Sunday, November 08, 2015



From IMDB:


A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia, the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh, the new head of the Centre of National Security, questions Bond's actions and challenges the relevance of MI6 led by M. Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny and Q to help him seek out Madeleine Swann, the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White, who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of the assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot. As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks.

Ratings: 7.4/10 from 36,345 users Metascore: 60/100 


A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. 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.

Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language)
Directed By: Sam Mendes
Runtime: 2 hr. 30 min.
Sony Pictures - Official Site

Average Rating: 6.4/10 | Reviews Counted: 204
Fresh: 127 | Rotten: 77
Critics Consensus: Spectre nudges Daniel Craig's rebooted Bond closer to the glorious, action-driven spectacle of earlier entries, although it's admittedly reliant on established 007 formula.
AUDIENCE SCORE 72% liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5 | User Ratings: 63,080


The movie starts off in Mexico during Dia de Muertos. The classiest looking one I've ever seen. ©Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

The 24th James Bond and the return of Spectre after first showing up in 1971...

That's right Spectre, Blofeld and his cat first showed up in Diamonds are Forever in 1971 which starred Sean Connery as James Bond. Spectre was also back then written in all caps like this SPECTRE and was the acronym for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. Why? Well, it's because the organization was actually created by Kevin McClory who had created it for use in a novel. Ian Fleming instead took those elements and used it in Thunderball (1965). The both of them settled out of court and McClory became the producer for Thunderball as well as Never Say Never Again (1983) in which Blofeld returned to be thwarted by Bond again, although Blofeld this time was played by Max Von Sydow and not Charles Gray.

Spectre is also the second Bond movie to be directed by Sam Mendes after Skyfall (2012) which makes him the only other director to have done this since John Glen directed The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989). Spectre was also written somewhat by the same team that did Skyfall as well as the other recent James Bond films. So it's nothing like the mess the Transformer series was because each one had a new writer who paid no attention to the source or previous installments. I don't know why I made that connection or reference. 

Also he walks up there with a gun and no one sees him? ©Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

So what's Bond up to in this one? WARNING SPOILERS COMING UP!! Well, if you remember in Skyfall M (Judi Dench) dies in the end but instead of dying quietly she sends Bond (Daniel Craig) a deathbed message to locate a man and kill him. Bond does just that on his own time and when he locates the target in Mexico he hears him referencing about another man, someone hire up who has sent him to Mexico to destroy a stadium. He takes the target out by throwing him out of a helicopter, destroys a building and almost kills hundreds of Dia de Muertos revellers before heading back to London to face the new M (Ralph Fiennes) because he wasn't in Mexico under his orders. M suspends Bond. Bond of course doesn't listen.

So after enlisting Moneypenny's (Naomie Harris) and Q's (Ben Whishaw) help and also stealing Q's latest Aston Martin toy, he continues his hunt for the Pale King that he heard being referenced to in Mexico. His hunt takes him to Rome and the funeral of Marco Sciarra where he meets the widow Lucia (Monica Bellucci) whow he later saves from assassins, seduces her and gets information on a meeting happening in Rome. He heads over to the meeting which he sneaks into using a ring he took from Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona) in Mexico but unfortunately the man in charge at this meeting is well aware of Bond's presence and after addressing him directly Bond escapes only to be chased around Rome by Mr Hinx (Dave Bautista). 

These of course are the stuntmen who do the actual scene but it's still an amazing scene. ©Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

Now extremely curious about the secret organization that he's stumbled on he continues his search in the Alps looking for a man he thought was dead, Mr. White (Jesper Christensen). Mr. White tells Bond the answers lie with his estranged daughter Madeleine Swann (). Meanwhile back in London M is facing obsolescence when the organization he's head off is being merged with another run by Max Bendigh or C (Andrew Scott), he's got a plan to merge M's department with his and the intelligence organizations of nine other countries to make a huge cooperative intelligence network. 

Finding Ms Swann Bond tries to make her see things his way but she kicks him out of her office and while he hangs around the bar talking with Q who's tracked him down Ms Swann is taken by Mr Hinx and his assistants. Bond chases them down to save her. Upon saving her she tells him where he has to go next to find answers. They both head to Morocco and the hotel L'Americain where for years Mr. White would come with his wife and a young Madeleine to holiday. Bond rips the room that Mr. White used to rent looking for what Mr. White may have left behind but find nothing until a little mouse shows up and then disappears into a whole in the wall. 

Pretty cool scene even if it is a funeral. ©Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

Bond breaks down the wall and finds a hidden room where Mr. White used to use trying to locate the mysterious head of the organization he worked for. In there Madeleine stumbles upon coordinates written on a note and when Bond looks them up it points to spot in the middle of a desert. They both jump on the first train heading there. On the train Mr Hinx shows up again and tries to kill them both but is instead thrown out the moving train. 

