Spectre Shows No Surprises


Photo by http://www.007.com/spectre/

As a Bond amateur, I went into “Spectre,” the 24th installation of the 007 franchise, expecting the cliché James Bond experience, and was not disappointed. Although the movie did not live up to the intensity or box office success of “Skyfall,” every element of a new-age Bond (Daniel Craig) movie was present: girls, villains, the classic 007 team and stunning cinematography.

Returning director Sam Mendes starts the movie with a breathtaking pan of Mexico’s Day of the Dead parade and in one following take seamlessly shows Bond seducing a woman then jumping across buildings to blow up two of his targets. Those first 10 minutes summed up the whole movie with beautiful videography, thrilling action and of course classic James Bond, a misogynistic player with way too many girls and guns.  

The overall premise of “Spectre” was carrying out the mission of the previous M, who died at the end of “Skyfall,” and uncovering S.P.E.C.T.R.E., a secret organization of criminal masterminds. In the movie, the danger is not some bioweapon or nuclear bomb, but rather information as S.P.E.C.T.R.E. threatens to have control of a global surveillance service. Allowing the main threat to be Internet-based knowledge was a change from the usual action movie bomb threats and showed the evolution and modern turn of the Bond franchise.  

Continuing the modernized thread of the 53-year-old Hollywood franchise, the pre-credit sequence set to the Bond-commissioned song of “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith was my favorite part of the whole movie. The intricate graphics of the scene were reflective of the obscene $300 million budget that the movie cost to make.  

Although the cinematography and graphics skills of the movie were obviously set in the luxurious 21st century, I was disappointed that the creators of “Spectre” did not catch on to the relatively modern theme of feminism. Bond girls Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) and Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci) were just throwaway characters created for sex appeal and I would have liked to see some more pushback from the girls before they succumbed to the infamous Bond charm.   

Although, I would have liked to see a stronger Bond girl and a fresher take on the franchise, “Spectre” was the classic James Bond film that I wanted all along. With all the talk about Daniel Craig possibly ending his Bond role after four movies, “Spectre” would be the perfect ending to his character arc. For anyone looking to have the full Bond experience, “Spectre”, which is rated PG-13, is the perfect movie to watch.