Spectre (2015)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Despite the countless times I’ve seen the promotion for the inevitable new-film-every-few-years, the James Bond films have never been something I’ve gone to experience in the theater. This year, that changed. A random Saturday morning discussion led to an afternoon showing and I walked out of the theater having enjoyed an entertaining 2 ½ hours sitting in a theater seat complete with a bag of popcorn.
Since M’s death, James Bond (Daniel Craig) has been working on one last thing for her. You see, she left him a last request, one more mission, if you will. The first step leads him to Mexico where he has to take out someone in pursuit of obtaining his first clue. Cryptic though the clues are, this leads to a silver ring with a symbol on it. His latest national incident angers M (Ralph Fiennes) who expects more from his best agent. Of course, this means that M orders new precautions be taken the first of which is sidelining Bond and the second involves Q (Ben Whitshaw) implanting cutting edge tracking technology in 007.

Eventually, after getting a favor from Q and stealing some cool gadgets (things James has no access to given his temporary timeout), investigation leads him to Madeline (Léa Seydoux). A prominent psychiatrist who also happens to be the daughter of an assassin, she may have the answers to complete this mission. A journey that might not only be 007’s last but also that of the program he has so faithfully served.

FILM REVIEW: Skyfall (2012)

Aside from Skyfall, I’ve never seen a Bond film in full. What I have seen are scattered bits and pieces of other films from the franchise, and of course I am familiar with the “legend” that is James Bond. Part of this is just from reading about the films and in part because I did watch the BBC adaptation about his creator, Ian Flemming in Flemming: The Man who Would be Bond. For only my second film in this, Hollywood’s longest running franchise I must admit Spectre was amazing. The concept and lighter script did wonders for the character of James Bond not to mention for the franchise itself.

I don’t remember Skyfall in full, but it seems what I do remember was that it was complex and left little time for anyone to take a breath. Spectre adopted a lighter tone by, ironically, digging into its heroes psyche. While the film is kind of an ode to doing right by M (famously played by Judi Dench in prior films), this also became an exploration of Bond’s past. I don’t think many films have done this, or at least not as seen in Craig’s era. James Bond is the kind of character who keeps to the shadows where his past is concerned. The way the writer’s wove the two stories together was fun as was the entire scope of the film.

As is superior to any Bond film, the cast is dynamite. I’m not Craig’s biggest fan (I could take him or leave him), but do believe he does this role justice. He’s got that “icy” cool demeanor that works to sell the role of a spy. Seeing Finnes, Whitshaw (I nearly exclaimed when I saw his face as my new addiction is BBC’s The Hour), Andrew Scott (Sherlock), Christoph Waltz, and Lea were fantastic as everyone played their roles to as near perfection as could be. There wasn’t a weak link in the cast. Naomie Harris also returned as Moneypenny which was great fun. I was disappointed she wasn’t more involved than she was because her character has more to contribute (her part in the unraveling also wasn’t explained as it should have been).

I also appreciated the role Lea played in this film. Sure she was a pretty face but the writer’s gave her a more important role than merely being arm candy for our notorious 007. She had a purpose and a good one at that. She triggered something in James as a person instead of merely being the means to an end for this iconic spy, and I respected that. Whether or not anything will be made of it (or if it’ll be a happy conclusion) in the next Bond outing is entirely another matter. But for now, at least, there is reason to smile at the credits rolling. Anything else is a story for another day.

The glitz and glamour of these films is a trademark and Spectre is no different. There are cool cars, beautiful evening wear and an overall sophistication that cannot be pinned down or attributed to any one fact. But then, that’s what a fun blockbuster film with a well-tailored man in a suit can achieve.

(Content: there are a handful of sensual scenes that involve zippers being undone and passionate kissing before the camera cuts away, leaving the rest to the imagination. James is seen leaving a woman’s room [he’s dressed, she’s sitting on the bed in lingerie]. There are lots of explosions and tense hand-to-hand combat scenes – including many that end in death. One situation also involves torture [needles inserted into the brain]. The film is rated PG13.)


  1. Ahhh!!! I have to see this one soon! Like you, the only other Bond movie I've seen in full is Skyfall, which I really enjoyed. Fantastic review!!

    1. Oh, and your new header (according to my sister) is GOALS!! Seriously, looks amazing!!

    2. YAY! I'm glad not to be the ONLY one who has yet to see the entire library of Bond films. ;) Someday (when I'm not hooked on so many shows... I think you relate, right!?), I many binge-watch them. Hope you enjoy this one, Bekah... let me know if/when you do.

      Well, thanks to your sister. :) This will likely go through tweaks as the season goes on... but at least it's something festive - blog designs are always fun to come up with! :)

  2. Completely agree with your review!!! And, you should catch some of the older Bonds like I said.... maybe start with Craig's 2 previous, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. This one made reference to them a bit, so maybe it would explain his backstory more for you.

    And I totally agree about Lea -- I hope she sticks around for another film!

    1. Thanks, Courtney! I appreciate you coming by and reading - and sharing your thoughts. Always enjoy knowing what you thought. :)

      I caught a couple references to some of Craig's earlier films just by their title... so yes, I 100% agree with you. Watching some of those seems like a good idea. I'll have to do that - we have several so it's time to begin the binge-watching.

      *high five* I just hope Lea (Madeline) doesn't die! That's where it's likely leading but oh, I really don't want it to go there.

  3. So I went to see this movie...and believe it or not, didn't get to finish it in theaters BECAUSE THE FREAKING FIRE ALARM WENT OFF. I was about 20 minutes from the end. Heard it was okay, though. Not many people were impressed with it. I'm gonna watch it once it comes out on DVD...and maybe FINISH it this time:p

    1. Bummer. That sounds crazy, Raquel. Like, wow! I hope you enjoy the rest - I thought it was really good. But then, I'm a romantic, so... ;)

  4. Love James Bond, especially Daniel Craig's version. :)

    1. I'm glad you like this line of Bond films, Anne. I don't think I've seen any of the other actors in this iconic role, but do like Daniel Craig just fine. Though my initial impression was that I wouldn't! :)


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