Spectre (2015)

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  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    SPECTRE :  Ramblings of a Bond fan.

    Sitting in the cinema, having to wait half an hour before the film began, with rising excitement and anticipation,This chubby, 51 year old was gradually transported back to when he was a blond haired blue eyed 9 year old sitting in the local flea pit waiting for LALD to begin.
       Finally it began, Gun barrel back in its traditional place, oh the joy of hearing the theme blasting out again. The pre title sequence, is fantastic, beautifully filmed and edited ( It has been announced that the “One continuous shot” used to introduce Bond. Was in fact three cleverly edited together ) To be honest I had already though that on first viewing . On entering the Hotel ( Panning to poster) and the girl in the hotel room asking Bond where he was going ( another panning shot) is where I think the cuts were made, as you have to change from out door to indoor lighting, only a guess on my part and in no way detracts from an inventive and skilful sequence. The establishing shot of the street full of people enjoying the festival is splendid ( and on second viewing ) you can see Bond waiting for the villain to walk through the crowd and pass by him.
       The opening stunt section is fantastic; I didn’t notice any glaringly bad cgi work, although others have. Leading into Daniel Kleinman’s beautifully stylish Titles. I have loved all his work for Bond and Sam Smith’s haunting theme merges so well with the images. ( I’m one of the few who love the song).
       A brief review of the film itself, It’s a mix of the very traditional Bond film. An opening scene with Bond and M, a Q lab sequence. In which Ben Whishaw gives a truly great performance as Q. No one can ever replace dear old Desmond but Ben has given us a very different character, very contemporary but also eager and funny. I love his DB5 joke, which he obviously finds hilarious , the others, …. Not so much ( I can identify with that ). Later on Q has his own moment of peril and I found my self, genuinely worried for him. ( Fans of Ben can see him in his own BBC spy series starting on 9th November).
      The locations are beautiful, the cinematography in spectre is outstanding, it gives us almost a visual representation of the “ Fleming sweep”  from the novels. The spectre board meeting, so much a part of some of the earlier films, with a silhouetted villain, speaking in a dull voice asking about the mundane business of fixing the price of much needed drugs and people trafficking. The introduction of the Henchman, a truly unsettling scene, almost from a horror film. Mr Hinx is the latest in a long line of wonderfully bizarre  characters from the Series.
    Lots of action, humour, romance. Even if not a Bond fan, spectre gives you your moneys worth. The second half of the movie, the pace changes, a more serious tone settles in, a little more depth to the characters is added, the romance between the two is enforced.
      A familiar Villain’s liar, ( Base in a crater now where have I see that ), with the
    Usual Bond villain’s touch of having vibrant green grass in the middle of a desert. The 
    Design of the control room, I loved, even the act of at one point the lights dimming and all the control staff rising from their seats to turn to face their leader.  Visually it was very effective.
       The torture scene was very effective (for me anyway) I think most of us have a fear of drills, and the idea of someone drilling into your head, is as scary as hell. (I had a dental appointment the next day, so that didn’t help my anxiety).
      It also uses some lines from the torture scene from Col Sun, as Bond begins his escape you can see the drills positioning themselves to drill out Bond’s eyes !
    I simply love Bond’s escape from the villain’s compound. There’s just something about a Man in a white shirt firing a machine gun protecting a lady. That simply fills me with so many nostalgic memories of all those spy films from the 60s. 
      The final sequence back in London, is equally exciting. The safe house with the well know name to Bond fans, was a nice little touch. I was genuinely surprised to see the scar on the villains’ Face, I wasn’t expecting that.  One last battle and Bond drives off with his latest romantic conquest.

      I enjoyed spectre more the second time of watching, and was able to make a note of some of the little things that, just “tweaked my nipple of enjoyment “ ……….

