There were two reasons the expectations from Spectre were high and perhaps that’s why it kind of doesn’t live up to the expectations – Skyfall had set the bar high for this movie (given the same director, it was expected) and secondly, a little less significant, given that it was a departing movie for Daniel Craig, it had to have a brilliant end. To round up the entire series of DC, only Casino Royale and Skyfall stands out as my favorite, followed by Spectre and QOS at the end.
Spectre story knits up all the earlier DC movies – CR, QOS and Skyfall – together to explain who controlled all the antagonists and in an epic twist, its connection with Bond. What better could have ended the DC journey than to tie up all its four movies together. The story is well paced, except for, may be a slightly stretched climax. They have stuck to the classical Bond movies formula – car chases, hand to hand combats, pure lust and a cunning villain. The only exception in Spectre is the gadgetry work which has been minimal. So, don’t really expect much there. However, the story unfolds step by step to give a full picture at the end. It may not match up to Skyfall but surely does enough to live up to the reputation.
This is one place where I found Spectre kind of loses the plot. While the movie does have some good action sequences, the overall content has been lowered down if I compare the earlier movies. When you go to watch James Bond, you don’t want to listen to words beyond a point. Somewhere mid-way the movie ends up projecting a lot of talk and less of action. Some of the sequences like the one of helicopter in the beginning and the plane in the middle of the movie are indeed thrilling but the kind of elevation is missing compared to the standards set by earlier bond movies.
Comparing Daniel Craig to his earlier movies, one doesn’t see much improvement, although he has done well already enough. He has built an image of a more rugged spy, when we compare with Pierce Brosnan who comes out more sophisticated. Léa Seydoux comes out strong enough with some good chemistry with DC and projecting a role of a grieving daughter but a tough women at the same time. However, an unfortunate surprise was the teeny tiny amount of screen time given to Christopher Waltz who could have taken the movie to another level. Just reminds me of the mistake FF7 made with Jason Statham. Ben Whishaw, playing Q, and Ralph Fiennes as M (or the new M, if I may say) comes out to bring in a lot of variety in terms of character sketches.
Sam Mendes does a commendable job in ensuring brilliant execution of the story he was entrusted with. I loved the way the entire story was executed. Some of the sequences have been very well shot and you see a lot of good direction work that went into making this movie. However, I see two major flaws in the movie – the length of the movie which could have been 10-15mins shorter and not making the most of an academy award winner in your cast. So, next time, may be focus more on the typical Bond movie strengths – gadgets, car chases and of course, villains!!
Overall, Spectre is a movie you should not miss if you follow Bond movies or are a Bond fan. It is a good farewell to DC as well (unless the rumors about Bond 25 turns out to be true). But it surely doesn’t live up to the bar set by Skyfall and Casino Royale.