This week saw the release of one of the most highly anticipated films of the year – Spectre, the latest addition to the James Bond film franchise. Multiple cinema screenings every day this week sold out, and people both young and old queued to see the latest from 007. I knew that this iconic Bond film was definitely one I had to share my opinion on.
This film picks up where Skyfall left off, with Bond following orders left to him by the now deceased M. The film opens with an intense chase through Mexico city, which is in the midst of its annual “Day of the Dead” festival and so full of people. Having just done leaving cert music and studied “Seachantges” by Raymond Deane, I found this quite interesting as the piece was inspired by this festival and the Mexican death culture! Bond, of course, wins this fight and makes off with a ring from an infamous criminal, which will allow him entry to a meeting of the organisation SPECTRE. This meeting gives him a lead which requires him to track down an old enemy’s beautiful daughter, Madeleine Swann, for help, but as he goes on a mission through Mexico, Rome and South Africa and gets closer to his target he makes the discovery that the man he is after is a more familiar face than he expected.
The most notable thing about the film, of course is Bond himself. Daniel Craig does a brilliant job, as usual, of bringing Bond to life and putting his own spin on the character. In playing this role the most important thing is not to get lost in the character as it’s been played before, and he proves again that he’s fully capable of doing this. He brings a charisma to the character that makes this film and this version of Bond work. Lea Seydoux and Christoph Waltz also added to this film, Waltz in particular by playing the elusive villain Oberhouser. The interactions between these characters created a drive for the audience and added a vital tension to the plot which allowed Bond to save the day in multiple car chases and tense confrontations.
The plot of SPECTRE was faced paced, exciting and driven by high speed chases and narrow escapes. I really enjoyed the main plot which followed the secret organisation, “Spectre.” I did, however, think that it was lacking in a glamorous element which is present in the other Bond Films such as “Casino Royale” – a scene in a Casino, or a fancy restaurant with tuxedos and a “wow” dress would have fixed this! Another aspect which this film was missing was a last minute twist which would have resulted in a bigger climax. Compared to “Skyfall”, the plot of this film was quite straightforward. Nonetheless, it was an extremely action packed, enjoyable plot!
Something I can’t review Bond without mentioning is the iconic film song – the choice for SPECTRE being “Writing’s on the Wall” sung by Sam Smith. I’m not a huge Sam Smith fan, but I do think this is definitely his best song. The dramatic Bond-esque backing music takes the song to the next level, but it still doesn’t fully measure up to the masterpiece that Adele’s “Skyfall” was. The opening sequence that was shown as the song was played could only be described as bizarre, with a combination of Bond, naked ladies and octopi – but then, what Bond film opening sequence isn’t a bit weird? This song and title sequence were enjoyable, and fitted the film well, but won’t be remembered among the classics such as “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever”.
Overall, while SPECTRE wasn’t the best of the Bond films, it was extremely enjoyable and an afternoon at the cinema well spent! It didn’t quite measure up to the high standard Skyfall set in my opinion, for a number of reasons, but is still definitely worth a watch. I’d love to see what other people thought of it so let me know your opinions, and if you agree or disagree with any of the points I’ve made!
Until next time..