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Monday, 7 December 2015

Review: SPECTRE - Another Excellent Bond

My apologies for no Monster Monday today, but I wanted to post my review of SPECTRE, which I saw with my husband on Saturday :).

Another Excellent Bond

Daniel Craig ... James Bond
Christoph Waltz ... Franz Oberhauser/ Blofeld
Léa Seydoux ... Dr. Madeleine Swann
Ralph Fiennes ... M (Gareth Mallory)
Monica Bellucci ... Lucia Sciarra
Ben Whishaw ... Q (Quartermaster)
Naomie Harris ... Eve Moneypenny
Dave Bautista ... Mr. Hinx
Andrew Scott ... C (Max Denbigh)
Director: Sam Mendes
Writers: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth
Summary (from IMDB):
A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE. 

So you can probably tell from the title of the post that I really enjoyed this film. I didn't think I was going to because I loved Skyfall, but have been mostly unimpressed with the other Daniel Craig outings as Bond. I was so very, very wrong. This is another one up there with Skyfall.

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Once again Sam Mendes has managed to produce a film with action and excitement, Bond as cocksure and debonaire as ever and yet not make me want to throw things because of the blatant misogyny.

Bond is the renegade hero, there is no doubt about that. He is handsome, suave and very, very dangerous, and he will seduce any woman he can, only most of them in this film don't let him. Daniel Craig is a Bond I really like. His Bond does things his own way, but, under the bravado, he really does seem to care. Also, can I say A++ to whoever decided to have Bond naked in the credits as well as the female models - I'm all for equal opportunities nakedness :).

Then let me tell you how much I love Q and Moneypenny. Here are people willing to put their careers and lives on the line for James Bond and who trust him implicitly, even when he nicks things he shouldn't be nicking. Neither of them let him get away without a stern telling off even as they help him get away with blue murder.

Ben Wishaw is simply brilliant, I could watch him all day. He has nowhere near as much screen time as Craig, but it doesn't feel like it, because he's so awesome when he is right there. The bit were Q laughs at his own joke is just superb. Also, never let it be said that the makers of the franchise don't know that the biggest fandom pairing is Q/Bond. They're never going to give it to us on screen, but they slip in brilliant moments we can pilfer to our hearts' contents.

Naomie Harris is also superb. She's so in control and sassy. She gives Moneypenny an air of complete competence, while quietly rolling her eyes at the macho antics of the men around her. I have always loved Moneypenny through all the films, but Harris is by far my favourite.

Léa Seydoux is very, very good as Dr Madeleine Swann. Now here is a strong female character I love. She does not put up with Bond's crap, nor does she immediately fall into his arms. In fact she tells him where to stick it. At times she's vulnerable, but her decisions make sense and she had the strength to say good bye when she has to. She's awesome.

David Bautista also plays his part wonderfully. I did spend the entire film thinking he was the wrong colour and expecting him to suddenly have red tattoos, but that's because I've only really seen him in Guardians of the Galaxy. He's up there with Jaws as my favourite Bond henchman and he comes off as far more intelligent than Jaws. I do hope that, like Jaws, he makes a return at some point. The fight between him and Bond was just brilliant.

Then we come to the real baddy, Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser, a man from Bond's past who really seems to have it in for him. Personally I thought he was a good villain, but he wasn't overly interesting to me. He did his job, played his part in the plot and nearly took over the world, which any self-respecting Bond villain should do.

The person we really love to hate in this movie is C, as played by Andrew Scott. He's arrogant, condescending and trying to shut down the double O program. He's the bureaucrat we all want to hit with a blunt object as he makes cuts and pulls in favours from the Home Secretary who he went to school with, while spying on everyone as well.

The plot made sense, was entertaining and engaging, and pulled in snippets of previous films. It's the kind of plot you can really get your teeth into.

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The special effects were superb, as you would expect from a Bond film and the stunts were spectacular. The big car chase was actually superb, often I find them a little boring, but this one was brilliant. Then there is another kind of car chase, but involving a plane, which is also amazing. This is not a film that lacks thrills.

I have also discovered that I can spot Daniel Craig just by his ears. The opening sequence is in Mexico City on the Day of the Dead and the opening shot pans past Bond while he's in a costume without pointing him out, as if he's just another spectator to the parade, but apparently Craig has really distinctive ears, since that's the only part of his that was really visible :).

In my opinion this is a well rounded, highly entertaining film. Well worth watching. It's definitely on my to-buy list when it comes out on Blu-ray.

Do you love a good Bond movie?

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