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‘SPECTRE’ (2015) Review


Written by: J. Johnson

BOND IS BACK! And his childhood is coming back to haunt him!

It’s amazing for a franchise to pull together 24 films and still be able to keep up with the generations that have been to enjoy them over time. However when you think about it no many movie franchise can claim original titles without the films being complete reboot. Although many characters in the Bond franchise has been able to help carry the films over the years the main character has mantled the lead and his name is Bond… James Bond. In his case, James Bond is that character some men love to live vicariously through and women would love to have as a man due to his suave of being cut-throat, but able to seduce with his actions.

The 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, “SPECTRE” gives the nostalgic reminisce of what the classic Bond films were all about add the twist of a secret from Bond’s past coming back to haunt him you will get a movie that fans will appreciate the film for what it is.

In classic Bond fashion, the gunbarrel sequence that showcased in the beginning of every film made its return accompanied with the modern-Thomas Newman “James Bond” theme rendition. As a HUGE James Bond fan it was great to see a salute to the predecessors with the suave-edgy Daniel Craig factor. When the movie begins you can tell that the film is celebrating a unique tradition in Mexico, ‘Dia de los Muertos’ (Day of the Dead) to honor and celebrated the ones who have died. You can see that Bond (Daniel Craig) was wearing a skeleton mask to disguise himself during the festivities. It’s appropriate to see a figure of death being represented by a secret agent/assassin in the form of James Bond. Very poetic!

James Bond (Daniel Craig) in SPECTRE | Photo credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Columbia Pictures

You can definitely tell the difference between each Bond in the sense of style each director approached the franchise. From Sean Connery’s manly-dapper charm mixed with a classic upbeat to Daniel Craig’s edgy suave mixed a dark modernized undertone you can tell how the tone for the film will play out. As for ‘SPECTRE’ it falls into a more darker tone that separates itself from the other 23 films.

Sam Smith’s “Writing’s On the Wall” which served as the intro theme song spoke to how the film will play out for the lead character’s rollercoaster road that laid ahead. A beautifully done intro video recapping many moments during Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond really gave a perspective on the range of emotions that was put forth. If you pay close attention to the verse “A million shards of glass, that haunt me from my past” you’ll notice that even though Bond has secrets that come back to bite him.

In September 2015 it was announced that Sam Smith and regular collaborator Jimmy Napes had written the film’s title theme, “Writing’s on the Wall”, with Smith performing it for the film. The song was released later that month where it received mixed reviews from critics and fans, particularly in comparison to Adele’s “Skyfall”. It became the first Bond theme to reach number one in the UK Singles Chart.

SPECTRE_SamSmith

Likely to end his time playing the iconic spy with this film Craig, managed to pull off all the intense actions scenes will relative ease. In fact, true to form, Craig remained dedicated to his version of Bond, complete with all the brooding and hard punches we’ve come to expect from the actor. Although some may not like this humanity-driven portrayal of Bond, it is something that has helped infuse some new life into the old franchise, not to mention it translates well with action scenes.

Along with Craig, the film includes the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Lea Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Dave Bautista, and Ben Whishaw. Speaking of Waltz, the actor does manage to bring a heightened level of presence to the movie as the main villain, despite only being featured towards the end. That being said, his portrayal of Oberhauser is sometimes conflicting because of Walt’s need to interject some humor into the role while trying to be overly serious.

It is hard to say if Spectre meets the high standards of its predecessor Skyfall. While the plot was intriguing and the film had many tense and nail biting moments, its villain wasn’t terrifying enough. Spectre and its leader Oberhauser lacked that bone chilling element that we have come to see in the previous Bond villains, not including Quantum of Solace obviously. To sum it up in a sentence, there could have been more time spent on developing the villain. But with the bad out of the way, there was a lot of good to this movie. What is a Bond movie without high flying tricks, a lot of guns, and a lot of explosions? This movie had it all and more. Also, this movie paid homage to the past Bond movies like Skyfall as well as gave nods to Sean Connery’s Bond. The storyline was interactive and very straight to the point.

Rating: 2246c-4stars1

SPECTRE is currently out in theaters everywhere!

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