Starring Daniel Craig and Cristoph Waltz; Directed by Sam Mendes
PG-13, 2.5 hours, **No Spoilers**
I’m not going to lie, I had high expectations going into Spectre, but after the flawed gem that was Skyfall, how could you not? What was advertised as Daniel Craig’s and Sam Mendes’ final bond movie, with Cristoph Waltz as the villian and Monica Belucci as one of the bond girls somehow managed to disappoint on all fronts and instead becomes a hard movie to recommend and one that should be watched as a passable action movie instead of a legitimate entry in the 007 franchise.
Well, what did Spectre get right? The opening sequence was fantastic, with an intricate day of the dead scene, and some of the effects were pretty well done throughout. As soon as the action heats up though, the film falls apart and as you watch it, Spectre starts to collapse under it’s own ambition. The cinematography feels like it should, but the script is something that would fit better in a direct-to DVD action movie than a theatrical release.
One thing I have to give this movie is how consistently bad it is. The humor falls flat (and feels very out of place overall), the characters are underused, and Bond is very hard to like here. Christoph Waltz and Monica Belucci acted like they were going through the motions, and didn’t get much screen time at all. Belucci literally shows up for only one sequence, and is then forgotten. Bond manages to also be a manipulative asshole to her in a scene that was very awkward and hard to watch. Waltz also should of had a bigger role here. He spent most of the film shrouded in darkness, behind a desk or behind a window. He felt more like a toned down Joker than anything else, and was by far the most disappointing aspect of Spectre. I was looking forward to seeing him really go off a la Inglorious Bastards, but it was pretty forgettable.
The three bond girls in total are such a letdown as well. They all fit nicely into the cliches we’ve come to expect from a generic action movie, and aren’t given enough respect to be looked at as strong women. The first two are literally in Spectre for one scene, and the last one was in constant need of saving which I just found boring more than anything else.
Overall, Spectre is just a huge waste of time. The story panders and while it offers some interesting tidbits to keep you going and some ok twists it’s not enough to distract the viewer from feeling like they’ve seen it all before. I enjoyed Kingsman: The secret service much more than I did Spectre. It’s a similar movie, but it knew what it wanted to be, Spectre just feels aimless and it’s a very poor way to end Craigs’ and Mendes’ collaboration. It should be interesting to see how the franchise is handled in new hands down the line, but the 007 franchise needs a break for a while.