James Bond Franchise Movie Review

Movie Review – Spectre


– Summary –

Director :  Sam Mendes
Year Of Release :  2015
Principal Cast :  Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Naomi Harris, Dave Bautista, Ben Wishaw, Andrew Scott, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen, Judi Dench.
Approx Running Time :  138 Minutes
Synopsis:   A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.


Casino Royale, Part 4. 

This review of Spectre contains spoilers for the purpose of plot dissection. I suggest only reading on if you’ve seen Spectre or don’t plan to. 

As you read, listen to Sam Smith’s title tune from Spectre: “The Writing’s On The Wall”

As part of my review of Skyfall, the James Bond film preceding Spectre, I noted that it felt like a full-stop on the origin story of Modern Bond which began with a bang in Casino Royale. Skyfall concluded with a setting in place of the well-known pieces of Bond’s overarching narrative – Moneypenny, M, Q, the gadgets, the girls, hell, all that was missing was a last-scene doubleentendre as Bond penetrated yet another bonkable lovely in the name of Her Majesty’s Government. Sadly, neither Casino Royale, the vastly under-appreciated Quantum of Solace, nor Skyfall spent any time at all engaging in witty sexual innuendo of the kind that ultimately ruined the Pierce Brosnan era. For a laugh, go back and rewatch Die Another Day (or don’t) and tell me that nearly 100% of Brosnan’s dialogue isn’t some manner of entendre or glib snare-drum one-liner. Ugh. Anyhoo, Skyfall felt like a solid conclusion to Daniel Craig’s origin trilogy – with Judi Dench’s M dead, and all the accoutrement of Bond established, perhaps it was time for a stand-alone Bond film, like the good old days before “franchise building” took hold of cinema and all but dead-armed Bond into following suit.

SPECTRE-Film-Stills-05872Spectre’s release in the UK and the US was accompanied by what I’d lightly describe as the acclaim of mediocrity; that is, for every solid, “it was fun” review came a bunch of “it’s shit” critiques that, when you actually see the film, seem to make more sense than the former ever can. Let’s be honest: Spectre is a bit of nifty fun, but the more you dig into it, the more you think about what it offers, it’s actually a hugely flawed Bond entry that flaps apart faster than Lamar Odom at a brothel when you dig into the meaty flesh. Part of this review was going to be a rebuttal of my fellow film reviewer Vivek’s diatribe against Spectre, over at The Cinematic Katzenjammer. Without wishing to impugn Vivek’s writing, the opening paragraph of his review compares Spectre to ejected womb juice:

Spectre is terrible. It may take some a re-watch to truly comb the depths of its failure, but make no mistake. Spectre is menstrual discharge upon the eyeballs; it is the experience of simulating waterboarding by expired eggnog. Even on the generous grading curve of James Bond movies, it stacks in near the bottom, squeezing itself right alongside melted colostomy bags like On Her Majesty’s Secret ServiceLive and Let DieDie Another Day, and Never Say Never Again.

Now, as exclamatory as the phrase “menstrual discharge upon the eyeballs” is, Vivek’s tone encapsulates more of what Spectre was intended to be than what it actually is. Spectre isn’t a terrible film – any review in which a film is compared to a woman’s period is usually a category reserved for Adam Sandler comedies, Battlefield Earth, and whatever the f@ck those Star Wars prequels were. Now there was some bad blood (if you’ll pardon the pun). What Vivek so vociferously alludes to in the opening paragraph of his review (and trust me, his use of iconography in describing Spectre is perhaps a tad over-the-top, but it’s at least aimed in the right direction) is actually a cleansing mechanism, by which an unfertilised egg is discharged from a female’s body to make room for the next possible chance of conception – yeah, a period is actually a significantly important part of of the female body. So technically, not a disgusting thing, but something normal for life to continue.

