HOLLYWOOD—I’m not a huge James Bond fan; I’ll be the first to admit it. Quite honestly, I don’t understand all the hoopla behind people losing their marbles every time they hear that a new installment is soon heading into theaters. I’ve seen quite a few flicks in the franchise, and only one has been stellar in my opinion, that being the last installment “Skyfall.”
It was smart, witty, dark and quite honestly had a narrative that had me hooked from start to finish. The latest incarnation into the franchise, “Spectre” scores points, but not as many as its predecessor in my opinion. Daniel Craig returns for the fourth time to portray the debonair and enigmatic James Bond.
Craig has noted his desire to hang up his ropes of portraying the iconic character, so this latest installment could be his last go around. Watching the film, it came apparent that a level of charisma from the iconic character was missing; the narrative went in a direction where Bond didn’t feel like Bond to me. Like all Bond flicks, “Spectre” opens with a thrilling action-sequence that is a thrill to watch unfold on the big screen. It’s what audiences come to expect when they sit in that theater seat.
Bond has gone a bit rogue this time around, disobeying the orders that have been given to him to focus on a higher purpose. He is searching for the head of the Spectre organization and in the midst of his investigation he comes across a bevy of interesting foes including Marco (Alessandro Cremona), Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) and Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista).
When it comes to Bond girls, we have two who exude the sex appeal and mystery that fans have come to expect. We have Lea Seyoux who portrays Dr. Madeleine Swan, who is the daughter of Mr. White. She is of course the love interest for Mr. Bond; however, in my personal opinion he has much more chemistry with Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), who could have been one hell of a bond girl in my opinion, if they established her role a bit more. Personally, she is just eye candy in the movie, and provides a minor narrative push for the drama.
As for the big bad this time around its, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), who has utilized a bit of duplicity to stay under the radar. I’m slightly disappointed that the writers did not aim to make Waltz’s character a bit more menacing and threatening to our hero. At times I couldn’t help, but laugh at the dialogue and the approach to make this character appear more dangerous than he actually is.
I mean Waltz is a two-time Oscar winner for portraying characters that have become iconic in the cinema arena in my opinion. We already know he can portray a crazed villain; did anyone see “Inglorious Bastards?” There are some fascinating fight sequences in the movie, but after “Skyfall” I expected the chaos to heighten even more.
We get that special appearance from Judi Dench as the one and only M which is highlight, but “Spectre” feels slightly lost in what it was aiming to do. Bond is way too serious, the bond girls are not as fascinating as one expects, and we have a villain who doesn’t even compare to the menace that Javier Bardem delivered in “Skyfall.”
“Spectre” does deliver all the components fans expect of a Bond flick, they seems slightly jumbled a bit. While a solid film, I expected much more from “Spectre” that failed to deliver when I reflect on the last installment.