Solid Bond Movie, but Lackluster in Action

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His name is legend among the spy films, his actions so big that one actor could not handle them alone. And this man with a license to kill likes his martinis shaken not stirred. Yes today I’m focusing on the latest James Bond movie Spectre. Actor Daniel Craig has carried the torch of England’s elite killer for the last three installments, facing many ups and downs in terms of movie quality. What treats does Spectre offer? As always I will do my best to answer these questions in the latest Robbie K review.

If you have seen the commercials, then you have seen the taglines that this is the best Bond movie ever. After seeing the movie myself, I have to say that Spectre feels like a classic Bond adventure. The movie focuses on the espionage and information gathering area, as Bond seeks areas left by a cryptic message while trying to connect all the pieces of the puzzles. While the dialogue may a bit dry, I found this to be a well done spy movie that utilized thought and manipulation over more aggressive forms of information gathering. And all of it is done with 007 suaveness, as Craig uses silver tongue and skillful craft to uncover the mystery.

As for the story itself, it too has many classic Bond elements that have been modernized to appease today’s audience. Spectre contains a bad guy with too much power and a thug who seems practically invincible that stands in our “hero” way. However, this series continues to tie more of Bond’s personal dram in the film for character development. I didn’t think the story was bad, but I can’t say that I was impressed with the predictable “twists” the movie had and the convenient tie up in the form of Waltz’s character Oberhauser. I guess I was expecting a little more cleverness and surprise to Spectre than what I got, and a little more excitement to further support the 2.5 hour time length.

Speaking of action, Spectre did not have the spark of excitement its predecessors had. Most of the scenes are chase scenes, with Bond showing off his gorgeous, bulletproof cars as he puts the petal to the metal. These chases were not thrilling to me, simplistic speeding down roads with some comedic jibes thrown in instead of the cliché pings of bullets sailing through the air. The fistfights have a little more gusto to them, with a savagery that looks like something off the Discovery channel. However, the bashing lacks any real suspense, and the near invincibility of the thug makes him worthy of being in a comic book. As for gadgets and gunplay, they have been diluted to quick bouts of Bond wiping the floor with the extras, again lacking any suspense. This mentality bled into the ending as well, leaving us with yet another anticlimactic chase scene that was unsatisfying and boring.

The spectacular aspects of this movie are the acting and the production quality. Craig still brings his calm, collected, and rather monotone delivery to the role, truly bringing the Bond style we have come to expect. Waltz does a great job playing the role of the deranged, delusional vision (which seems) to be second nature to him now, and is a nice rival to Bond, despite his limited involvement in the film. Lea Seydoux as the new Bond woman brought both familiarity and a refreshing spin, while still retaining that classic Bond girl sexiness. As for Q, the nerdism continues, with Ben Whinshaw adding that edge we all love of the organization’s lead inventor.

Production quality wise Spectre is fantastic. The film is loaded with over the top special effects with pyrotechnic explosions lighting up the theater. Stable camera work keeps all the details in focus and captures the emotion of the characters to the full effect. And all of it comes together with incredible sound effects that make the theater rumble with triumphant thunder. Despite how lackluster the action is in this movie, our production team managed to truly escalate and capture the fullest potential for most of the movie.

Spectre certainly has all the atmosphere of a Bond film, delivering the charismatic charm that only 007 can bring. With witty dialog, character development drama, and a cast that brings it all to life, it certainly is hard to dock points. However, Spectre is lacking in excitement and suspense, with lackluster action and a rushed plot. At the length the film is, such dull really takes away from quality for this reviewer. Is it worth a trip to theater? Outside of the sound effects, Spectre was not worth the ticket price and better saved for a rent at home.

My scores for Spectre are:

Action/Adventure/thriller: 7.0

Movie Overall: 7.0

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