spectre-movie-review-684055Spectre is like the stuff that comes after a semi-colon. It’s part of the same sentence, but offers something tangential in nature to the reader. Spectre’s post-semi-colon narrative actually continues the briefing of Royale, Quantum and Skyfall, and twists the knife in a little deeper by adding some inadequate familial heft to Bond’s history. Stretching the concept of franchise building, Spectre takes all that we knew about the previous three films and attempts to retrofit an overarching mega-plot, devised by the titular criminal organization over the relatively broad brush-strokes of Bond’s hitherto unexplored younger past. Skyfall hinted at issues in Bond’s childhood, particularly how his parents died when he was young, but Spectre removes much of that mystery with one of the most implausible “playing the long game” narrative devices yet seen in a Bond movie. By removing the inherent mystery behind Bond, I suspect the writers (all four of them!) were attempting to humanize a man best recognised by the majority of us as a “shoot first, ask questions following sex” kinda guy. In actuality, the attempt to demystify Bond backfires, thanks to inept writing and Daniel Craig’s taciturn (or bored) acting style.

Essentially, Spectre is a culmination on top of Skyfall’s culmination. The overarching premise that SPECTRE, or more specifically Christoph Waltz’ revised version of Ernst Blofeld (complete with hairy white pussy) is a revenge story for a perceived wrong that occurred many years ago, and the “long game” I mentioned earlier was Blofeld’s desire to cause Bond untold agony and rob him of all he holds dear. Oh, and something about gaining control of the world’s intelligence agencies. Had the writers simply picked one or the other, the film may have worked in a more streamlined manner, but because we just absolutely have to humanize Bond we need some emotional hook to couple with both plot threads, it weakens the overall structure of the film. Part of the fun of Bond is that the Bad Guys aren’t really developed beyond just world domination or some shit; Waltz is actually rather good as Bloefeld, given he’s lumbered with some truly awful dialogue at times, but his character never truly “clicks” like it should.

Links to the previous three films, referencing everything from Dench’s M (in a brief and welcome cameo), Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd, Quantum’s Mr Green, and Skyfall’s Raoul Silva, abound in Spectre, as the film-makers really try to hammer home the point that this film is what “it’s all been leading to”. If only the film delivered on that promise, as that would be a film worth raving about. The utterly gorgeous opening titles, designed again by franchise stalwart Daniel Kleinman, show glimpses of those returning characters (and, I should note, that my initial thoughts on Sam Smith’s awful warbling theme song, “The Writing’s On The Wall” have softened, because even a shitty song like this comes up trumps alongside Kleinman’s digital magic) before we transition to Sam Mendes’ now patented dystopian colour-scheme for his Bond films.

SPECTRE-summ-image-xlargeSpectre’s constant callbacks to superior films (you should know I’m a fan of Quantum of Solace) begins to wear out its welcome by the middle of the film, although momentary pause when Bond discovers an old VHS tape of Vesper’s interrogation at the hands of Mr. White – a returning Jesper Christensen, who we last saw scarpering in Quantum of Solace, and whose presence here essentially links the previous films more succinctly than any of the other dialogue or plot twists – does much to bring Bond’s humanity to the surface. I suspect the recurring theme of a lost love will apply more and more in future Bond films, which is possibly not a terrible idea, I guess. Anyway, by the time Bond arrives in the soon-to-be-demolished former MI6 HQ (blown to hell in Skyfall), back in London, and he wanders through a carefully staged booby-trap set-up (but who has time to set up a bullet-proof glass window for Blofeld and Bond to stand astride to taunt each other?), we’re privy to a regressively chronological memory jab as Bond notices images of all the people he’s killed, or who have been killed around him, since Casino Royale. Heavy handed? You bet.

There are two problems with Spectre that I think warrant considerable attention. The first is Sam Mendes, a director who absolutely nailed Skyfall but seems to have let his ego get the better of him here. For all the plaudits Skyfall received, there was an anger pulsating behind the story and characters of that film that compelled it to greatness. Spectre contains almost no emotion behind it at all, no matter how hard Mendes or Daniel Craig try to assert as much. Spectre is a film lacking a pulse – beyond the superficial “save the world” recurring motif, or the cavalier manner in which Bond adjusts his tuxedo following his crazy antics, the direction, action and acting all feel a little flat.

