Skyfall was the film in the reboot film series to bring it back to the old franchise we all love. Spectre should have been the perfect mix of updated Bond and the classic one. Sadly Spectre suffers from real identity problems.
Spectre opens spectacularly in Mexico City where they are celebrating Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos). I really loved it. Then the title sequence starts and I hear the song for the second time and it sounded even worse on the big screen. I fail to understand what this song has to do with Bond and the film. I literally sat in agony waiting for it to be over. If only I was prepared for what was coming next.
First the good stuff. Daniel Craig is excellent as James Bond. He really blended the modern Bond with the classic one quite well. It almost looked like he was having fun. But maybe that was because this might be his last and wanted to end on a good note. Or he just tried to fool us and still is up for playing Bond since it is rumoured he will do one more.
There is More Q. Ben Wishaw got to do more and it was very welcome. The action from what was present was nice too. There is a nice take on the classic Bond chase including the gadgets. It made me smile since it was a nice funny reference to old times. Spectre is filled with easter eggs and little references like that but honestly I did not catch them all since I was still in utter confusion about my viewing experience.
Because while I can't deny that there are some good things in this film there are equally or even more so bad ones. Spectre as an organization and the man heading it are underwhelming. Since Casino Royale we have been teased about a secret and dangerous criminal organization and when we finally get to meet the big chief and it's minions I can honestly say that it did not intrigue me in the slightest. Christoph Waltz as Blofeld is an incredible boring villain. He is only interesting because of his return into this franchise and who shares the same trades as the Blofeld from the older movies. It is said that he is everywhere hinting the fact that like the old Blofeld he has made several clones of himself. Plus his pet the white cat is back. Waltz did not add anything to his character. One of his henchman called Mr. Hinx played by Dave Bautista only is a fraction of what Jaws and Oddjob were. I had high hopes of him coming in at the most inconvenient times and making Bond's life so much more difficult. Instead he is out of the movie before you know it and almost seems like he was being mocked. (Would it not have been great if Jaws would barge into one of the scenes and starting hassling Mr. Hinx for stealing his thunder again siding with Bond since ultimately he is his own man?) Then you have the Bond girls. Monica Belluci gets like two minutes of screen time and it's one of the many moments we could have done without. It is almost astonishing to find out how underused she is. Are people aware that apart from her looks she actually can act? Madeleine Swann as Bond's new love interest fails to impress. Actress Léa Seydoux who plays Madeleine even insults the previous Bond girls by saying she is not cliché but a real person. Yeah right and I am Santa Clause. There is nothing real about her. She is only interesting because the plot tells she is. Otherwise she is incredibly forgettable. Spectre has a duration time of 148 minutes which is noticeable when it comes the pacing. It is completely off. It feels like the film takes forever in the quiet moments. It would not have felt like that if these moments were filled in with substance but unfortunately with such a poor script that would take a miracle. And what is even worse the cinema where I went to watch this film made me pay extra because of it's length.
Which brings me to my overall opinion of Spectre. It is forgettable, underwhelming and very disappointing. There are hardly any iconic or special Bond moments that stick. Skyfall might have been flawed but it was full of memorable moments and characters. Spectre does not even come close to the vibe Skyfall had but at the same time we have a Bond that is much more like his previous versions and therefore remarkable again. Maybe now you understand my confusion. I think I will come back to this review after I have viewed this a second time in the near future to see if my opinion changed.