While M is busy dealing with a new secret intelligence takeover which would see human field operatives made redundant in favour of extensive CCTV camera coverage, Bond begins a search for a huge criminal organisation that he has been battling with without even knowing about it.
After the immense success of Skyfall the pressure was piled on high for Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes to deliver once again. I almost felt like it did after Casino Royale turned out to be as brilliant as it was. Fear not though Spectre is no Quantum of Solace. As while it is not quite as good as Skyfall was I don’t think, it is a superb edition to the Bond franchise and helps establish Craig as possibly the best bond (he really only has Connery to contend with).
The film opens with a simply breath-taking single shot of the parade of the dead in Mexico City which lasts for about five minutes, in the single boldest piece of cinematography the franchise has ever seen. This is Mendes saying he means business. And from that moment on he has you absolutely hooked. While the plot and themes I don’t think quite hold up compared to Skyfall, in terms of set-pieces Spectre delivers more than any other bond film I’ve seen. Whether it’s an insane helicopter fight or an intense yet nostalgic fight on a train (harking back to the classic From Russia with Love). And actually this theme of nostalgia runs throughout. It’s almost like the Bond fan’s perfect Bond film, with references all over the place to the classic Connery films and in one sequence Lazenby. But I found these were never too intrusive and were merely dressing to the film at large rather than actually driving the story in themselves like what could be seen in Terminator Genisys earlier this year.
I was worried Christoph Waltz would just kind of play that character that he usually plays, just see him in Inglourious Basterds, or The Green Hornet, or Horrible Bosses 2 or Django Unchained really. And though his performance here in Spectre certainly has a resemblance those aforementioned roles, I found his whole aura to be different really. He feels more sinister, he feels creepier. While even in Inglourious the character he played was likeable, here in Spectre he’s just not. But in terms of unlikeability apparently Britain as a whole would always take an evil German psychopath over a cocky posh boy. Enter Andrew Scott, playing with beautiful aplomb the least likeable character to hit screens in 2015. Elsewhere Daniel Craig is solid yet again and Lea Seydoux emerges as the most developed and memorable bond girl I can remember. It is just a shame Monica Bellucci is relatively unused.
Overall, I think that under incredible pressure to perform Mendes and Craig really have pulled it out the bag on this one. A real must see.