a visually stunning Day of the Dead festival.
IN THE END
Mendes and Craig set themselves up for it -- with such a great Bond film in Skyfall back in 2012. To match or even top the nuance and intrigue of that film would be quite an undertaking. Bond wasn't quite up to the task in Spectre, but it's still a solid add to the much-loved franchise, for appropriate audiences.
Note: As is the custom with Bond movies, Spectre showcases lavish opening titles. Grammy winner Sam Smith's theme, "Writing's on the Wall", is matched with shadowed silhouettes of naked women dancing around Daniel Craig, with glimpses of Bond's past and this storyline's adversary throughout.
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