A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. He unofficially peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE – all whilst there’s trouble at home as higher powers fight to keep the secret service alive.
After the events of Skyfall, James Bond (Daniel Craig) has come out a troubled man. He takes himself on a rogue mission to Mexico City where it seems the fallout after the death of M is only just beginning. It later emerges that Bond’s jaunt to Mexico was M’s last request – however he got slightly more than he bargained for with his off-the-books job. One of the men Bond took out has a ring with a strange symbol on it, and he soon makes a connection between this symbol and recent terrorist attacks that have happened all over the world. Meanwhile, MI6 is being seemingly over-powered by a newer, high-tech organisation headed up by Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott). However, no one is 100% sure about just where Denbigh spend up from, and therefore no one is completely willing to lend themselves to him. There really could be no better time for Bond to tackle his past, and the chilling organisation known as SPECTRE head on…
Right, so I’ll start by saying straight off the bat that I did not think Spectre was as good as Skyfall, but that’s not to say that it was a bad film, not by any means. Daniel Craig was still wonderful, there were the usual jaw-dropping, high-octane action scenes, glamour out women lit up the screen and, of course, Christoph Waltz appeared, which I don’t think is ever a bad thing.
On his fourth and what some are speculating could be his final outing as 007, Craig wowed us all again. This time, he chased the enemy all over the world, dragging up villains involved in old cases simultaneously. We all thought that Skyfall delved fairly deep into his past, and it did – but Spectre closes in on some of the finer details of both Bond’s young life and his earlier career. The personal battles he was fighting were portrayed very well by Craig, and the usual wit and womaniser elements were also present in his performance.
Christoph Waltz was possibly the reason why I was most excited another Spectre. After his award-reaping performances in both Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, I had massive expectations for how Franz Oberhauser would turn out. I was, sadly, disappointed. They were out to top every aspect of Skyfall, so everybody was eagerly anticipating the performance that would rival Javier Bardem’s Raoul Silva, so from that point of view, the challenge had already been set. But then what happened was they cast Waltz who delivers and acting masterclass no matter what role he plays, therefore the bar was raised even higher. It’s not that he was bad, I just don’t think Franz Oberhauser was written to be mean enough, and as a result, he wasn’t all that memorable.
Spectre also some of the Skyfall newcomers return – Ralph Fiennes took up the position of M, and Ben Whishaw and Naomi Harris also graced our screens for a second time. All three were equally as good as their first outing and were real contenders for fresh characters such as Andrew Scott’s Denbigh and Madeleine Swann, the femme fatale played by Léa Seydoux.
Of course, another huge feature of every Bond film is the soundtrack. It’ll come as no surprise to you that Sam Smith got the honour this time round with Writings On The Wall. I’m not really a fan of his work, and so I wasn’t very optimistic about the song, but it wasn’t too bad, and the opening titles it accompanied were stunning.
So, in my opinion, it’s Skyfall – 1, Spectre – 0. I always said its predecessor would take some beating and I wasn’t wrong. The villain just wasn’t as vicious as I’d hoped he would be and, above all, there wasn’t the same level of emotion or vulnerability shown by Bond. However, it was terrific fun, and there were a few scenes when everyone in the cinema tried to disappear into their seat. By all means, go and see it, but if you’re an avid fan of Skyfall, please don’t expect Spectre to out-do it.