Spectre Review

It has been a long time since I posted a review, but with all the future releases, I will be posting plenty of reviews. First things first, this film is not bad. There are aspects of it that are not done exceptionally well, but for the most part it is a perfectly serviceable film with a handful of standout moments.
The Name Is Bond, James Bond
My favorite part of this film is certainly the editing and the cinematography. This is an undoubtedly gorgeous looking film, especially the very first shot. The cast and crew achieve something truly special with that particular shot. The action is also shot well, where each movement and impact feels visible. I enjoyed the editing because it was put together in a really interesting way. The way it cut from scene to scene, or between shots just felt highly stylized. Another major highlight is the action itself. There were some really great action set pieces throughout the film, particularly a scene on a train. Daniel Craig and company really brought it their all, even though some of the action felt a little too silly (more on that later). Speaking of Craig, he and rest of the cast are mostly great. The only weak link in the acting is Dave Bautista as Hinx. He has one line, and is unable to completely nail it. On top of that, his character feels out of place. He just shows up in the film, and pops up from time to time. It felt very rushed. Bautista aside, the rest of the cast really does do a good job. Craig is of course fantastic as Bond, Ben Whishaw has more to do as Q, and new comer Léa Seydoux is fairly good. Christoph Waltz also does a commendable job as the villain. Every time he is on screen he really chews up the scenery. Lastly (before moving onto negatives), the music is fantastic. I watched the film in IMAX and the music really helped immerse me into the film. There are several new themes that really worked in the film, and many classic songs from past Bond films as well.
It Was Me, James. The Author Of All Your Pain
While the film excels in almost every way in respect to the technical aspect, it lacks depth. The plot is very disjointed. They introduce some cool concepts that do a good job of tying together all of Craig’s past Bond films. However, these concepts are not properly introduced. The plot juggles way too many story elements, and only a couple of them really land. This is certainly tied to the writing for the film, which is also responsible for its’ inconsistent tone. Spectre tries to remain faithful to Craig’s past Bond films by being darker and more realistic, while adapting more of a playful tone of the early Bond films. This does not work, and what you are left with is a film that does not know what it wants to be. I found this particularly infuriating because if they focused more on the “Modern Bond Tone” they could have had a compelling piece of cinema. This is why I mentioned that some of the action felt silly. Whenever the film tried to pay homage to older Bond films, they introduced a scene (whether it be action, or otherwise) that came across as silly and did not fit the tone previously established with Craig’s Bond. I mentioned earlier how the acting was mostly solid, but the new characters were not. None of them felt fleshed out. Just like the plot, the filmmakers introduced too many new characters and did not devote enough time to develop any one of them. This is most evident with Waltz’s and Seydoux’s characters. They both have a huge impact on Bond, but I did not buy into either of them. They lead Bond, and the film to an ending which was completely unearned. In fact, I may go as far as to say that I hated the ending. It felt insincere, and completely rushed (kind of like most of the film). Finally, the film could have trimmed some of its’ running time. For a two and a half hour film I did not feel the length as much as I should (perhaps a testament to the enjoyment of the film), but there was no reason for it to be so long.
Closing Remarks
This is not Daniel Craig’s best Bond film, but it is also not his worst. If this is indeed his last film, I did not go out exactly as I would have liked. It is a very uneven film, but an enjoyable one at that. For all its’ faults, there is good that can be found. Even though I was slightly disappointed, I would still say it is worth checking out.


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