#69, #70, #71 SPECTRE
Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinner and Andrew Scott. Written by: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth. Directed by Sam Mendes. Budget $300 - 350 mill (rumoured) 148 minutes running time.
First off I have to say I am a dedicated and utterly committed Bond fan, indeed in preparation for this outing I rewatched the last three back-to-back. So, my feelings for this film might be somewhat biased.
Spectre, the 24th Bond film and the fourth to star Lee Evans, sorry Jug Ears, sorry Daniel Craig and the second to be directed by Sam Mendes. There is a lot riding on this one especially after the extraordinary success of Skyfall, which became the franchise's most successful outing with a global box office take of $1,108,561,013 – that's a billion, one hundred million! And whereas this one doesn't quite reach the same giddy heights as that it's certainly a lot better than Quantum of Solace and probably as good as Casino Royale.
This is Craig at his most relaxed as Bond, he has a cock-sure swagger that oozes a combination of lethal thuggishness and brutal sexuality. He dispatches villains without a care in the world and shags the ladies with equal abandon, but he's not afraid to bleed and he's most certainly not indestructible, indeed several times during this epic movie, the longest Bond e-ver, he's knocked unconcious, gets tortured and beaten up!
But this isn't all grit and grimness, there's also a strong sense of fun running through the proceedings, as Craig cracks off rye comments and dry quips and several old Bond standards are wheeled out, albeit with a 21st Century polish, if you're a Bond fan you'll find yourself getting more excited as the film progresses and more and more references are introduced.
The story sees Bond going off grid and rogue to complete one more mission for the old M while the new M fends off the attentions of Andrew Scott's 'C', a Whitehall Mandarin with designs of a world without the Double Os and an omnipresence automated security system. Meanwhile Bond ricochets around the world from Mexico to Tangiers via Rome, London, Scandinavia and all points in between as he tracks down Christoph Waltz's Franz Oberhauser, the sinister mastermind behind all of Bond's misery over the past four films.
There are a lot of characters in
this film and it really feels as if Mendes and the writing crew are
determined to make sure that everyone has a story, although sadly Poor
Rory Kinner doesn't get that much of a look in.
This is a solid, well made, beautifully soundtracked spy romp that references classic Bond but happily updates it for a supposedly more sophisticated 21st century audience. it's a little flat at times but never anything less than entertaining. Craig nails it as the best Bond e-ver and the rest of the cast do their utmost to ensure Craig is well supported.
While it never reaches the peaks of Skyfall and Casino Royale, Spectre is nevertheless an immensely satisfying and entertaining romp!