A cryptic message from James Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover the existence of a sinister organisation named SPECTRE. With a new threat dawning, Bond learns the terrible truth about the author of all his pain in his most recent missions.
A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Belluci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Meanwhile, back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre of National Security, questions Bond's actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Miss Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. As the daughter of the assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot. As Bond ventures towards the heart of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., he learns a chilling connection between him and the enemy he seeks.
After Sciarra's funeral, as Bond approaches Lucia we see in the wide shot she is wearing stiletto heels. At the end of their conversation as she turns and walks away we hear the sound of heavy footfalls. There is no way her shoes would make that noise on stone flooring, and no one else within the frame is moving at the time. See more »
The James Bond theme can be heard when the MGM and Columbia Pictures logos appear. See more »
In the UK theatrical release, when Bond lands with his parachute in the middle of a street in Rome (after the car chase), and greets someone, he says "Buona Sera" - the Italian for 'Good Evening'. In the UK DVD release, this line has been dubbed, with him saying the English "Good Evening". See more »
Not a masterpiece - but an entertaining love letter to the classic Bond films peppered with a healthy dose of irony
First off, let me get something out of the way here: I like to be entertained. Entertainment, as we all know, comes in different shapes and sizes; it can be smart, profound, intellectually stimulating and so forth – or it can just be escapist fun. Now what kind of entertainment you expect from a James Bond film is up to you; as for me, I go with fun. Regrettably, the last three 007 instalments fell a bit short in that department (at least for my taste), and since I expected this new film to be more of the same, I didn't exactly get my hopes up.
Well, I can only say I was pleasantly surprised (although judging from most reviews here, I seem to be in the minority). Instead of further exploring the somewhat dark, dramatic route the previous three films took - which, I must admit, worked very well in Casino Royale - Spectre unexpectedly goes in the exact opposite direction. Sam Mendes and John Logan apparently came to the conclusion that it was time to bring back one of the most crucial ingredients for Bond's success with audiences over the years: the fun.
Don't get me wrong; it's not suddenly ALL fun and games for Her Majesty's finest spy (and Craig still portrays him as a character driven by inner rage) - but the new film is a virtual celebration of the whole James Bond universe, from past to present, including the less grounded and over-the-top elements from the older films. In fact, after a stand-out intro sequence in classic fashion, the spy with a license to kill takes us on a ride which - tonally - feels like travelling back in time to the glory days of such classics as You Only Live Twice, Goldfinger or From Russia With Love (and it's a ride back in time in more senses than one).
This is supposed to be a spoiler-free review, so I won't go into any of the story details, but what unfolds after the introduction plays like a combination of the more grounded, serious Bond we've come to associate with Daniel Craig's films, and the more self-aware spy-romps of the Roger Moore era. It's a mix that doesn't always work and tone and pacing can be a bit uneven at times (especially during the third act), but Spectre largely succeeds in paying homage to many of the classic Bond films while still delivering the gritty action people come to expect from the newer instalments and staying true to the character Craig has so successfully made his own. And despite all the references and callbacks to classic 007 adventures, Spectre still manages to continue the storyline of the three previous films. So while his second entry in the world's longest living franchise is far from a perfect film, I believe Sam Mendes achieves exactly what he wants: he intentionally embraces the old Bond formula, but he also plays with it, twists it and introduces new story elements.
So my verdict: Spectre is a love letter to the classic Bond films, and while it might not be the masterpiece many people seem to have expected, there is a lot to enjoy here. It's a solid, almost classic Bond film with insane action, great set-pieces and a fantastic cast; upon first viewing, I'd rate it 7 stars out of 10.
Rare Film Gems For Cinephiles: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/
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