Directed by Sam Mendes
Starring Daniel Craig, Christopher Waltz, Léa Seydoux & Ralph Fiennes
Film review by William Baldwin
Ever since 1962, when Sean Connery played James Bond, the character has had five facelifts.
Roger Moore was a charming Bond (personally my favourite Bond) and was underrated in that he could be serious at times, George Lazenby was the Bond no one really remembers since he only played Bond once and had no acting experience, Pierce Brosnan played his bond like a cross between Moore and Connery, with Moore’s witty humour and Connery’s suaveness and toughness. Timothy Dalton was a thespian Bond, using his traditional Shakespearean background and method acting, making Bond have feelings and being deadly serious. Sean Connery (thought by many to be the best actor to portray Bond) was suave, serious and charming. Whilst Daniel Craig before SPECTRE has shown Bond to be more human since he took over the role, competing with the success of the Bourne franchise.
The James Bond franchise has gone on for 53 years thanks in part to the actors who have played the secret agent. Unfortunately however, the latest picture is a disappointment.
This may all sounds very familiar - we finally have the gun barrel sequence (after four Daniel Craig Bond outings) at the beginning of Spectre that was used at the start of the first twenty official James Bond films. We have the pre – credits sequence, and then the music number sung poorly by Sam Smith, complete with the Maurice Binder inspired opening credits. We have the beautiful ladies Bond goes to bed with. There are the usual outrageous action scenes, though surprisingly not enough for a Bond film. And we have the villain and his lair complete with many baddies for Bond to slay. This for many would be traditional Bond. But for others wanting a more Bourne - esque story and style (which the last three Bond films have been like) they are unlikely to be fully satisfied. After many years on top, the spy franchise has been suffocated by the Bourne series.
The plot in the latest Bond film doesn't have a good story in comparison to the first three Bourne films. The storyline is so uninteresting and predictable that it’s likely audiences will get turned off and try to enjoy the other elements of the film instead...although there is not much to get excited about. The action scenes in all of the Bourne films are much better than Spectre, which doesn't have many breathtaking stunts, a strange place to be lacking for a Bond film.
Daniel Craig is charming as James Bond and always has that hint of danger. He is personally my third favourite Bond after Roger Moore and Sean Connery. For me Craig lacks Moore’s witty humour and Connery’s natural presence. The heroines in the film act their parts with gusto and strength not just damsels in distress. Oscar winner Christopher Waltz is surprisingly forgettable as main villain Franz Oberhauser. The film before this in the Bond franchise, Skyfall (2012), was very good and hugely raised audiences expectations. So when Spectre was released they were hoping for something better or equal to Skyfall or even Casino Royale (2006), but director Sam Mendes has crafted an unsatisfactory picture here, with many dull scenes and only a handful of solid ones.
Bond is quintessentially British, and is the only memorable British fictional hero we have, played four times out of six by a Brit. So that’s why he is an institution in our country and it is important that he continues to be so. If the subsequent films in the franchise turn out to be disappointing like SPECTRE though, the audience will certainly get smaller, even losing some die hard Bond fans in the process.
Watch the Trailer for SPECTRE below: