Spectre, the new James Bond picture by Sam Mendes delivers on its promise with a couple of reservations that I will mention later on in the post.
This is the 24th film of James Bond, a sauve and smooth talking British secret agent, who lives a charmed and dangerous existence. Spectre revolves around Bond (Daniel Craig) trying to track down a rogue organization called Spectre headed by Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz). Spectre is actually an old organization that was previously featured in 6 Bond films. We were first introduced to Spectre in Dr. No and Diamonds Are Forever was the last film to feature them. Bond’s mission is to destroy Spectre and thus begins a fantastic suspend-your-disbelief high-speed chase as 007 travels from Mexico City to Rome to the Austrian Alps and Morocco. And of course, he succeeds brilliantly in his mission. Helping him decipher the Spectre puzzle is Léa Seydoux, whose assassin father was a former member of this criminal organization.
Specter reminds you of old Bond films in terms of the car chase and fantastic locations. And then there are the new elements that Mendes introduced in his last Bond film – Skyfall. I am talking about Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomi Harris as Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw as Q. It looks like these 3 actors have nicely settled into their respective roles.
I had two reservations. The first is that Sam Smith’s title song did not work for me and for many in the audience. At first I thought it was just me, but then I looked around and noticed people were shaking their heads in a disapproving manner. I heard strong murmurs of disapproval from the audience as the song ended. This is perhaps the first time that a 007 title song did not appeal to me. That title song is the signature, the trademark that heralds the start of an exciting suspend-your-disbelief joyride. I wonder if this reaction to the title song was a generational thing? Maybe we are not the intended target audience? The song is probably geared towards a younger audience, who are just getting introduced to Bond, James Bond films.
The second reservation was with reference to the long helicopter fight scene at the start of the film. That chopper fight sequence featured Red Bull acrobatic pilot Chuck Aaron rolling and diving over Mexico City, while Bond was fighting off the big, bad villan. They could have trimmed that chopper fight scene a wee bit I thought. This was the only instance of Spectre where I was reminded of Bollywood fight scenes and heard myself saying under my breath “Come on, really.” But then hey! that is just my opinion.
If you like Bond films then you just might enjoy Spectre.