Leaving the cinema I could not help but feel disappointed at the latest release in the fluctuating quality of James Bond films since Daniel Craig’s debut. Director Sam Mendes, who also directed the critically acclaimed Skyfall in 2012 has attempted to repeat what many considered the pinnacle of the series. However this attempt has relied upon a level of nostalgia that the previous Bond films have tried to rid themselves of, by modernising the series through a grittier Bond and realistic plots.
While the set pieces are stunning and the stunts are daring, the films loses itself in its own reputation, with amazing chase scenes that are reminiscent of Roger Moore’s era of Bond. Especially with the highly acclaimed aeroplane chase scene that was presented in the films numerous trailers, which during the film felt crammed in and unnecessary. Merely to please an underwhelmed audience with some tricks that try to elude you from the weak plot points that the film presents.
While the summary of the plot would sound pleasing to any film viewer, with Cold War style espionage being replaced by modern day surveillance technology and an evil organisation coordinating all major world events. This would see a seemingly outdated Bond face his supposedly greatest villain, yet the immense disappointment of Christoph Waltz’s (Django: Unchained) villain whom I cannot even remember the name of. Unlike Silva and Le Chiffre of Skyfall and Casino Royale, whose characters were far more developed and interesting than Spectre’s. As the villain appears in as little as just under ten minutes of on-screen time in as little as three scenes, this is disgraceful as a supposed mastermind behind all of James Bond’s suffering. He is underdeveloped and has what I assumed would be a ground-breaking twist but it ends up flawed and forced upon the story, almost like the film wanted to achieve something so much greater. This displays the potential that this film had, and with all the surrounding advertising and media surrounding the film gave the impression that the film would deliver.
While there are strong performances from all of the films actors it was not their performance who let the film down, but instead the dialogue and directions they were given. With Daniel Craig delivering his lines with the level of wit and charm we are accustomed too, however the lines themselves seem out of place along with most other lines within the film. Speaking of out of place, the film presents the stunning Madeline Swan, portrayed by Lea Seydoux (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) who starts a love affair with Bond. While she appears to break the stereotyped Bond girl she clumsily falls whim back into romance in a sub-plot which has no real effect on the film. This film suffers from attempting to be too big for its own good and becomes constricted in its own strings, as Skyfall had a simple enough story that could for it to develop into something beautiful. Whereas Spectre was far too convoluted to focus in on certain aspects and really develop characters and plot points but are instead left with a confusing and otherwise anti-climactic film.
All I can say now is that I look forward to the next stage in the Bond franchise as Daniel Craig portrayed an excellently updated Bond and hope that his inheritor can perform up to his standard.