Following a lengthy opening sequence in Mexico City, in which a full five-minute single-take shot culminates in Bond nearly being squished by a collapsing building and then follows that up by nearly being killed by an out-of-control helicopter, the film’s action sequences take on a malaise of disproportionately insipid and ineffectual nature. Requisite car chases try to inject humour as Bond and Dave Bautista’s cool bad guy character race through the empty streets of Rome (seriously, have you ever been to Rome, because I don’t remember the avenues being quite so vehicle-free) but it’s all heavy-handed and lacking the overt wit of Connery/Moore/Lazenby efforts. An alpine plane/car chase elicits a minor raise in pulse, but it’s shoddily edited and/or executed and feels like the second unit director fell asleep at the monitor while filming it. The film’s “ticking clock” countdown finale, which results in a monster of a building demolition, revisits this malaise as I felt no distinct sense of urgency at Bond’s impending demise at the hands of Blofeld; Mendes’ direction just feels perfunctory, a rote, “going through the motions” sense of grandiosity rendered inert by a director assuming we’ll care about what’s happening because of our inbuilt appreciation for the character.

The second problem with Spectre is Daniel Craig. I once described Craig’s Bond as the Bulldog Bond: his face looks like it’s seen better days on the inside of a gulag, and his bullish, Jason Bourne-esque indifference to the character’s actions couple with rigid stoicism and unwavering conviction to give Bond a sense of unstoppable machine. Given SPECTRE’s an immovable object, you might guess what happens when they collide. Craig’s performance here ranges from bored eye-rolls to outright not-giving-a-shit. I’d probably feel the same way too if I had to act to a rat at one point (more on this little debacle in a moment) but you can get the sense that Craig’s tiring of the role is starting to leech through into his performances. Famously suggesting he’d “slit his wrists” before reprising the role, it would appear prescient for the film to be his last; and indeed, the closing scene, in which Bond drives off with Lea Seydoux’ Madeline Swan, suggests that that might actually be the case. Whereas Craig’s performances in Casino Royale and Quantum, and to a lesser degree in Skyfall, invoked a man dedicated to his mission but fraught with human frailties, in Spectre he’s just some dude in the wrong place at the wrong time, with a shitty family history and even shittier taste in employment.

About the only saving grace with Spectre is the generally excellent supporting cast. Monica Bellucci has a criminally small role in this film, although she’s as sexy as ever as the oldest Bond-girl to-date. Lea Seydoux’ role is key to the film’s emotional core, and the actress is utterly radiant in the part, even though her character’s physical abilities seem to ebb and flow depending on the requirements of Bond’s physicality. At least she can shoot a gun, I suppose. Dave Bautista’s Mr Hinx (not sure if he is specifically named as such in the film, but he’s credited this way in the literature) is a blast of old-school Bond henchman iconography; although Mendes’ appropriation of the iconic fight between Connery and Robert Shaw on a train in From Russia With Love and giving it to Craig and Bautista to accomplish might seem blasphemous, but it’s one of the few true highlights in a film desperately in need of more. Seeing Jesper Christensen again as Mr White was nice, and a nice way to wrap-up his subplot, while Andrew Scott’s see-it-coming-a-mile-away portrayal of slimy Max Denbeigh, aka C, lacked clear distinction or motivation.

The film’s callback to Bond’s halcyon days, those being whenever SPECTRE was involved, sees dual-Oscar-winning actor Christoph Waltz essay the part of Blofeld, a “surprise” which is surprising to zero people who’ve ever watched a film before. Waltz is stuck with a character of such middling cruelty, such camp, obfuscated desire, and motivation so preposterous it makes diamond-face-Asian-dude in Die Another Day look positively archetypal, he cannot extricate much more out of the character beyond poor judgement in where to build his headquarters, or monologuing to the point of exhaustion when he should just be killing folks. The “twist” in Blofeld’s reveal (he spends the majority of the film going by the pseudonym Oberhauser, changing to Blofeld – his mother’s maiden name – after faking his own death and going on to form SPECTRE) is delivered in a contemptuously off-hand manner, almost an aside that true fans will probably note but casual fans will either ignore or simply scratch their heads at. Waltz is a better actor than this material deserves; seeing him gain the character’s famous facial scars and cataract eyeball is a momentary glimpse at actual entertainment, but it’s a fleeting moment. You just get the sense that Waltz is relying on audience familiarity with the character rather than being allowed to develop it on his own.

