Spectre (I) (2015)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Adventure, Thriller


Spectre (2015) Poster

A cryptic message from James Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover the existence of a sinister organisation named SPECTRE. With a new threat dawning, Bond learns the terrible truth about the author of all his pain in his most recent missions.


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7 November 2015 | ArchonCinemaReviews
7
| With occasions of triteness, Spectre is satisfactory but not stupendous like Casino Royale
Resuming where Skyfall left off, Spectre points James Bond on a quest to discover and unearth truths behind the sinister organization responsible.

The 00 organization is under duress as the Centre of National Security attempts to take over control of all clandestine undertakings in the protection of the nation. Bond is on his own and off grid as he follows Spectre across the globe, with one mission in mind, to terminate it at the source. Much has changed for Bond since his first mission in Montenegro where he fell for the beautiful Vesper Lynd. On guard, 007's seductive charisma is set aside as he fervently pursues vengeance for M and truth for himself.

Daniel Craig has been James Bond for close to ten years now, a near unbelievable fact until you go back and realize the first film, Casino Royale, was released in 2006. Opening with a strong action sequence set during the Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico City, Spectre starts promisingly intense. Set in exotic locations with transcendentally tactile productions, Spectre satiates the audience's wanderlust craving. Something happens once Sam Smith's "Writings on the Wall" concludes, and the dark gritty James Bond we've grown to be enamored with takes several steps back toward the triteness of the 90s.

It was always going to be difficult for director Sam Mendes to supersede expectations set from the wildly successful Skyfall. The narrative had taken a complicated turn with deceit and bloodshed interwoven with treachery and malice. Mendes had teased us with a captivating scene set in a wintry tundra where a cloaked man compared Bond to a 'kite dancing in a hurricane'. It was enigmatic but furtively beguiling. Desperately longing for Spectre to capture this essence for the totality of its duration, it fails to meet expectations.

There is something intangibly weary about Spectre as a whole. The amorous allure inherently exuding from Bond is overdone and forced, injected into the plot to satisfy token assumptions. His unflinching execution of his license to kill has softened, leaving Bond to feel less like 007 and more like IMF agent Ethan Hunt who participates in a similar journey this year.

Do not mistake these criticisms of Spectre as a conclusion for it being substandard. The hand-to-hand fight sequences are marvelously intense and brutal, especially those against Dave Bautista. The narrative plots across Mexico, Rome, Austria and Morocco and does so without sacrificing the story too much. It just ends up feeling drawn out, as if it were going through the motions.

Spectre is vastly superior to the Pierce Brosnan 007 films, it is just in comparison to its peers that it fails to measure up and is more akin to them than the Craig films we've grown to love. With rare occasions of cheesiness that make you more laughably amused (especially at the senseless love scenes) than suspensefully entertained, we can only hope for a sensational Bond 25.

6.5/10

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie won an Oscar for Best Achievement In Music Written For Motion Pictures, the theme song "The Writing's On The Wall" by Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes.


Quotes

Estrella: Where are you going?
James Bond: I won't be long.


Goofs

In the first act a bomb explodes powerful enough to topple two large, multi-story buildings. Yet blocks away, the police don't even react, nor do they stop the huge party in the center of Mexico City.


Crazy Credits

The first Gunbarrel Sequence to show Bond carrying his gun in his right hand prior to shooting. All other Gunbarrel Sequence attempt to conceal the weapon until Bond fires, except Casino Royale which had Gunbarrel Sequence incorporated as part of the plot.


Alternate Versions

In August 2015, Columbia submitted the film to the BBFC in the UK for advice on whether the film would receive a 12A rating upon a formal submission. The BBFC informed the filmmakers that cuts would be required in two scenes before a 12A rating, instead of an uncut 15, could be obtained. These were made prior to formal submission and it was duly passed at 12A with no further changes. Reductions to "strong bloody (injury) detail" were made in the following two scenes:

  • The eye gouging now only shows an establishing shot of the thumbs being inserted, then cuts to a counter-shot from behind the victim's head when the slightly bloody thumbs emerge. The uncut version showed this all from the front, including the aftermath.
  • The suicide now takes place off-screen and with reduced detail. The uncut version showed the man putting the gun under his chin and firing with a spray of bloody mist, and two subsequent shots showed brain tissue hanging down from the back of his head.
These cuts persist in all worldwide versions of the film.


Soundtracks

Cum Dederit (Andante) [Nisi Dominus (Psalm 126), R.608]
Written by
Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by Andreas Scholl, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Paul Dyer
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Ltd.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure | Thriller

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