Back in London recent events have put in motion the absorption of M's department into C's organization. 

In the desert, Bond and Swann find themselves in an abandoned train station waiting for something to show up or happen and not much later a Rolls Royce appears in the distance. The driver stops, opens the door and invites them in. He drives them to Blofeld's (Christoph Waltz) headquarters. Blofeld treats them as his guest, shows Bond what he's up to and a livestream of M giving his farewell speech, shows Madeleine what happened between Bond and her father and then later on tries to drill holes into Bond's head to destroy his memory and other things. Bond of course escapes and blows up Blofeld and his headquarters. 

First he kills her husband then while trying to get some answers from her he seduces her. Successfully. Only Bond. ©Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

Back in London M, Q, Moneypenny and Tanner (Rory Kinnear) head to a safe house to plan what to do about C there they meet up with Bond and Madeleine. Bond fills them in on what he knows and they head out to stop C and his network which will allow him access to the intelligence network of nine other countries. Madeleine decides to walk away. Meanwhile the team splits up with Bond and M in one car and the others in another. 

On their drive the car Bond and M are in get rammed by a pick-up and while Bond and M are knocked out by the impact Bond is taken but M manages to escape. Bond is taken to the old wreckage of the MI6 building where he heads in and finds directions left on the wall with his name on it. He follows them till he reaches a room where he spots Blofeld. Blofeld tells him he has Madeleine somewhere in the building and that Bond has to decide to either save her or himself before the building is blown to dust in 8 minutes. Bond immediately runs out to find her. He finds her and soon after chases after Blofeld. Meanwhile, M and Q are in C's office where Q is trying to hack into the system to disable it. M is keeping C quiet by pointing his own gun at him. 

C falls to his death after a struggle with M. Bond manages to damage the helicopter Blofeld is in with a few precise shots which causes it to crash on a bridge. As Blofeld tries to crawl away Bond shows up and points a gun to his head. On either side of the bridge is Madeleine and M. Bond looks at them both and decides to not shoot Blofeld. 

The end. 

The first time Bond sees him and he has a smile on his face. ©Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

What I liked about Spectre...

Overall it's a decent action movie and a decent follow up to Skyfall. Daniel Craig is as you'd expect from his last three outings as Bond, nothing new there. The action scenes are pretty incredible but it wasn't so overdone that it made me think that it was ridiculous. Although if you really think about it they are pretty ridiculous in how extreme some of the sequences are. 

The attempt to link all the past Daniel Craig Bond films in order to introduce a new generation to Spectre I guess works sort of but don't take my word for it because I hardly even remember the past Bond films. I know I saw them but I don't remember the details. I guess if you were a real fan you would remember the details and how they might link to this film and Spectre. But honestly I thought it was a pretty flimsy connection. How hard is it to believe that there is a mysterious secret organization behind the bad guys? 

This is how you see the fancy cars most of the time. In the dark... ©Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

The performances overall where good. Loved Christoph Waltz as the new Blofeld he brings to the character not only does he play the devious role well but he brings a certain sinister playfulness to it too. The supporting cast didn't do a bad job either. The 'Bond Girls' Monica Belucci and Lea Seydoux did brilliantly with the fleeting scenes that they had. Yes, I said fleeting even with Lea Seydoux's character, the other thing I felt was that they should have given her more lines or something. Her character felt trivial like she's only there to look pretty and help Bond put two and two together which if you really think about it Bond can do without any help. Oh yeah, she's also there to remind Bond that he's a good man inside. 

The soundtrack/score was not too bad. Typical for a Bond film but a tad too loud, although I think that's the cinema's problem. Also the opening title sequence with Sam Smith's song was way too long and was not at all suited to a Bond film. The whole opening sequence felt like a bad music video for Sam Smith then it was for a Bond film.

This is the scene that puts her in the 'Bond Girl' category. ©Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

All in all I felt Skyfall was a decent action film. Typical of the genre and franchise. Maybe a little better than some of the other that Craig has done. The introduction of Spectre was a nice little link to the past and it'll be interesting to see what they do with the organization and Blofeld. Of course I'm hoping that Christoph Waltz does come back because if he doesn't it would ruin things for me. They went to all that trouble of bringing Spectre back and having Christoph's character have the cat and at the end the scar and blind eye that if they don't have him back I think it'll ruin the next Bond film. 

So there you have it. A decent Bond film and a decent overall action movie. There's a story there but you don't have to think too hard about how this film links to the previous just enjoy it on it's own. I'm going to give Spectre a decent 3.6 out of 5.

Have a look at the trailer if you haven't already


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