"Spectre" stars Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, and Naomie Harris. Released on November 6, 2015, the film has James Bond battling a secret organization and its leader, who has a deadly connection to Bond's past.
The film is directed by Sam Mendes, who also directed films such as American Beauty and Revolutionary Road. It is the 24th film in the 007 franchise and the second 007 film to be directed by Mendes including Skyfall. I was first interested in James Bond after watching Skyfall three years ago. I've only seen bits and pieces of the other 007 films. One of the things that got me interested in this film is the fact that Mendes was coming back to direct, who, in my opinion, did a great job making Skyfall into more than just an ordinary 007 film. With this recent installment, it does what any other 007 film does best-being an entertaining spy flick.
The cast delivered some very good performances, including Daniel Craig in his fourth performance as James Bond. Craig knows how to make his character believable. Christoph Waltz plays Franz Oberhauser, the leader of the mysterious organization known as Spectre. Waltz did a fantastic job at showcasing his character rather than portraying a cheesy spy villain. He provided a challenge for Bond because he knows everything about Bond's life. The way Mendes handles this character was very interesting to me. What I loved about this film was the story. It doesn't come off as another standalone 007 film. The story in "Spectre" serves as a continuation of Skyfall with everything tying itself together near the end. The cinematography was another big highlight of the film. It is nicely put together and very fascinating to look at. One example of the flawless cinematography was the opening sequence. The first four to five minutes was shot in one take; no edits, which looks really cool. The action sequences were nicely filmed and edited, and they kept me at the edge of my seat. Remember the scene where the helicopter did a barrel roll? It was insane! The film also pays some sort of tribute to the classic 007 films in terms of the gadgets and the women. I would say it worked most of the time because Mendes knows how to incorporate that said tribute while also sticking with the realism that was included in Skyfall. I also liked the design of the title sequence and how the film's theme song, "Writing's on the Wall", fits the sequence's tone.
One of the things that concerned me about this film was the pacing. If I were to compare the pacing of this film to the pacing of Skyfall, I would say that this film does have a few slow parts that could bore some people. I wasn't exactly bored since the story got me engaged, but still, this is one of those films where they put the emphasis on the story rather than the action. I would also like to point out that this film does have a darker tone compared to the classic 007 films, so it can be a bit disturbing for little kids. I mean, I saw some parents with their little kids seeing this film in the same row as I was sitting. After watching this film, I thought to myself, "These parents should've brought them to see Peanuts instead."
Overall, Mendes took what worked in Skyfall and incorporated it into "Spectre" and the result is a well-directed spy thriller that didn't quite match the spectacle of its predecessor, but manages to be an engaging installment in terms of the performances (mostly from Craig and Waltz), the action sequences, and the cinematography. It would've been better if they had fixed some of the pacing, but in the end, I enjoyed the film for what it's supposed to be. I would probably recommend this film to some fans of the 007 franchise and to those who enjoy Sam Mendes' filmography. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to drink a Martini-shaken, not stirred.
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