lea-seydoux-spectre-movie-actress-wideA point: typical of the film’s diffidence to characterisation – a conversation between Ralph Fiennes’ M and Scott’s C, in which M extols the virtue of being given a license to kill, has a degree of resonance because it is another attempt to humanise what would normally be an inhuman activity. The circle-of-life moment comes late in the film in which Bond, face to face with Blofeld and having his weapon trained on the villain, decides not to kill him, which trails back to a conversation Bond has with Madeline Snow about “choosing to be a killer” and Bond’s seeming confusion as to what he’d do otherwise. You get the sense that the writers were trying to make a point about Bond’s ability to kill, and why people kill other people as an emotional plot point, but by keeping the two relatively effective moments of contemplation separate in their on-screen resolution, it robs Bond of a pretty cool moment of introspective growth. Essentially, Bond’s decision to not kill Blofeld at the end lacks weight because the previous time we even thought about that was in a conversation between two completely different people, neither of whom have contact in the moment Bond and Blofeld confront each other!

Now, about that rat. One of the things I hate in films is a narrative reliance on the thing known as “good fortune” to further a plot that seems counter-intuitive to the overall tone of the story. Bond always struck me, particularly in the Daniel Craig films, as being a guy who decides his own path, never relying on luck or an external force to propel him along. A key moment in Spectre sees Bond, watching over a sleeping Madeline Snow, trying to find a clue hidden in a Moroccan hotel, witnesses a rat on the floor of their apartment (firstly, ewww, what kind of hotel is this? Secondly, ewww!) scurry into its hole and thus reveal the location for a hidden annex where Bond and Snow locate information relating to SPECTRE. Now, this in itself is a bit of a lame-ass scene, because Bond tries to soliloquy with the rat. The major problem lies with this question: what if the rat just ran the other way? Bond would never find the clue he needs to continue the story, and he’d have to go back to swigging shaken martinis at a bar in London for the rest of the day, with his case going cold. It’s this kind of external “good fortune” that bugs the shit out of me in films purporting to be realistic or believable. Were this a Disney film, I’d buy it, but a coincidental rat revealing a clue to Bond in this post-9/11 era is just stupid, stupid, stupid.

Spectre feels assembled, more than it ever should. The cogs of Hollywood money leech from every fibre of this shallow, unevenly developed mess. The irony of M’s diatribe against combining the world’s intelligence forces is telling; just how much surveillance is too much, M? Hmm? It’s little inconsistencies like that which burden Spectre to the point it collapses within itself. spectre2Were the film-makers trying too hard to capture Skyfall’s effortless brilliance that they just tripped over themselves? It’s a far cry to suggest the Battlefield Earth-level disaster Vivek alludes to in his review, but Spectre is a film containing too many issues to brush aside with the application of “harmless popcorn entertainment”, particularly when you want to hurl said popcorn at the screen. Don’t mistake my fault-finding mission in this review for an admission that I hated Spectre, because I didn’t: I legitimately enjoyed it as I watched it. I guess I’m just disappointed by it.

Spectre’s issues arise when one thinks about them after the fact. The more you sit down and appraise the film, the more you come to understand that it’s a film so fundamentally insecure in its own ability to congeal a core plot or characters, it has to rely on poorly shot and edited sight gags to propel its narrative. Bond’s plucky escapes and skin-of-the-teeth scrapes (the drilling into the skull sequence is particularly brutal, and raises the film a notch) are enjoyably frivolous, but the bland action sequences and convoluted backhanding of Bond’s greatest villain suck the wind out of this film faster than a child molester at after school pickup.

