James Bond is back in the latest installment of his saga, Spectre. The follow-up to Skyfall showcases Daniel Craig’s Bond in a continuation of his previous three 007 flicks, but, unfortunately, does not live up to the high standard set by the previous film.
With Skyfall being Craig’s best Bond film and arguably one of the best Bond films of all time, the film is undoubtedly very difficult to follow as well as live up to the expectations of the viewers. Skyfall set the bar too high with good storytelling, action and characters. While Spectre had the potential to match the mark left by its predecessor, the film falls short for many reasons.
In Spectre, new villain Christoph Waltz had large shoes to fill following Javier Bardem’s villain, Silva, in Skyfall. After winning two Oscars for his roles as villains in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, Waltz was the perfect choice to play a Bond villain. However, despite his second billing, Waltz does not have enough scenes to make a huge impact in Spectre. Instead, Waltz’s character was kept a secret until the film was released to keep his origins under wraps. At the same time, the story behind his character makes a lot of sense based on previous Bond films, but was poorly executed. The character’s story should have been more detailed, not just briefly mentioned.
In addition, the overall story and plot of Spectre is interesting and has a nice way of tying up loose ends despite still being structured the same as many previous Bond films, which was slightly disappointing and expected. After 24 movies and 52 years of popularity, the formula needs to be shaken, not stirred. Still, the same action sequences being filmed only slightly differently each time as well as pointless lines of dialogue, cheesy love scenes and duplicated car chases seem old at this point.
Another slightly surprising bit of Spectre is that the breakout performance is not by an actor, but rather the Aston Martin DB-10. Bond is known for his stylish, high-tech sports cars, but the new DB-10 is a car worth drooling over. Its spectacular sleek frame gives it the appearance of a shark. As a fan of Aston Martins, this car is no disappointment. Watching the car do ridiculous stunts in the chase sequence was the most satisfying part of the film. It is always amazing that Q never dissatisfies Bond with amazing vehicle.
However, Spectre is not entirely a cliché Bond film, as its costume design truly stands out in this installment of the franchise. While the characters in Bond films are typically dressed in a dapper manner, Spectre takes its costumes to a new level in its Day of the Dead sequence. The trailer gives a brief look at Bond’s suit, but the full costume is only shown in the film. Bond wears a black suit that has the white bones of a skeleton printed on the corresponding body parts. Paired with a black top hat and a creepy white skeleton mask, Bond is the best dressed. The extras’ costumes were just as good, making the scene feel like the middle of the Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City.
In the end, it is understandable why Craig has recently said that he does not want to do another Bond film. Craig, now 47 years old, probably has a harder time getting into the Bond physique needed to portray the role. Having many action scenes in Spectre with Dave Baustista’s character of Hinx, Craig may not be up to the challenge of producing yet another Bond film.
Overall, Spectre is not a bad film. It is still a highly enjoyable action movie. Though it seems cliché at times, any Bond fan will enjoy it. The ending helped redeem the film and the James Bond saga is definitely at its best, so where will it take us next?