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.
Sam Mendes originally declined working on another James Bond film, first around the time that Skyfall (2012) launched, and again in March 2013. Reportedly, the production of the film was delayed a year to get Mendes back, as he could not do the film earlier, due to theater commitments. See more »
While in Mexico City, the woman with Bond invites him to her room. As he follows her in, he leaves the door wide open. The next scene shows them standing together with the door shut. 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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