    As Bond and pretty lady are about to leave the lift in Mexico, they sway to the music.
    I only realised that the laser attached to Bond’s gun wasn’t for targeting but rather was his vibration bug to hear the conversation.
    Q, …… I just love the character. Congratulations to Ben for making the role his own.
    Bond giving a friendly wave to one of the spectre thugs at the graveyard.
    In the Villa as Bond and Monica are kissing and Bond explains he can help her. A tear rolls down her cheek, which I think is a way of showing that the lady has gone from despair, to having the chance of “Hope” being brought to her by Bond.
      This may have been “Digitally” put in ( you can’t tell these days) but I prefer to believe this is just a consummate actress giving a role, everything she’s got !
    The Car chase, so many funny moments, but especially Bond intrigued by who is in Moneypenny’s flat .

    I’m very happy with spectre, it’s now my #2 Craig bond ( after CR), I have read about plot holes etc, But To be honest.
      I’m not an educated guy ( as my spelling and grammar proves) my love for the Bond films and books, comes from my gut!, I’m not really interested in picking faults, I had a great night out, I enjoyed my self. So a big thanks to all at EON, the cast and crew, office staff etc, for letting me into Bond’s world for a few hours, and making me feel nine years old again.  


  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited March 2016 Posts: 30,994
    Review from several weeks ago:

    SPECTRE 2015:

    BOND- 2/5

    I daren't go below "2" with any Bond, but this really was the weakest aspect of the film. I have been a big proponent of Craig's Bond from CASINO ROYALE through SKYFALL. Pre-SPECTRE I had actually considered him possibly moving up close to Connery's entrenched position as the number one guy (I will also remind @chrisisall that he was mortified at the suggestion). But he really let me down with this latest performance. I fully understand that he was going for a more confident, relaxed and seasoned Bond. One with an air of flippancy. But he just cannot pull it off. He comes off rather disengaged and bitchy. The writing does not help. The clever bon mots of the Connery Era are replaced by snarkiness. But Craig really let's down the side here. I now am fully aware of his limitations, and lighthearted disengagement is definitely out of his range. I put this down as the weakest manifestation of the character in the series (actually Moore in A VIEW TO A KILL is pretty lousy, as well, but he still carries himself with a modicum of style and class, so he gets the edge).

    WOMEN - 2.5/5
    Stephanie Sigman was a throw away character, despite the hype of having an hispanic Bond Girl on board this time. Monica Bellucci did well with the rather silly dialogue that she was given,probably one the most (if not most) authentic performances in the film. My main gripe in this field is with Léa Seydoux. Again, I think that I am aware of what she was trying to accomplish, but she does not pull it off. She seems to perpetually sleepwalk to such an insane degree that on the few (very few) occasions where she lights up (smiles, jokes, shows a spark of anger or joy) it seems bizarrely out of place. I also put much of this on the dialogue, but come on, she's a professional. This is the nadir of chemistry between Bond and the Main Bond Girl (even in comparison to the shitty ones, Seydoux can out-act most of them, I've seen her in other things, and Swann is a better character than some, but though I prefer her to Jinx and Christmas and so on, even they felt more real and convincing with their Bond). And this is the one that Bond throws away his career for?

    VILLAINS- 4/5
    Christopher Waltz is very good as Blofeld. What stops him from being a great villain, and me giving him a 4.5, or even a 5, is, once again, the script. Though no fault of the actor, EON and Mendes and the writers (far too many to list here, go watch Sinatra's lecture to the Academy, when he hosted it and warned about the dangers inherent in the trend of films being made by committee, rather than by an individual) have chosen to link the Oberhauser family with Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Also weakening this depiction is the underuse of the character, not in screen time, but in depth. I hope that this is rectified in future installments. Most of the bits it this film that I do perk up for involve Waltz: entering the Boardroom, singling out Bond, picking up the pussy, the scar, "Goodbye James Bond." Waltz as an individual actor in the role, deserves a 5, but the category is villains.

