Review of “Spectre”

If for nothing else, pay the admission price to see the first fifteen minutes. It’s the slickest fifteen minutes to hit a big screen in the past decade, if not ever.5760

What makes the Mexico City intro so good? First, the size. So many hundreds of people scuttling about. Secondly, the tracking shot. They took the one good element of Birdman and made it an appropriately sized feature of the introductory sequence (rather than making an entire movie out of a fleetingly cool camera movement). Thirdly, Craig’s costume. The skeleton mask and top hat, plus the bone tie, just make the whole deal. Fourthly, the beat. The music, for the majority of this sequence, is nothing more than a heavy buzz with occasional garbles of subwoofer and it’s fucking cool. The fact that the entire thing keeps whipping at a steady pace right up until Craig starts sending off fireworks makes it all the better. Hell, even the helicopter sequence is awesome and exceptionally well shot.

Make it past those first fifteen minutes of sheer exhilaration, and you’ll be subject to the most Bond tropes ever crammed into a two and a half hour movie. Dramatic fight scene (where Bond’s skull almost gets cracked open like an eggshell) that somehow immediately leads to sex? Yep. No fight scene but still sex? Yep. Cringe-torture sequence? Yep. Extremely convenient escape from aforementioned torture sequence? Yep. Stupid motivation for the big villain? Yep. Tidy ending that really shouldn’t have been since it relies on an absurd degree of conveniences? Yep. Double crosses? Yep. A classic spy movie super-car with ejector seat? Yeeeeeep. Mendes and crew literally had a checklist to make sure every possible Bond cliche that could be crammed in was. Not that it makes the movie BAD, per say, it’s just that at a point the predictable twists and turns start to make you giggle.

Take for example, Lea Seydoux’s character. She goes from staunchly defending her position of “Bond, I will not have sex with you!” to letting Bond eat out in the next scene like the pair ordered Chinese delivery. Is character agency for pansies, or am I missing something? Point is, the script and general plot of the movie toss the characters and set-pieces around so that Bond can tie everything up with a nice little bow by the end. And I’m not even angry about it, it’s just so silly in a perfect sort of way. Skyfall tried to walk the line between believable spy thriller and campy Bond film way too hard, whereas this one just embraces its over-the-top legacy right from the starting line. Not that I necessarily like that, as it robs the plot of its responsibility to logically suspend disbelief, but hey, Spectre could’ve been worse.

Kind of unrelated, but Monica Bellucci is in the movie for a solid five minutes. Why is she being so heavily advertised? I mean, she’s wonderful and all, but the amount of press she’s getting for Spectre would make you believe she’s the main love interest or something.

3 thoughts on “Review of “Spectre””

  1. I liked it. I was hoping it would surpass Skyfall but maybe Skyfall is just too perfect and unbeatable. Bautista was the best part of the movie. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a good henchman.

    1. Great mention of Dave Bautista. Yeah, he really was a solid henchman and movies have been skimping on those for a while now. Arguably, he was a much more functional baddie than Christoph Waltz himself, in terms of screen presence and menace.

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