The latest installment in the James Bond franchise, and the final Bond film starring Daniel Craig, did not live up to its predecessor, “Skyfall.” Directed by Sam Mendes, the film was filled with signature Bond action scenes and of course a beautiful love interest, but everything else was completely forgettable. “Spectre’s” plot was hard to follow, and it felt like the acting was subdued.
The movie begins with James Bond investigating a criminal organization in Mexico City during the Dia de Los Muertos celebration. Because a massive explosion destroys one city block, Bond is ordered by the new M (Ralph Fiennes), the head of the Double O program, to stay in London. However, the previous M (Judy Dench) told Bond in a posthumous video to kill a man named Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona), and though Bond accomplishes that, he has to discover what organization Sciarra worked for.
Bond later learns that this organization is called Spectre. It is orchestrating terror attacks to convince developed countries to adopt a global security system that would make the Double O program obsolete. Together with this installment’s “Bond girl” Dr. Madeline Swann (Lea Seydoux), Bond must find the head of Spectre and stop him from taking over the developed world.
The plot for this movie was not clearly articulated, which made it very difficult to follow. Because of this, almost none of the expository scenes are memorable. The action scenes were typical 007 fair with explosions, car chases, and a fight inside a helicopter. They were adrenaline filled, but not very original.
Besides a lackluster plot, another issue with the movie is how the usual monster-like-henchman found in each Bond film is picked off very quickly. Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista) and his metal thumbnails made an impressive entrance into the movie, but Bond disposes of him long before the end of the movie. It feels like a real waste to cast a six time WWE World Heavyweight Champion for what turned out to be a minor role.
While Bond films are obviously not supposed to be realistic, a major problem in the film is how Bond seems to come out of all his fights almost completely unscathed. There are several scenes in which Bond is seriously beaten, but he never gets a black eye, broken bone, or seemingly any other injuries except some scratches. Considering in the last film Bond was shot and was nearly too old to do his job, he seems to be nearly invincible in this film.
Like “Skyfall,” “Spectre” pays homage to previous Bond films. Fans of the franchise will recognize the evil Spectre organization, a certain white, fluffy cat, a scarred villain with an Eastern European accent, and Bond’s signature grey Aston Martin. However, unlike in “Skyfall,” these references feel a bit forced as opposed to light-hearted nods to the previous movies.
The cinematography was the high point of the film. Nearly every scene was beautifully shot. All of the scenes from the Dia de Los Muertos festival were full of extras in spot-on costuming. Most scenes where the characters were walking outside made them feel very small, which fit the theme of how a small spy organization is about to be swallowed up by a global threat.
“Spectre” simply did not live up to other James Bond films in the franchise. The lackluster plot and other issues should be attributed to the director, as the returning actors have proven that they can do better than this when given more to work with. Unfortunately, Daniel Craig’s last Bond film gets a 2.5/5, but in his previous films, Craig has proven himself to be one of the best Bonds in the franchise.