    Though some may get a different impression form several of my posts on other threads, I do not dislike the character of Mr. Hinx, I simply don't think that he deserves to be in that upper echelon, with Red Grant, Odd Job, Jaws, Fiona, Xenia and several of my personal favorites (like Tee Hee and Nick Nack). He's fine. He's fierce, he's formidable and he is a great looking character. I think the reason that he doesn't make that leap to greatness with me is that he is almost entirely derivative. Silent? Yeah we had that. Unstoppable? Yes. And with nothing really new to add. His best scenes ( the train fight, the car chase, the snow scenes) were all twists (or in some cases not even twists) on better, iconic Bond moments. The thumb blades were cool, but after Jaws' teeth, not so impressive. Their are commonalities among Odd Job, Jaws and Grant, but they also each brought something new through their performance, physical appearance, characterization and quirkiness.

    I liked Andrew Scott's portrayal of Denby, I just didn't care for the cheesy dialogue and boring, cliched character arc and characterization.

    HUMOR- 2/5
    Did not work for me much at all. I gave a slight chuckle at the couch the first time I saw it. The Q/Bond banter was fair, but seemed too push it a bit too far for it's own good in every scene. Again, a teenager's snarkiness does not equate with wit in my world.

    ACTION- 3/5
    The PTS was fairly decent, marred only by the CGI collapsing building. I found the other larger action pieces (car chase, snow chase) all quite beautifully filmed, though somewhat mundane (maybe the score was a factor in this) in execution. I never felt much tension (in contrast, I have watched the battle aboard the Liparus at least 50 times and it still keeps me riveted). The two weakest action scenes take place (already famously) in the final third of the picture. Bond, rather than acting groggy and worn from his ordeal in the dental chair, briskly escapes and dispatches a great number of armed opponents, fairly wide open, and suffers no wounds, in an odd-pice of Rambo-esque filmmaking that would put Pierce to shame ( I can only think it must have been an homage to that era). And of course the chase, shootout and so on over the Thames. And I really didn't need to see the MI6 headquarters blown up for a third time, regardless of how much bigger the explosion was (just like I really didn't need to see a Death Star blown up for a third time, regardless of how much bigger the explosion was). The fight between Bond and Hinx was very well choreographed and executed. I do wish less of an effort was made to remind us of previous such Bond battles. So, it all kind of balances out in the middle.

    SADISM-4/5
    Hinx digging his thumbs into the Italian's eye sockets and the torture chair are both pretty dark and cruel (I surely wish that there had been some payoff with the latter). I wold probably enjoyed the film more if it had made more of na attempt to put me on edge.

    LOCATIONS-3.5/5
    Three great locations come immediately to mind: Rome, Austria and Tangiers, but there is something missing and I feel that this has been a problem with the franchise since GOLDENEYE, we never really get a feel of what these places are about. In the Connery years, and to a lesser extent in the Moore and Dalton years, we spent time with cultures and customs and got to know individuals that were proxies for the people as a whole. Think about DR. NO, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, THUNDERBALL, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, LIVE AND LET DIE, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, OCTOPUSSY, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS; whether caricatured or close to accurate, we felt immersed in these places and knew the people, and got a taste of their cultural identity.

    MUSIC- 2.5/5
    I don't mind the Sam Smith song, I just don't think it's apropos for a Bond film. It is one of the few Title Songs being sung from Bond's perspective, and Bond should never sound effeminate. I think we've pushed the character quite far enough in that direction. Dislike the score. What works din SF comes off as lazy and inconsistent here. I feel that Smith's tune worked very well the one time that it was incorporated into the greater score, or don't know why Newman didn't do so more often and witchy greater effect as he did in the previous film. The James Bond Theme was used nicely in spots.

    GADGETS- 2.5/5

    I don't care for gadgets in the franchise (Bond sure as Hell didn't need them in the books, aside from the knives in his briefcase in FRWL). I was glad that the Craig Era seen fit to essentially do away with them. They weren't overly obnoxious here (see late Moore and Brosnan), but there was enough to irritate me.