Perhaps Vivek was right in his “menstrual discharge” assertion; if Skyfall is the orgasmic copulation of cinematic perfection, then Spectre is the cyclical cleansing of Bond’s franchise womb to ready us for whatever insemination will occur in the future. If this is Daniel Craig’s final film as Bond, then his legacy will be four films of which three are great (two if you’re a typical film critic) and one unravels all the good work done over the last decade. Spectre, while slick, polished and technically splendid, is a façade of scaffolding supporting the flimsiest of set dressing. Dig much deeper than the superficial thrills (which wax and wane considerably across the film’s near two and a half hour runtime) and you’re left with not much at all, really.


A bit like waiting for this film to improve....
A bit like waiting for this film to improve….

Dan The Man felt it was jumbled, messy, but otherwise okay.

Ruth over at Flixchatter felt it was a missed opportunity.

Keith at Keith At The Movies described it as “uneven”.

Ryan Pollard at Top 10 Films says it’s “an exhilarating film experience”…

Nostra thinks it offers too little convincing spectacle.

Brikhaus over at Awesomely Shitty’s description of Hoyte Van Hoytema’s cinematography is the best thing I’ve ever read.

Grog can’t wait to watch it again…

Craggus called it “derivative but enjoyable”…

Peggy didn’t hate it, but she didn’t love it either.


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  1. You know what, despite the fact that I loved this film, I kinda agree with some of what you're saying. Craig was the wrong Bond for this film. It needed a Bond more familiar with innuendo and boner puns along with the lines to go with him. I also think it should have been a different director. I loved the suave, full-of-pizazz single shot at the beginning but I just don't think he can shoot action that well. Get Martin Campbell back I say!

    I LOVED the train fight and the snowy plane chase (that one in particular had me gleaming with destructive delight) but I agree the car chase in Rome just felt slow and the inclusion of actual traffic probably would have made it more intense and entertaining, much like the opener to QoS. I still enjoyed the bits of fun like the tease of the car gadgets and 009's taste in music.

    One of my biggest problems with the film was the love aspect between Bond and Swann. I just never bought that. I did however, love the way they portrayed Blofeld. Sure he's not in it much but he certainly will be in the next one. I loved the origin story decision as we saw him gain his scar. I also loved how he just watched Bond from the helicopter as James rushed to rescue Swann. That just felt so old-fashioned, bad guy just wants to amuse himself with an overcomplicated kill strategy and I loved it. I feel his humiliation will just make him so much more interesting in the next one. It may be predictable (I'm pretty sure he'll escape prison and assassinate Swann as revenge (eg OHMSS)) but I'm excited nonetheless.

    That's the thing with this film. I could predict it all but because it was all what I was wanting it to do. It was a bit rough around the edges and could have done with a few more drafts of the script (funny sidenote: John Logan also co-wrote Star Trek Into Darkness so he's obviously not really learnt from the Khan "surprise") but it gave me Blofeld, SPECTRE, the cat, a henchman, big action, and gadgets. The exploding watch coupled with the line "time flies"? Come on, that was awesome! Also, I'm not a fan of the whole step-brothers thing but I don't mind it anyway. Wow I just realised how long this comment is haha!

    • See, there, it wasn't that bad now, was it? LOL

      Seems like we agree on most things wrong with the film – don't get me wrong, in spite of its flaws I still enjoyed watching Craig go round again as Bond – and you are right to point out the Bond/Swann love aspect didn't work (like, at all); in retrospect, I would have liked to see Bond's moment of reflection about Vesper (on the video tape he picks up) make for an interesting dialogue between him and Swann, but it's brushed aside way too quickly for my liking. Seydoux was great in her role, but it felt too much like a "we need a girl here" scenario rather than an organic, warranted character worthy of Bond's attention. If that makes sense.

      It's interesting that you found Spectre predictable and still enjoyed it – for me, I too found it slightly predictable and *didn't* enjoy it for that very reason. The thing I liked about all of Craig's previous films is that I couldn't figure out beforehand what was happening, so Spectre's blase approach to plotting didn't really feel as taut as, say, Skyfall.

