Cinematic Releases: Spectre

Daniel Craig returns in the fourth film since his inception as James Bond. 

"We're on a boat, bitches!"
The long awaited Spectre puts James Bond back in theaters this weekend with what will be considered the worst of the Daniel Craig films so far. Serving as what might be a jumping off point for his final outing as the British assassin, Spectre feels awfully disjointed at times, compromising action for long winded love dove stares from Lea Seydoux as a meandering Christoph Waltz becomes a slight caricature of every baddie he's ever played. Not all is bad with the movie, but something was definitely amiss in the writing department, giving Spectre an overall feel that's not quite as on-point as the last three entries. 

With convoluted new developments about James and his history, Spectre is a giant misstep on the part of the studio and this writing staff. Still, the continuing saga they've been following for this rendition of Bond continues to bring something new to the table with each episode building more back story for 007 which will most likely conclude with the last film he's contracted for. If anything, Spectre is definitely moving towards some type of conclusion for Craig's time as James Bond. It's written all over this thing, front to back. 

Where the last few films featured female protagonists cloaked in mysterious beauty, Lea Seydoux feels out of place and often times miscalculated in her performance. While she's definitely stunning, something is off about her portrayal here. She never appears threatened or worried about the events taking place around her. She's not up to snuff when playing against such  heavy hitters as Daniel Craig, Waltz, or Fiennes. To put it lightly, she's amateurish at best here. With Craig definitely bored out of his mind, awaiting a large paycheck throughout the entirety of Spectre, Christoph waltzes through doing very little to break the monotony of his other villainous roles, becoming a self deprecating caricature of himself. 

Bond movies rely on massive action sequences, great music, technological gadgetry, sexy women, huge explosions, impeccably crafted set design, and even more action. In that area, Spectre largely takes its audience for granted. There are only a few edge of your seat moments, barely any awesome fight scenes, not enough action, and way too much down time. During Spectre, I began to wonder if they were trying to talk me to sleep or if they were doing their best impersonation of a poorly written Mission: Impossible script that got pitched in a dumpster fire. 

"I look sooooo '90s Bono in these
sweet new glasses!"
Does it look good? Sure. Is it a fun watch at times? Absolutely. Are the visuals spectacular? Definitely. But it's nowhere near the quality or class of the last three.  Director Sam Mendes lets the true Bond feel get away from him in trade for too much dialogue, recycled environments, not enough action, and a nearly wasted Dave Bautista. Luckily, Ralph Fiennes brings a stellar new groove for M and puts everyone around him to shame. Trust me. I'm a big fan of these movies. If number five is to be the last for Craig, it's behooves me to ask for something better. 

There is no imminent danger in Spectre. And this version of a certain classic Bond bad guy (which shall remain nameless) is only thrown out there for the novelty of saying he was in the movie. It comes off cheap and like something Christopher Nolan would have pulled in one of his Batman movies. We've seen much better. 



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