Armed with a license to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007, and must defeat a private banker to terrorists in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro, but things are not what they seem.
A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia, the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh, the new head of the Centre of National Security, questions Bond's actions and challenges the relevance of MI6 led by M. Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny and Q to help him seek out Madeleine Swann, the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White, who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of the assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot. As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks.
It may be no coincidence that M's rival, MI5's head of intelligence, Denbigh (Andrew Scott), is code-named "C". The original "M" (played by Bernard Lee) was named Admiral Sir Miles Messervy, and "M" comes from his initials. Dame Judi Dench's "M" was named Olivia Mawdsley, again the "M" being derived from her initials. Also, Ralph Fiennes' "M" is named Gareth Mallory, with the "M" derivative from the first letter of his surname. The practice of the Director of Intelligence signing with a single letter dates back to Mansfield Smith-Cumming, who signed with a "C", but his first name Mansfield was a word which started with an "M". Also, traditionally speaking the Head of MI5 was codenamed "K", as in Vernon Kell. See more »
The term "prolytic enzyme digestive shake" used by the bartender doesn't make sense. However, "proteolytic" enzymes such as papain and bromelain have been used as ingredients in health foods. See more »
The opening credits feature octopuses (the Spectre logo) and their tentacles, scenes from the film, skull faces, romantic scenes, and ladies/villains from the previous Daniel Craig films. See more »
In August 2015, Columbia submitted the film to the BBFC in the UK for advice on whether the film would receive a 12A rating upon a formal submission. The BBFC informed the filmmakers that cuts would be required in two scenes before a 12A rating, instead of an uncut 15, could be obtained. These were made prior to formal submission and it was duly passed at 12A with no further changes.
Reductions to "strong bloody (injury) detail" were made in the following two scenes:
The eye gouging now only shows an establishing shot of the thumbs being inserted, then cuts to a counter-shot from behind the victim's head when the slightly bloody thumbs emerge. The uncut version showed this all from the front, including the aftermath.
The suicide now takes place off-screen and with reduced detail. The uncut version showed the man putting the gun under his chin and firing with a spray of bloody mist, and two subsequent shots showed brain tissue hanging down from the back of his head.
These cuts persist in all worldwide versions of the film. See more »
A thrilling spectacle that ties together the Bond of old with the new.
Whether you like Daniel Craig as Bond or not, you can't deny he has been an integral part of the series' highest points. Casino Royale is one of the greatest action thrillers ever, let alone Bond movie, and Skyfall is right up there with Goldeneye as a quintessential Bond adventure. Following the magnificent Skyfall, Spectre had some huge shoes to fill, and for the most part, it delivers exactly what you'd expect. An attention-grabbing, tense opening fight scene, a lovely title sequence (whether the song is good is debatable), and an elaborate sinister plot surrounding James Bond that puts him up against his inner demons more than ever. Does it surpass Casino Royale or Skyfall? Definitely not, but as far as reintroducing the villainous organization SPECTRE into Bond canon after 40+ years, the film does more than a serviceable job, giving us a stylish action-adventure to boot.
SPECTRE is revealed to have been affiliated with some of Bond's biggest threats - Mr. White, Le Chiffre, Raoul Silva - all under the control of one puppeteer, the head of SPECTRE and James' archnemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. It isn't much of a spoiler, as speculation was rampant ever since the first trailer (and hell, when the name of the movie was released). What's important is its execution, and Spectre leaves breadcrumbs for you to follow all the way through the belly of the beast. Not only is Bond under SPECTRE's crosshairs, but MI6 itself is experiencing a merger led by Max Denbeigh (Andrew Scott) who wants to eliminate the 00 division and focus solely on global intelligence. It's apparent early on that Blofeld has eyes everywhere, and while he works primarily in the shadows (Christoph Waltz only having 20 or so minutes of screen time), he poses a looming threat to Bond because of his sheer cunning and a past secret that unravels itself when the two finally meet.
Many parts of the film feel like a throwback to classic Bond. The icy environments, the car chase and gadgetry, the use of a massive threatening henchman, a train fight that is heavily reminiscent of From Russia With Love, and of course the modern birthing of Bond's greatest adversary. The acting all around is fantastic, with Craig continuing to impress as the suave womanizing secret agent. Thomas Newman turns in another wonderful musical score. But perhaps the most impressive feature is Sam Mendes' directing. The shots in this movie are absolutely gorgeous - the action scenes are incredible to watch and easy to follow, the landscapes are fresh and vibrant, and even the simplest of scenes - Bond and Blofeld walking up to each other for the first time - are quietly introspective yet palpably tense. Tension lingers throughout every moment of Spectre even when not much is happening, and the suspense is high enough to hold your interest for the full 2-and-a-half hours.
Spectre is not perfect. Much of what happens narratively is predictable, a few lines don't go over too well in context, and you eventually find something out about Blofeld that is pretty ridiculous taking previous Bond canon into account. Also, given Waltz's reputation for knocking villainous roles out of the park, he's noticeably underused here. But these flaws don't tarnish the pure entertainment value to be had. What you want in a James Bond movie is over-the-top action surrounding the world's greatest spy who's up against unbeatable odds yet still comes out on top thanks to his charisma and general badassery, and this is precisely what Spectre delivers. Daniel Craig may or may not return as Bond, and if he doesn't, this movie serves as a perfect send-off. But as the series constantly reminds us, "James Bond will return...," and Spectre is just another welcome chapter in the immense story of everybody's favorite super spy.
244 of 480 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this