    SUPPORTING CAST- 3/5
    I am so sick of Team Scooby. I thought Naomi Harris's Moneypenny was very good in SF, but here she just seems to get shoved into scenes to have some screen time. Where is that natural, unforced rapport we saw between the two in the previous film (where it was decided by all that it best she stay out of the field). Judi Dench's cameo? Why couldn't they have let the character go with some dignity. Never liked Kenner as Tanner, Less so now. The only thing that stops me from going down to a .5 is that I still like Fiennes and Whishaw as M and Q, respectively, but man were they over-used and poorly written (mainly M here). the only thing that stops me from still bringing it down to a 1.5 is Jesper Christensen as Mr. White. He alone, as always, is a 5.

    OVERALL THOUGHTS AND RECOLLECTIONS- 29/50
    I don't think that the sum pieces of any film (or novel, album, etc.) can be viewed out of hand as a dependable assessment of the whole. 58% is somewhat lower than I actually think this film deserves. Yes, it is still my least favorite Bond film. All of my other low ranked entries, such as MOONRAKER, at least have many moments and scenes that I look forward to, that I still get excited about. Not the case with SP. Yes, I enjoy some of Waltz's moments and I like spending time with Mr. White, but I can't honestly say that those are bits that I savor, that I get a little chill over. This is why I don't force this film ever rising above it's current station (certainly future Bond films have the potential to be much more disappointing).

    However, after 14 viewings (six in the theatre, so you know I've put the work into it), I have come to accept it into the fold. It now feels like a Bond film, like part of the "family". I can find a level of familiar comfort in watching it now, as with any other Bond film. Part of this may be due to the experience of watching the film on my home theatre. In all of my experiences with seeing SP in the cinema (ritzy theatre, cheap theatre, IMAX, standard, close-up, far-away, stoned, more stoned, wicked stoned) cinematographer Van Hoytema's choice of that yellow ochre palette felt oppressive and dull. It really was a prime factor in my displeasure. On my home theatre (BluRay) that is not the case. I've actually come to appreciate his work on the film.

    I was extremely excited for this Bond film. Maybe as excited as I was for MR in 1977, which, when finally seen, had a very similar result on my psyche and quashed my interest in the franchise for several decades. That almost happened again, but having the connection to this site and all of you, along with the invention of videotape, DVD, BluRay. Downloading, has made it possible for me to avoid that rut this time.
    That first Teaser Trailer was perfect, it was made for us fans: so packed with references and musical cues and homages that only we could appreciate it. That did leave me with chills. I knew at that point about Oberhauser and his past connection to Bond, and that he was most likely Blofeld, at that point. I wasn't happy about delving further into Bond's past (SF went too far for me), but I knew that there was nothing I could do about it and put that concern aside. So, however disappointed I may be in the final product, waiting up until the wee hours, with many of you at hand, and getting my first look at that teaser trailer takes it's place alongside seeing GOLDFINGER at the drive-in when I was three and the indelible images of a sparkling gold Jill Masterson and Odd Job's death forever marked in my brain, the roar of the crowd when the parachute opened at the end of the PTS of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and Craig's emergence as "Bond, James Bond" at the close of CR, as one of my greatest Bond moments.



    I've used the word disappointment quite a bit when talking about SP. In the week leading up to the release of the film it was all I could do to not spend entire periods talking to my classes about James Bond and how excited I was for the new installment. Simultaneously I was trying to come up with a theme for my Art 2 classes' annual Independent Project. I generally give them a negative word, concept or scenario. I want them to dig deep and force themselves to face discomfort. Past projects have been prompted by themes such as "Fear", "My Saddest Day", "My Worst Nightmare", "What I Need". I repeatedly told them that I'd have a theme soon, but nothing was really clicking in my head. In the US SP opened a night earlier than originally announced, a Thursday. My friend (who is also a Bond fan, though nowhere deep as we all are on here, he has seen every single Bond film from DN to SP on opening night) and I went in with high hopes. He liked it more than I did, more than he liked QUANTUM OF SOLACE (I don't know why he never liked that one), but he was still underwhelmed. I went into class the next day and I had our theme: obviously, DISAPPOINTMENT.

