Spectre (2015) – Film Review
Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux
by Anel Blazevic
Any new Bond film needs to deliver on expectations, but at the same time it must surprise with innovations. Skyfall, Director Sam Mendes’s first Bond film, pretty much redrew Bond as a hard-bitten but sensitive older man. Eschewing his penchant for casual sexism and casual sex, in came high voltage set pieces and the occasional tender, compassionate chink in his armour. It is Bond for grown-ups.
Spectre neatly ties up loose ends from Daniel Craig’s Bond oeuvre (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall). Yet it is still the globe-trotting, stunt-filled, super-villain hunting movie experience Bond fans will crave. Although some might groan at the overused personal revenge motive. Plus, the inevitable glut of insiders popping up in British Intelligence.
Christoph Waltz is brilliantly restrained (isn’t he always?) as the slightly caricatured megalomaniac Franz Oberhauser, the leader of the Spectre crime syndicate and this season’s Bond girl, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), is crucial to the whole, not just another pretty Bond accessory.
“Villainous hideaways and a spectacular travelogue”
There’s a back story involving Oberhauser’s long and tangled history with Bond that seems a little forced and overblown, and it sometime drags in all the wrong places – even during one should-a-been spectacular face-off with old enemy Blofeld.
But don’t be put off – the pre-title sequence alone, set in Mexico on the Day of the Dead and paying direct homage to Touch of Evil is worth the ticket price alone. Add to that decent jokes (mostly), proper villainous hideaways and a spectacular travelogue and, well, what’s not to love?
Rumours are this is Mendes’s final Bond and you can’t help but feel he’s pushed his Top Secret envelope as far as it could go. What next, for Mr – our should that be Ms – Bond, I wonder?