Spectre – Film Review

Spectre seems to act as a sort of conclusion to the previous Bond movies. Agent 007 (Daniel Craig)
gets wind of Spectre, a sinister secret organisation. Spectre consists of a board of powerful underground leaders who seem to be the puppet masters behind many of the world’s wicked acts, such as wars and sex slavery. The notorious leader of this organisation, and the ultimate Bond villain, is Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Walz) and later on in the film, you get to learn why he strikes a nerve with Bond.
In Spectre, we are introduced to some ‘New World’ notions, such as the New World Order and microchip tracking devices that are injected into the blood stream. This is juxtaposed with some old school beats in the story and other elements such as an Inspector Gadget-esque automobile, epic fights on a luxury train in the desert and, of course a lovely damsel in distress who this time seems rather clued up about the goings-on in spy missions.
Interesting thing is, there are a lot of the old gimmicks, actually. Most, if not all the scenes seem like a compilation of sentiments from previous Bond movies. With the dialogue, styling and wardrobe, locations and scenery, and even the camera angles, Spectre may as well be your old traditional spy film. You get many of the catch phrases that have been popular in the Bond franchise over the years and, of course, Bond’s slick ability to charm the panties off any woman who so happens to be one of the puzzle pieces in Bond … James Bond’s bigger story.
But if this film is supposed to be the one where it all comes together, all the focus on the glamorised spy story is what may have made Spectre miss the boat. The movie is filled with many classic Bond moments, but you can not help but feel a little emptiness regarding the plot development. The film itself does not by any means seem rushed – in fact, we only really reach a climax about one hour into the movie, and then a second climax about another hour after that, with the entire film being almost two and a half hours long. Indeed, the whole movie seems more like a long trail of clues, where it is mostly talk and barely any action, and even between the tabs that join the whole puzzle together, there seem to be quite a few gaps.
The way one sequence slides into the next does provide movement, but you fail to see why each piece is really all that important, and how it should all connect. Just when you get a glimpse of Bond’s response at being called out by Franz Oberhauser, the scene changes and we find Bond at another location, trying to crack another Spectre member into revealing the whereabouts of his daughter, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). Many times it is difficult to get a wholesome idea of the story’s true meaning and purpose because the elements that develop the plot are too vague. It would be simpler to follow the thread if this movie were a comic book.
Sure, there is enough in there to make Spectre not turn out to be a complete bore; after all, you are following a rather mysterious story, but not much of it seems to be a product of unique imagination, nor does it spark much of your own imagination or excitement. Apart from a few small parts from the dialogue and a few cues from Bond’s facial expressions, nothing seems too challenging for Bond.
The movie, overall, is a string of events that put Bond in a pickle that he is able to overcome almost effortlessly. Everything is way too romanticised and there is barely any new sense of excitement. This, along with the rather ‘safe’ decision to lean on an already established 007 movie formula, makes Spectre seem way too clean, almost sterile even. In that sense, Spectre may have enough to hold your interest, but not much that will leave you very impressed.
As M (Dame Judi Dench) famously said in an interview, Loads of mindless entertainment.