    Going into SP, I would have thought there is no way in Hell that I would think it time for Daniel Craig to move on, but now I do. I would have thought the idea of another reboot absurd and indulgent, now with this convoluted, knotty continuity that has become embedded and forced into the Craig Era, I see no other choice. Aside form maybe no mention of what has gone before. Just look forward and, once again, continuity be damned. That would probably be for the best. And Mendes has got to go.

    I sat down thinking that I could whip this out in 20 minutes or less. It has been well over two hours, but time has barely seemed to have elapsed at all. Not much sleep tonight.





    Review from earlier today:

    On the plane from NYC to San Francisco today I watched (through their internal video system) the last half of SPECTRE (I had started it the night before from my laptop), FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and the first half of FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. That particular set simply because I wanted to show one of my students sitting next to me how often the white cat pops up.

    After many viewings (this was probably my 17th or 18th) I had two new epiphanies regarding SP. As I've said the past few two times that I watched it, I can have a good time with it now. It's still dead last, but much of that is due to how much I have been enjoying every other Bond film over my last few Bond-A-Thons; they all seemed to have taken a huge leap forward.

    What occurred to me is that if I hadn't let myself become so familiar with those fantastic trailers, in fact if I hadn't watched them at all, I would have gotten a Hell of a lot more enjoyment out of the movie during that first experience in the theatre. Several key scenes were obviously meant to shock and floor us. Imagine not knowing beforehand that Blofeld would (basically out of the blue) come out with , "Welcome James." If we had experienced that initially when Bond did (the look on his face is the best bit of acting Craig gives us in the picture) I would have been getting goosebumps. Same goes for the revelation that Mr. White had fallen into such disrepair. The way the shot is set up: Bond in the doorway at the top of the stairs, the camera pans down to reveal the once implacable Mr. White reduced to rags and blood shot eyes, was another, obviously, intended shocker. Ruined again! Next time I will do every thing I can to avoid all trailers, as well as these boards, in the months leading up to release.

    Another thing that struck me. Aside from Craig's take on the character in this picture, which I found unappealing (yes I know, many of you think it was "brilliant", and don't tell me I didn't "understand" what he was doing...that's ridiculous, I'm pretty goddamned smart, I know what he was attempting to do), is that the character himself is written to be vapid and intellectually weak in this one. There are no classic Bond victories by wit here. No use of his legendary ingenuity or guile. The one instance of Bond even thinking on his feet, amend that to thinking on his feet and actually coming up with a clever solution to a problem, is hooking the rope around Mr. Hinx's neck to the beer kegs. Otherwise, he is being led around by cryptic messages and instructions form the grave (M and Mr. White). The gadgets are back (which I am never a fan of), and sure enough that gets him out of several jams. There is no bluffing, no psychologically grueling golf matches, no interesting use of technology ala CASINO ROYALE, no talking his way out of anything, no stealth surveillance. He escapes brain damage by simply not being brain damaged. He single-handedly shoots his way out of the SPECTRE facility in a stranger and more nonchalant manner than even Brosnan's Bond ever achieved. I know I am not the first to bring up the ease with which Bond breezes through adversity in this film, but it is the (almost, see above) complete lack of brains that Bond utilizes that really surfaced with this viewing. He finds Madeline tied to a chair by sheer luck. I guess he is smart enough to recall that he saw construction netting earlier, but that's he crowning intellectual achievement in the movie? And the finale. He wins by being a ridiculously good shot, with an extraordinarily accurate and powerful small firearm, giving us a second major helicopter scene in one film. We need a return to James Bond writers AND directors that understand layered and textured tales of espionage, no need for ridiculous personal connections that transcend logic or even my enjoyment as a viewer, and on the other end no more generic action scenes. Bond movies need to give us high adventure, and at the same time bring us into the world of intelligence agencies and duplicity. No more arrogant auteurs, and no comic book directors (and don't tell me how great the second Captain America film was, it was just more run of the mill superhero dreck, I saw it, I don't understand what was so complex or deep about the Hydra conspiracy; because they were able to turn Robert Redford?). How about the team that made the most recent adaptation of TINKER, TAILOR SOLDIER, SPY? Or SPOTLIGHT? Give us a well-thought out, unexpected storyline that forces Bond to use his brains. The violence and action can spring out of a strong script/plot organically. That stuff should serve the story, not be the sign posts.
  • I suppose I'll repost my initial Spectre review:

