Mediocre and disappointing on many levels. After the events of Skyfall, Bond’s follow on mission leads him to face the SPECTRE.
Beware the following will contain plot detail.
Littered throughout the history of cinema are reboots that flopped. Whilst there never existed a film entitled Spectre (acronym for Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion), it has been the arch nemesis to MI6 since the very beginning. To great anticipation, when the title and custom Aston Martin were revealed, the surrounding media were excited, as was I, who thought this would be a sure-fire hit.
Build-up aside, the start of Spectre is promising and technically brilliant, featuring helicopter stunts entwined with the usual humour. However, from here the pace slows massively, and reaching the reveal of what Spectre is feels like an uphill struggle. The few action sequences that dot the route to that point aren’t too impressive and the car chase never reaches half its potential. Fortunately, the latter portions of Spectre get back on track, and there is a particularly torturous scene to bring you to the edge of your seat. To me, the ending is very unnatural and unlike Bond, thus Spectre feels rather generic and bland as a whole.
So where does it all fall down? The villain, played convincingly by Christoph Waltz, does not bring the essential element of danger. An evil plan that boils down to setting up a network of cameras is as terrifying as the Highways Agency’s speed cameras. In the past, Bond villains have aimed at world domination and obliterating entire countries. Next, the main henchman Mr Hinx (Bautista) brings unwelcome gore rather than fear factor. Sam Smith’s single accompanies Spectre just fine and I did not have a problem with it at the time. After a while though, I discovered Radiohead’s single called Spectre, originally intended to be used instead, which I greatly prefer and would recommend checking out.
It would be unfair to say that Spectre flopped, just look at the box office figures. On the other hand, it does fail to capture the legacy, and definitely the ambition, of Spectre. To finish with a metaphor, Spectre is not the thrilling roller-coaster you would expect. Instead it is a drop ride/tower, composed of a few short shocks and not too dissimilar from others in its category.