Movie Review – ‘SPECTRE’

“This film is really all about Daniel Craig and what he’s brought to the Bond character.” 

– Patrick King, REEL BRIEF

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In perhaps Daniel Craig’s last film as James Bond, “SPECTRE” accentuates why the blonde actor is now deemed by many as the best-ever to play the British secret agent. Using an extraordinary opening scene that rivals even the dazzling start to “Casino Royale”, this latest Bond story maximizes Craig’s athleticism and the high energy he brings to the big-screen.

With returning director Sam Mendes and most of the superb cast from “Skyfall”, audiences are treated to a film with familiar faces in Ralph Fiennes (“M”), Naomie Harris (“Eve Moneypenney”) and Ben Whishaw (“Q”). Together with Bond, their amicable and talented ways must stop the shutdown of the “00-program” by evil-goers.

Director Mendes does a wonderful job combining story plots from Craig’s collection of Bond films with a historic and more personal narrative involving Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz’s sinister character.

While it can be argued that Mendes’ “SPECTRE” lacks a certain depth in the movie’s overall scheme, this film is really all about Daniel Craig and what he’s brought to the Bond character. A slight down grade is also assessed “SPECTRE” for its considerable running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Sensational cinematography permeates throughout “SPECTRE”, using crisp single-shot scenes and long action sequences that are some of the best in the Bond series. One particular fight scene on-board a train illustrates Craig’s physical talent and all that he’s been able to bring to the Bond character…class, humor, and heart. A speechless Dave Bautista creates menacing pressure-points for Bond and theater-goers as Craig’s first real thug villain in modern times.

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Craig’s 007 persona still carries the same cool temperament, dapper wardrobe and deadly skill sets found in the earlier Bond models. Yes, there are still the Bond girls, gadgets and nice sports cars. But those props are not relied upon nearly to the extent that they once were. As we’ve seen with Craig since his inaugural “Casino Royale” performance, he brings audiences an emotional spy with heart. He’ll just as easily outrun his opponent as out-drive him. Craig loves his women in fine Bond fashion, but he sorely misses them too.

Since the Ian Fleming spy franchise’s announcement 10 years ago that Craig would be the next James Bond (only the sixth ever) expectations were raised and comparisons to Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton and Brosnan made for heated fan discussion. Now with “SPECTRE”, and four films under his finely tailored Bond suit, we can say that Daniel Craig’s tenure as the MI6 Secret Service agent has been the best so far. Bar none.

Grade: B+

“SPECTRE” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language.  Its running time is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

© 2015, Patrick. All rights reserved.



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