      I also thought the exploding watch and whole "drilling into Bond's head" sequence was about the most tense part of the film, even though Mendes' shooting and editing of it was pretty average. Kinda wanted to see a nice laser beam directed near Bond's crotch accompanied by an evil cakcle: "No Mr Bond, I expect you to DIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!"

      • Yeah your review wasn't as harsh as you prepared me for lol! To be honest, story has never been an important factor of any Bond film for me. It's good to have but I see it as a cherry on top rather than the actual meal. I want the bits and pieces more than a good film. The formula is something I've grown up with and loved and I go into Bond films with a checklist. This one ticked all of them (although Bond girl was a half tick) and then gave me SPECTRE back. I've really missed a big evil organisation in Bond and that alone would have been enough to make me like the film.

        I think I just always look at a new Bond film as if it's already old. I think of it as a film I've always loved and watched. I've watched Bond films for so long that I just know them all pretty much. Kind of like Star Wars, I don't remember a time I didn't know what happens so not knowing what will happen in a new Bond film just never really means anything for me. I looked at things like how obvious it was that Waltz was Blofeld and I don't care because A) I wanted him to be and B) I instantly look at this film as one of the Bond films instead of a new one. Like all the others, I know what happens throughout the entire movie and I am going to watch it knowing what happens a hell of a lot more times than I've seen it not knowing what happens. I feel like I'm explaining it wrong but I think this secondary view on plot is why I love Diamonds Are Forever and all of the Roger Moore films instead of hating them like everyone else haha!

        Has it got a cool gadget? Has it got a villain with a lair, an organisation and a cool looking injury? Is there a chase scene? If it has these then I'm just gonna enjoy the hell out of it, even if the film features excessive plastic surgery use to disguise a villain or a plot that takes Bond to space. That's why I love Bond films. Even if they're bad films, they're still good Bond films.

      • Also I'd like to admit that my love for the film did lessen a little after I saw Spectre twice and thought about it a bit more. I did remove the .5 from the 9.5 I gave it haha! I still think it's one of the best and would probably rank it as my #5 fav Bond film, just behind FRWL though.

    • I doubt that will happen, honestly. I can't see modern audiences shifting back to "campy Bond" a la Moore and Brosnan's final two films any time soon. But somehow they need to decide to just stick with stand-alone films for a while, give us a break from all this interconnected stuff. If I was coming to Bond for the first time with Spectre half the film wouldn't have made sense. At least with those older ones you weren't beholden to what had happened in previous movies, if you missed one.

  2. I was also disappointed, for many of the reasons you've outlined above; in fact, I described it, in a Facebook comment, as a film where it seemed like everyone involved – writers, actors, director – was just phoning it in. Well, except for Dave Bautista; however, despite being the only person who seemed to want to be there, he (sadly) was criminally underused.

    Some other specifics:

    I hated Hinx's introduction scene. Just awful.

    The torture at the Spectre base bugged the heck out of me, and not just because of Christoph Waltz's exceedingly distracting three-quarter hipster pants and loafers without socks. First of all, those devices were clearly not needles; they were drill bits – and they'd have done a heck of a lot more damage to a person than we saw there.

    Then there was the 'reveal' that Oberhauser was calling himself Blofeld. What impact did that even have, other than as an in-joke to Bond afficionados? It wasn't like we'd heard the name before, and Bond himself certainly didn't seem to react to it at all. What they *should* have done was introduce him as Blofeld and then have him turn out to have been Oberhauser all along.

    This, of course, ties in with the nonsensical idea that he (and Spectre) had been behind everything JB had been up against in the previous films. I mean, really. Every one of those films has at least several people earnestly trying to kill the shit out of Bond; are we expected to accept that the *real* reason they didn't succeed was courtesy of a Harry Potter-esque 'no one is allowed to kill him but the Dark Lord' policy? Ugh.

