Fans of ultra-suave, clean cut and incredibly daring James Bond can once again experience the action-packed life of the much beloved spymaster in his latest nail-biter, “Spectre.”
Audiences are plunged into a crowded and festive Mexico City during a Dia de los Muertos celebration. Dressed in the local costumed garb, Bond enters the screen with the first of three Bond girls featured in the film. After an impressive and rather steamy costume change, Bond kicks off the movie with a bang-bang that takes down a five-story apartment building.
For the next two hours and 30 minutes, Bond goes on a whirlwind mission to complete one last mission from M. RIP Judy Dench. Bond meets and defeats infamous mobster Marco Sciarra and discovers a silver signet ring emblazoned with an octopus. Which can only mean one thing: “Spectre” is back.
Die-hard fans everywhere will rejoice as the criminal underworld organization that was featured in the 1971 Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever” is reborn and re-villained to tie in the newest creation to an overarching theme.
In the midst of this dangerous mission, Bond is also having some domestic struggles as the dying MI-5, newly merged with MI-6, is slowly being consumed by the privately-backed Joint Intelligence Service. The newest Max of MI-5 is in a power struggle with C, the head of JIS who wants to scrap the ‘00’ program indefinitely, which would put our sharp-suited hero out of a job.
Unfortunately, this newest Bond, directed by Sam Mendes, has received a lot of flak for its inconsistencies and stereotypical choices.
Like many other spy movies, “Spectre” starts out with a title sequence that briefly highlights the events to come. Whether these creative decisions were made in light of “Fifty Shades of Grey” or not, the titular and borderline pornographic opening displays both naked women and a million and one octopus tentacles. If the effect was meant to be a serious mood setter, I’m afraid all other meaning was lost as about half the theater will resort to uncomfortable shifting in their seats due to the excessive tentacle caressing.
Aside from the newer characters (a now nosed Voldemort makes an appearance), the movie was filled with stereotypical action sequences. Boat chases, car chases (although I do love that car) and shootouts seem to be the bread and butter of the film. The only thing missing was the anticipated scene where Bond skis down a mountain. This was cleverly reworked into Bond having a free for all toboggan ride through a snowy mountain town in a busted, burning plane.
Ultimately, “Spectre” didn’t surpass the hype of “Skyfall”, but rather carried on the Batman mentality of an orphaned rich kid with a sour attitude and money to burn.
Fans will still enjoy the heightened suspense, however. There’s enough Bond wit and smolder to still make the movie worth watching. While many plot points went unanswered, the movie left just a hint of a cliffhanger. I for one hope that Eve Moneypenny’s sentiments are true. “So what’s going on, James? They say you’re finished. I think you’re just getting started.”