    The Spy Who Loved Me was the last Bond movie to succeed on the back of old formula to do something ridiculous, make it impeccably stylish, and never look back. Since then, success in Bond movies has been about finding the right balance between questioning the traditions of the franchise and embracing them. Some, like Quantum of Solace and Licence to Kill, have veered too close to abandoning Bond's roots. Others, like Tomorrow Never Dies and Octopussy, have skimped on the questioning and plowed ahead with the old goofiness. A select three, GoldenEye, Casino Royale, and Skyfall, have hit the perfect balance and cemented themselves as top-flight Bond movies.

    Spectre's chief accomplishment is presenting a new failure mode, in leaning too heavily both on the questions and on the past glories. After the triumphant celebration of the old ways of espionage in Skyfall, the filmmakers decide that the best course of action is to immediately retread that ground with Denbigh pushing for Nine Eyes and shutting down the 00 program. To make matters worse, this isn't just a flagrant retread of Skyfall, they're also ripping off Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which actually bothered to develop the evil plot, such that there's some sense of tension when it's about to succeed. As the fine reviewer at io9 put it, "...Spectre is much more of a mess, culminating in a final countdown where I honestly could not tell you what would happen if the countdown reaches zero."

    Second of all, they also decided to revisit the Blofeld and Spectre well, which, fine, it was in the title of the movie, everybody and their grandma saw the reveal coming, and they wouldn't be totally wrong if they thought QoS ruined the appeal of Quantum as a nebulous evil organization. I'm still not the biggest fan, but I can understand the rationale and look at the merits. But good heavens, the merits. The reveal means nothing in universe, and it's only for the benefit of the audience. And then, and then, and then, they decide on the single dumbest, laziest twist in Bond history. Blofeld is Bond's adopted brother (?!) who has been trying to get back at Bond for the last decade (?!?!) because his dad liked Bond more than him (?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!). So since Bond has been little more than a newly-minted, mostly unremarkable 00, Blofeld was manipulating things to bring him up and then break him down here. Good heavens, what a way to cheapen Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and for such a POS motivation.

    But that's not the worst of it, no, not by a long shot. They also felt the need to shoehorn in Silva's plot, whose entire appeal was that he was a lone wolf, an abandoned, embittered, evil version of Bond out for revenge against M. That was what gave Skyfall its emotional force, and I daresay not a single person in the theater worldwide was thinking, "Boy, you know what would be better? If Silva were in some vague, undefined way a puppet of another villain, who's mostly mad that his dad liked Bond more." The sheer stupidity of that choice is easily Spectre's dumbest moment.

    Now, having spent several paragraphs ranting about the problems that run Spectre into the ground, let's talk about the good parts. Mr. White's reappearance is excellently done, if brief, and I enjoyed the callback to Felix and Bond's dalliance with Lucia Sciarra, as well as the subversion of the sacrificial lamb trope. The car chase in Rome and the big setpiece in the Alps were loads of fun, even if Bond's sudden possession of a plane doesn't make much sense. The fight on the train was pure kinetic violence, if a little heavy handed in its mixture of Grant, Oddjob, and Jaws. Astute readers will note that all three scenes involve Dave Batista, who is a highlight of the movie. The little callback to Piz Gloria also set my heart aflutter.

    The jokiness didn't bother me so much. Some of them I could have stood to get rid of, but I'd have to rewatch to know just which ones (the couch didn't sit right with me right away, though). Bond leveling one ineffectual guard with a gut punch and telling the other to stay was a particularly good bit, as were his interactions with the other members of the MI6 crew, one of the few new spins that actually worked. Craig's performance is fine, not nearly as invested in the first three but also not nearly at Connery in YOLT-level disengagement, and he can do all that's asked of him well. The "examine Bond's psyche" bits feel a bit tacked on and they don't go as in depth as CR or even GE (see the first paragraph about half-assed retreads). The relationship with Madeline Swann was a mixed bag. As a standalone romance, it worked pretty well, but if the film expects us to buy her as a replacement to Vesper and a serious contender for the love of Bond's life, they're on something (which, given the Blofeld reveal, isn't a bad shout).

