Image Credit: LatinoReview.com Daniel Craig (Left) and Lea Seydoux (Right) as James Bond and Dr. Madeline Swann in the 24th Bond Film “Spectre”.
A victim of the Sony hack earlier this year that saw numerous apologies from former Sony co-chairwoman, Amy Pascal, Spectre the 24th official Bond film to date. Not only saw its script leaked online, but also had the misfortune of running over budget due to Director Sam Mendes’s busy schedule and re-writes to the film itself. Sprectre relies heavily on a complicated plot whereas the previous entry, Skyfall kept it simple.
The film’s extensive opening sequence finds our man Bond (Daniel Craig) searching for another named Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona) in Mexico City during the celebration of Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Bond clearly on a mission of his own here makes headlines as the sequence begins in simple assassination and leads to a mid-air helicopter fight that makes the opening sequence in For Your Eyes Only, look like a harmless stroll in the park.
Upon his return to London Bond is “Grounded” by the newly appointed M (Ralph Fiennes) feeling pressure from his new superior “C” (Andrew Scott) whom wishes to merge Mi-5 and MI-6, ultimately putting an end to the “00” program and unraveling past precedents set by M’s predecessor. Then under a successful merger “C” would be in charge of running a sophisticated program Entitled “Nine Eyes” that would act as Eyes and Ears for nine intelligence centers throughout the greater UK.
After a quick visit with Q (Ben Whishaw), Bond finds himself in Rome attending Sciarra’s funeral, bent on discovering his ties to an unnamed organization. Which for the first and last time leads Bond to the ubiquitous meeting seen in past incarnations. Granted, having seduced the deceased’s wife Lucia (Monica Bellucci) along the way, it seems nothing is gained as Bond is thrust into a car chase with Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista) that clocks in five minutes to long. Then we find our man of action headed to Lake Altaussee, Austria to soak up information from a familiar source under the name of the Pale King (Jesper Christensen). As a dying wish, White asks Bond to protect his beautiful daughter, Dr. Madeline Swann (Lea Seydoux), from his past misgivings, as the mysterious organization will surely track her down.
What could’ve been a great addition to the penultimate Bond Skyfall, Sprectre falls completely flat its in poorly contrived third act. Which only seems to serve the purpose of revealing Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) as a familiar villain.
This seems to be a trend in recent years, as a number of films have disguised their villains in a rather lackluster attempt to build up the mystery, when fans already know the truth. Granted, the Sony Hack didn’t make for an easy re-write either, but when entire set pieces are best left on the editing room floor there is a problem.
Alas Sam Smith’s “Writings On The Wall” is in many ways is a departure from the previous entries seen in the last couple Bond films. Jack White and Alicia Key’s “Another way to die” dueling duo or even Chris Cornell’s sturdy rock piece “You Know My Name”. “Writings On The Wall” is easily the most reserved opening created for Bond yet as it forces the listener to anticipate higher notes yet what is received is mediocre tune about events forthcoming in the film. Not that past manifestations haven’t done this before, but as the film reaches its climax you’ve already forgotten its significance.
All elements considered Spectre is a substandard Bond film, had the script been given more careful guidance or some sort of supervising writer to manage the four credited with the task (Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan and Jez Butterworth)the team could have imagined a third act that actually made storytelling sense while incorporating the acronym that is Spectre, as it is completely missing from the film altogether.