Could this really be Daniel Craig’s final outing as Bond… James Bond? If so it’s certainly been constructed well enough for it to be his final bow but as for the encore as the final curtain closes he could be waiting for some time as Spectre not quite as spectacular as Skyfall, will certainly divide opinion.
The opening title sequence is classic Bond, so classic it feels like a throwback to the originals as woman stroke a half naked Bond and we witness faces from Bond’s past fade in and out of shot. Opening up in true Bond style, in Mexico City, celebrations for the Day of The Dead are well underway we got the stunningly seamless vision of what seems like one long camera shot that last for over 4 minutes. If this opening sequence was shot with more than one camera the stitching together of the scenes was try cinematic mastery. Anyway, James ends up blowing up a building and in his scramble to get out unhurt traverses his way down crumbling buildings and just so happens to land on his backside on a sofa. The action doesn’t stop until of course one hell of an action sequence in a helicopter and a punch up between Bond and a villain which leaves Bond, yet again, walking aware from a crashed helicopter virtually unharmed.
Sam Mendes certainly has sucked us all in with the opening scene. We head back to London, where it quickly transpires that the 00 operation is soon to be taken out of action and replaced with drones, data and robots leaving the likes of Bond, Q (Ben Whishaw), M (Ralph Fiennes) and Miss Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) on the scrap heap, could this really be the end of the suave ‘gentleman’s club’ arm of MI6? M decides to ground Bond but in good old classic Bond style, he listens to no one and has a mission of his own he needs to settle. This see’s us travel to the likes of Rome, where he meets Lucia (Monica Bellucci), the widow of a villain whose life is now very much in danger now her husband is dead. Bond and his womanising ways see’s him bed this woman in less than 10 minutes flat and that’s the last we see of Bellucci.
The rest of the film takes us further to Tunisia, Madelaine Swann (Lea Seydoux) in tow. Swann’s character seemed a little underwritten and just thrown in for good measure; it seems the scriptwriters began to get a little lazy. On this note enter our first real encounter with Bond Villain Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz), wow this is the most lacklustre performance of a bad guy ever witnessed by man. His character is there for the back story element alone. To say he is unconvincing would be an understatement.
The humour is light and at times camp and Craig seems to excel at this and his bullish charm, He simply was made to play Bond. Visually the cinematography is explosive. Whilst Spectre is highly entertaining, it seems to have gone back to its classic Bond roots. However, once you hit the second half of the film it just seems to lose its way leaving you feeling just a little cold and not really having any real emotional connection with what’s unfolding. It’s simply no Skyfall.
Spectre is out in Cinemas on Monday the 26th October.