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.
The first James Bond film to feature S.P.E.C.T.R.E. was Dr. No (1962), which was also the first theatrical Bond film, but based on the sixth Ian Fleming book. The first of Fleming's Bond books to feature S.P.E.C.T.R E. was "Thunderball" (1961), which had been based on a screen treatment by Fleming, Kevin McClory, and Jack Whittington. See more »
When Bond tells Madeleine "I'd recognize you anywhere," her hands are on his face in her close-up, but absent in his. See more »
The gunbarrel sequence has returned to the start of the movie. See more »
In the German language version the character Dr. Vogel, who first reports at the SPECTRE meeting in Rome, speaks Hungarian, not German like in the original English version. The reasons for this significant change are unknown. But the organization SPECTRE now appears more 'foreign' to a German audience. See more »
With occasions of triteness, Spectre is satisfactory but not stupendous like Casino Royale
Resuming where Skyfall left off, Spectre points James Bond on a quest to discover and unearth truths behind the sinister organization responsible.
The 00 organization is under duress as the Centre of National Security attempts to take over control of all clandestine undertakings in the protection of the nation. Bond is on his own and off grid as he follows Spectre across the globe, with one mission in mind, to terminate it at the source. Much has changed for Bond since his first mission in Montenegro where he fell for the beautiful Vesper Lynd. On guard, 007's seductive charisma is set aside as he fervently pursues vengeance for M and truth for himself.
Daniel Craig has been James Bond for close to ten years now, a near unbelievable fact until you go back and realize the first film, Casino Royale, was released in 2006. Opening with a strong action sequence set during the Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico City, Spectre starts promisingly intense. Set in exotic locations with transcendentally tactile productions, Spectre satiates the audience's wanderlust craving. Something happens once Sam Smith's "Writings on the Wall" concludes, and the dark gritty James Bond we've grown to be enamored with takes several steps back toward the triteness of the 90s.
It was always going to be difficult for director Sam Mendes to supersede expectations set from the wildly successful Skyfall. The narrative had taken a complicated turn with deceit and bloodshed interwoven with treachery and malice. Mendes had teased us with a captivating scene set in a wintry tundra where a cloaked man compared Bond to a 'kite dancing in a hurricane'. It was enigmatic but furtively beguiling. Desperately longing for Spectre to capture this essence for the totality of its duration, it fails to meet expectations.
There is something intangibly weary about Spectre as a whole. The amorous allure inherently exuding from Bond is overdone and forced, injected into the plot to satisfy token assumptions. His unflinching execution of his license to kill has softened, leaving Bond to feel less like 007 and more like IMF agent Ethan Hunt who participates in a similar journey this year.
Do not mistake these criticisms of Spectre as a conclusion for it being substandard. The hand-to-hand fight sequences are marvelously intense and brutal, especially those against Dave Bautista. The narrative plots across Mexico, Rome, Austria and Morocco and does so without sacrificing the story too much. It just ends up feeling drawn out, as if it were going through the motions.
Spectre is vastly superior to the Pierce Brosnan 007 films, it is just in comparison to its peers that it fails to measure up and is more akin to them than the Craig films we've grown to love. With rare occasions of cheesiness that make you more laughably amused (especially at the senseless love scenes) than suspensefully entertained, we can only hope for a sensational Bond 25.
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