    Hopefully she doesn't turn up dead in Bond 25 at the hands of Blofeld...ah, who am I kidding? He'll probably be mad that his cat likes Bond better this time around.

    Spectre clocks in at 16/23, just below Thunderball and Quantum of Solace, and above Octopussy.

  • edited September 2016 Posts: 1,817
    SPECTRE is probably the most uneven film in the entire 007 canon. The film's pre-title-sequence sees Bond on both a literal and qualitative high, with James Bond battling it out in a thrilling mid-air fisticuff inside an out-of-control helicopter over Mexico's Day of the Dead parade. This comes just minutes after the technically brilliant four-minute tracking shot that opens the sequence and flashes the film's budget before the audience's eyes.

    The pre-title sequence is the greatest in the entire series - and it is probably a shame that it is the best part of the movie.

    Because indeed, throughout the rest of its duration, Spectre never quite betters or even matches its beginning. Not just in terms of action, but in terms of general quality.

    It's observable throughout that lots of money has been poured into this film. The film looks, as objectively spoken as possible, beautiful. The cinematography is artful, and every scene is a visual spectacle. But money does not equate to quality.

    Maybe it was the script, maybe it was the direction, but honestly, what prevented Spectre from being one of the greats was that it fell beneath its impossibly high ambition.

    The film just tries to do too much, and though it is the longest Bond film, it can't quite squeeze everything in right. There's a romantic arc, the introduction of a new criminal syndicate, an attempt to give Bond's MI6 allies a day in the limelight and an attempt to hearken back to the good ol' days, among other things. And at the end of it, the 'I love you' from Madeleine comes off as forced, one doesn't understand how Quantum links to Spectre, one is left tired at Q and Moneypenny's antics, and the film is more weighed down by the past than being inspired by it.

    Its insistence on referencing past films is really quite arbitrary - we've had enough references already from Die Another Day to Skyfall, did we need another trip down memory lane? Normally this wouldn't be so much of a problem, but Spectre references past films so religiously that it ends up being almost completely unoriginal. The kicker is that Spectre has no identity of it's own.

    The characters, speaking generally, are underdeveloped, since there are just too many of them. People are not convinced that Madeleine could be a potential love interest. Hinx dies far too prematurely. And C is not really in the film for a reason. But the greatest treason character-wise is Blofeld. Really it was the script but Blofeld in this film is just average. His character wasn't really capitalised in any way. He ironically ends up being wasted.

    The script is indeed a detractor in some places. Some dialogue just isn't written well at all. The "matter of perspective" exchange is an example. And the script is also to blame for the general cartoonish-ness of the entire film. Introducing a villainous organisation by having them in the shadows - is this a 2015 film? The jarring torture sequence and escape from the exploding Moroccan crater base are also notably badly written. And who thought of retconning previous films like that? I'm not even going to bother writing about that, the idea and execution are flat.

    The script is better in a few other places, like in the sexy Sciarra seduction scene, the meeting with Mr. White and the meeting with Madeleine. But overall, it's clear that we need some new writers for this franchise. I can't have been the only one yawning when Blofeld pulled the worst damsel in distress cliche ever - die saving her or live with the regret of letting her die! Or perhaps I just groaned.

    And action-wise the film is also uneven. The helicopter fight is the film's greatest achievement, and the train fight is also a highlight (but piggybacks on past train fights). But unfortunately, there is not much else. A car chase that has almost no sense of pace. A snow plane sequence that is alright but suffers from bad direction and has little urgency until the end. And the finale is probably one of the most anticlimactic in the series, which is saying quite a lot. Bond didn't even fight anyone! Surely I wasn't the only one expecting a final fight with Hinx? Not to mention that Bond shooting down the helicopter with one shot is an almighty cheat. I would far prefer the actual boat chase in The World Is Not Enough which they homaged in that scene.