    And the Bond-girl-of-the-moment's 'I love you' – what the heck was with *that*? Another completely out-of-nowhere, unnatural-feeling plot development. And even if you argued she had developed those feelings for him in the handful of days they'd known each other (if it was even that many), which writer forgot the 'show, don't tell' maxim? There are any number of ways they could have conveyed that without resorting to the words.

    It does seem like one of those movies made by committee. A lazy, uninspired committee more interested in cashing the product placement cheques than making a decent film. And I find this baffling given how (presumably) most of the same people were involved in 'Skyfall', which was a damn good movie, even with a few serious plot holes.

    Oh, and a pet peeve relating to computers/systems and so forth; there are some others where this happens, but I can't remember any of them right now: in this case, after Q had shut down the Nine Eyes program, a graphic popped up on screen – something like 'System Eradicated' or something similar. Someone in the organisation went to the effort of creating a specific graphic just in case they were hacked and shut down? Seriously.

    A huge disappointment.

    • You make some terrific points, mate. The only one I'd like to specifically point to is your idea around the Blofeld revelation – I think had they gone about it in the way you suggest, with Blofeld being the villains name before revealing it to be Oberhauser later, might have given the film a greater sense of "twist!" than it otherwise had. I mean it wasn't really well seeded in the film anyway, we could all guess who Oberhauser was going to be (both Bond's step-brother *and* Blofeld) which kinda undercut the narrative anyway.

      LOL @ computer screen graphics: this problem isn't just confined to Spectre, I'd suggest. 😉

  3. You are absolutely right, Rodney. The more time that passes since I watched this movie, the more I realize how terrible it was. I can't believe I originally gave it an "average" rating! It probably deserves much worse than that. It's paper thin, and generally terrible in every single aspect. Why did they have to connect the other movies to it? I cheapens them so much. It's total garbage.

    • It's definitely one of those film that gradually deteriorates the more you think about it afterwards…. I think "average" is being kind (even though I gave it my equivalent of that in this review) but it's Bond, and if I wanted a film to be utterly serious I'd go watch a Bourne film, or maybe Skyfall again.

  4. Good read Rodney. Glad you found something to like in what was a disappointing Bond entry. I didn't think it was bad but there was a definite come-down after Skyfall. Some things I didn't like – the female characters, Christopher Waltz's villain, and a lacklustre second half. I did, however, love the opening sequence which I feel is one of the strongest from the Craig period.
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    • I was ambivalent to the female characters here – after Eva Green's definitive Bond Girl performance, and Skyfall's utter lack of a decent one, I was hoping either Belluci or Seydoux would provide something well rounded (ha!) and developed, but neither really did. Bond women are really only there for looks (Eva Green exempted) and often provide little to zero actual characterization other than somebody for Bond to pork or lust over.

      I agree, the opening sequence to this film was pretty great, although I still say the Skyfall cold open is the best of the Daniel Craig era.

  5. Gaaah, Sam Smith’s title song is torture to my ears.

    Glad you're in my corner about this one Rodney, it's really less than mediocre when I think about it, especially when they have so much talent AND money at their disposal, ugh. Boy I forgot about that rat but you're right it's beyond stupid!! This really reminds me of how good Casino Royale was, hey perhaps we should bring back Martin Campbell!

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    • Given Campbell re-started the franchise with Brosnan, and then again with Daniel Craig, it makes sense to bring him back for the debut film of whoever is *next* to play the superspy! He's two-for-two in successful Bond films.

      Yep, that rat is stupid.

      Thanks for stopping by, Ruth!

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Never blessed with a body worthy of a porn star, nor being the heir to a wealthy industrialists fortune, nor suffering the tragedy of having his parents murdered outside a Gotham theater, Rodney is, contrary to popular opinion, neither Ron Jeremy, JD Rockefeller, or Batman. As a serious appreciator of film since 1996, Rodney's love affair with the medium has continued with his online blog, Fernby Films, a facility allowing him to communicate with fellow cineasts in their mutual love of all things movie.

Movie Review – Spectre

by Rodney Twelftree
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