Friday, August 4, 2017

SPECTRE (2015)

Directed By: Sam Mendes 
Written By: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & Jez Butterworth 
Story By: John Logan, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade 
Based On Characters Created By: Ian Fleming 
Cinematography By: Hoyte Van Hoytema 
Editor: Lee Smith 

Cast: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Rory Kinnear, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci, Stephanie Sigman 

A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

Let me first admit I am not a James Bond expert, nor a huge fan of the series. To me some are enjoyable. Keep in mind I also only started watching the series regularly recently. While Daniel Craig has played the role.

So having said that, For a James Bond film that not only might be the last of Daniel Craig's era but further introduces classic elements and characters that were the series hallmarks. That also follows on the heels of a classic bond film entry SKYFALL that was so strong.

I am guessing any film in a series following such a powerful entry would pale in comparison.

It doesn't come enthusiastically. It comes off as basic and a bit weak in comparison. Also in general as the quality feels more like that of a film directly following QUANTAM OF SOLACE. As this film feels coldly campy and a bit all over the place. Though it seeks to be sleek and compartmentalized. So that it feels more like a dramatic better shot version of the basic action film QUANTAM felt like. Though the action sequences are more noteworthy than that film as here they have more thrills in the sequences and a greater payoff.

The opening action sequence is very stylized with great cinematography that looks to use a single tracking shot, but the action that follows which granted seems more a result of luck. Rather than necessarily skill. It comes off more as cute.

After that the film comes off a bit dull. You find yourself asking so many questions especially as the characters home or personal lives are brought a little more to the forefront.

As personal and penetrating as this film's plot should be for the character of James Bond. The character doesn’t seem anymore bothered than usual. Even though the stakes seem to be higher.

It’s not bad but plays more only as satisfactory as it seems to be going into the expected realm of these films as if the film is transitioning to keep with the new elements but also has to introduce the known classic ones. As half the action and revelations seem familiar but cloaked in a mystery. So that when they are revealed they just feel lame.

As i have said before I am not a James Bond historian or too much of a fan, but like any series of movies I watch though late to the party with this series and it's many films. The introduction of a notorious villain and his infamous scar are fun, but feels bloated and misdirected or misguided in the way it is presented that seems too coincidental and overstuffed.

The film leaves a little room for the side characters in a subplot that you know is going to somehow overlap. So that it feels more predictable then mysterious. Though it offers dorm dramatics in a conspiracy storyline that allows us to see a bit of the personal lives of the supporting cast outside of the office. Giving them something more to do than judge and stand around. Which makes it seem a bit more exciting and shows how important their characters are to the hierarchy of the firm. Especially the chase scene involving Q.

The chemistry between bond and Lea Seydoux's character doesn’t work and worse as they go through the motions the love story feels rushed and unbelievable considering the amount of time and conditions they are under. So the romance seems absent of romance and feelings.

It's nice to see Monica Belucci as the more age appropriate Bond girl, but she seems more like a place holder and essentially wasted in a disposable Role. Which is a shame considering how ravishing as she comes across. Though Mexican beauty Stephanie Sigman is no slouch herself.

We also get the character of odd job, even a scene to show how merciless and dangerous he is then is dispatched of so easily. Maybe one expected more or better considering the scope they seem to be trying to attempt overall.

Christoph Waltz fits Into his role perfectly and how his character in particular fits into the other films is inspired. Though a bit confusing.

Whether Daniel Craig comes back or not. This feels like a nice series finale or homage and reinvention of the series. Don't know how they will proceed, but this feels complete.

Grade: B-

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