    OK, the humour was off for the most part. It's predictable, weighs down the film, and let's just say that what worked in the 70s won't work in the 21st century... what were they thinking?

    The music is hit and miss. Would be more hit if Newman did not so often rehash his previous soundtrack but I suppose you can't have everything.

    I find fault with Mendes' pretentiousness as well. He ruins the opening gunbarrel with his 'dead are alive' shtick, not to mention that the gun is openly visible. Shoddy. Just shoddy. We haven't had a good gunbarrel since The World Is Not Enough, and not a competently scored one since GoldenEye. It may be his fault too that there is very little suspense in the movie (which has been lacking since Casino Royale). You can't really call Spectre a thriller, can you?

    Still, whilst the film is heavily flawed, there is a sort of joy when watching it. The actors, in the moments that they transcend their script, are a joy to watch. Both Bond girls are beautiful - Belucci showing that older women CAN look good. And the production value really is very high and the film is admirable for its intention. But too many times it threw money at the screen without any competent direction.
  • edited October 14 Posts: 264
    redacted
  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    That was Spectre. Final Thoughts? It was disappointing


    So I'll just say what was good first. First of all good PTS here I must say. The final meeting between Bond and Mr. White was very good. The classic Bond elements were a welcome addition even if they felt forced at times. We have some good action sequences too. Craig does an ok Job here. Dave Bautista is pretty alright as Mr. Hinx. Ralph is once again great as M here. The film has somewhat of that classic Bond feel to it but it isn't 100% there sadly. And last but not least we have good pacing for the most part here.


    Now..here comes the bad and boi is there a lot of it here. To start off Madeline Swann is just awful, she always acts like she can do everything and then when she's getting messed up she basically screams for help and then continues to complain for said person helping her. Ben Wishaw is still not good at all as Q though I'll admit he's improved here compared to Skyfall. Naomi Harris is still pretty bad as Moneypenny. C as a character was just worthless and only seemingly was there to fill the void and confuse an already screwed up plot (more on that in a bit). The whole trying to take over the world via surveillance was just taken straight from Terminator Genisys and it makes it just groan inducing here.

    I also don't like M, Q, etc being on the field as it's not done well at all, M makes sense as he has military experience but Moneypenny, Tanner and Q being out in the field? Just no its bad they should never be on the field. Speaking of the plot that's another damn problem with this film, the plot is an absolute mess plain and simple, it needlessly tries to connect the previous 3 films into 1 awful shoehorn with bringing in Spectre as being behind it all when it doesn't even make any sense whatsoever for them all to be a part of spectre, especially Silva and need I mention it was only done cause they got the licence for them BACK. Speaking on Spectre let's discuss the bastardisation of the blofeld character, why? Well let's see they made him Bond's brother, Yes his Fucking Brother like are you serious?how actually dumb can the writing team possibly be to come up with something so idiotic and stupid, it's just rage inducing, not to mention he's evil cause Daddy didn't love him as much as James, give me a break.


    And last but not least we have our old pal Thomas Newman and his generic garbage music that rivals Hans Zimmer in it's sheer awfulness, I won't even bother explaining why it's awful, listen to snow plane if you don't believe me. Oh and of course we have Sam Smith who can't even sing to save his life doing the main theme





    So in the end, how does Spectre hold up? Well the return of some classic Bond elements, The action sequences, the decent pacing, and the Mr. White scene are all pretty good along with the rest of the positives I mentioned, but the negatives here really do hurt this otherwise alright bond film. But honestly it's not completely terrible and it's not as awful as it's made out to be and certainly isn't the worst Bond film. I do feel it's better than Skyfall, but it's still not very good at all, I'm sad to say. The first Hour was honestly good but the film falls apart after it.

    My final Rating is a 5/10
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