The final chapter in Daniel Craig starer James Bond series, since it is confirmed by the actor himself, Spectre is a stack of all the Bond films you have watched before with plot-points from star trek into the darkness (2013) and Captain America: winter soldier (2014) scattered in between. When I saw Christopher Waltz, Monica Bellucci and Dave Bautista on the poster, I thought “This is going to be great!”. I was wrong. That being said, Spectre is still a ride that we enjoy but, will forget about it after 30 minutes.
The series continuous back-to-back and the audience members who watched them will get to identify with the characters and the story arc. The first 30 minutes were astounding with action and effects, the helicopter stunt is enthralling to witness. That is the success of any Bond film, the strong beginning followed by a song that involved animation, motion graphics and a half naked women’s silhouette. However after that, the tone was dim or too dispiriting to be tolerated. Sam Mendes repeated every single style he used in Skyfall after the latter’s success. From the usage of less music, slow cameras movements and undertoned conversations. But the typical reaction I had was “Damn, I have seen this already? Can’t they show something new?” When analysed closely, every James Bond film have; the same structure, typical volatile malevolent villains, female sex objects or a tough woman reduced to a ruse, James Bond wanting to give everything up etc. The honest trailer, for once, will give you an idea. Spoiler warning
After watching Spectre, I have had enough and filmmakers better come up with something innovative. Along with the dominant superhero culture, the Bond also have that affinity although this is not visible to those audience members who haven’t seen all the Bond films. I definitely craved for the initial helicopter stunt again as it was something worthy and gives one an adrenaline rush.
Now, let me list out all the “typicals”
- Andrew Scott playing a guy who is craving for higher power and an obvious villain, just the like the leader of Tomorrow (Played by Jonathan Pryce in tomorrow never dies, 1997). Scott’s vocal performance, style and overall appearance reminded me a lot about the role which boosted him to fame, Jim Moriarty. It rose the question; where the filmmakers trying to re-introduce Jim Moriarty here?
- Lea Seydoux playing bond’s love interest. When Dr Swann was introduced, there were many possible story arcs to her character, but none of that were executed. She is just another love factor. Bond is known for seducing women to make them work for his needs and it is not expected from him to make a serious commitment. Swann replaced Vesper in Bond’s life and hopefully in a good way. It was surreal to see Seydoux in a damsel in distress role after watching her performances in blue is the warmest color (2013) and mission impossible; ghost protocol (2011).
- A villain who brags about his power and achievements but is eventually outsmarted by Bond with a one-liner.
- A proper buildup with ample suspense which leads to a really boring climax.
- Bond seducing women to attain information from them, then he dumps. For a change, he considered saving the woman’s life instead of seeing her as a “waste of champagne”.
The only thing different is casting an older actress as the Bond girl, Monica Bellucci. That being said, she was someone the filmmakers were looking forward to introduce. Daniel Craig is steadfast, although at times he looked as if he might cry. But he is far behind the quality he showed in Casino Royale for which he received the well deserved BAFTA nomination. The fact that he is exhausted with the whole James Bond game is seen all over his face. Lea Seydoux is only an average in this movie and Monica Bellucci is just there for the sake of breaking the age stereotype. Christopher Walken played a typical example of how a multi talented actor is wasted in a boring role. It was nice to see Judi Dench again, she imprinted the role as M better any of her male counterparts. Ralph Fiennes stuck to his standard. Ben Whinshaw shined in this movie better than he did in previous Bond films as he helped Bond during the crucial moments. His portrayal of Q reminded me more of Simon Pegg’s portrayal of Benji Dunn in mission impossible series.
Most of the film had silence and slow camera movements; the process which lead to somnolence while watching the movie for me. It is good as far as the presence of artistic visuals are concerned, but in an action movie? Hollywood always keep up a specific standard in terms of cinematography, editing and effects and movie put up with all that. All it needs is an innovative theme and storytelling. To view spectre, one will need the patience to sit through but the strong beginning, with the circling helicopter stunt, can help in building the anticipation. Overall the movie is good and, to me, better than both skyfall and quantum of solace. Hence the rating.
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