A Disappointment – Spectre (2015)

Sorry James Bond fans.  So in the wake of the events in Skyfall, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is on a mission to unmask a sinister, mysterious and faceless organization that simply goes by Spectre.  The new Daniel Craig James Bond has been a very solid update, and I’ve been behind most of the decisions they’ve made along the way.  I feel that the choice to make the movies grittier makes them feel more grounded in reality, which, in turn, makes for a better thrill ride.  Both Casino Royale and Skyfall were great chapters in one of the longest running movie franchise of all time (I believe Godzilla still holds the crown), but with the latest installment Spectre, I’m sorry to say that this is closer to Quantum of Solace than anything, which isn’t a good thing, and I’m sure you’re already well aware of that fact if you’ve seen it.

2It’s mostly dull, which isn’t a criticism I expected to have here.

When I say this is like Quantum of Solace, I’m not exaggerating; they even go so far to have the climax to this be a building covered in explosives, blowing up in the middle of the desert.  To give credit where credit is due, I did like the opening scene of this quite a bit.  It opens with this excellently choreographed tracking shot during the celebration for Day of the Dead, and it moves with a whole lot of fluency.  But after that helicopter scene is wrapped up is almost exactly when I stopped caring, and that’s the biggest downfall to Spectre: you never care about the story.  So much of this, you are just waiting for the next action sequence, and there’s really not that much here; you have the opening, the explosions at the end, a car chase and a train fight, and that’s pretty much it, and if you watch this at home, you’re likely going to be frequently checking your phone, if only to see how much longer is left.  It’s really sloppy execution with how it is put together, and I know everybody was hoping this would be great because they got director Sam Mendes back.  Honestly, it seems like he didn’t know where to take this story next after the success he found with Skyfall.

1It could have been studio interference, and perhaps Mendes was only responsible for the Day of the Dead scene, who knows. 

The biggest crime to Spectre is that it is boring.  Because the story is so bare-bones, it leaves it all the more apparent how little personality this James Bond has; his apartment is so sparsely decorated like he is a legitimate sociopath, which makes total sense, given the line of work.  You probably want to know how fan favorite Christoph Waltz is, and while he is perfectly fine in the movie, I do have some disappointing news for you: he’s barely featured here.  There’s a scene in the middle where he pops up in the shadows, and he comes back for about 15 minutes towards the end, and that is about it in the 150 minute feature.  It’s overlong, messy and lacking, and it might just be the very worst of the Daniel Craig James Bond films.

Spectre (2015) **1/2

– Critic for Hire


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