When you go to see a James Bond movie, you don’t get to ask certain questions. Like, how is it that props like sofas and nets are always present at the right spots to break his fall from heights? Or, why are the roads in Rome so vacant when our hero is in a car-chase but filled with traffic just moments after? Or even, why does Bond have to bed every woman that comes his way?
This is not to say that the Bond movies have always been about high-IQ and logic, and we should be able to let all of these remarks slide. Because the man in question – James Bond – is above all of this, and we can forgive little plot slips as long as we are entertained. And he is entertained. So scratch my last question, with all the stress and hard-work he puts himself through, it’s only natural to need to have a release once in a while. Right? Right?
Well, even with all of the glitz and the glamour and the adrenaline-pumping action, Spectre still doesn’t rise up as a worthy installment in the franchise. And certainly not a worthy successor to the amazement that was Skyfall. Halfway through the movie, I realized that I had seen this movie before in countless forms. The screen play was getting so generic and predictable, I actually yawned. And not just that, the script is just so similar to the recent Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation that I seriously wonder how nobody saw it. In any case, what pulls the movie down is the lethargic writing. There is nothing that screams creative or innovative in the script, and even though the movie might leave you oddly satisfied at the experience, it never gives you the high.
There’s one thing I liked most in Skyfall and that’s the introduction of a humane angle to Bond. Putting him through emotional tight spaces that he’s not accustomed to. Thankfully, that endeavour continues in Spectre as well and we get an inkling of his past through the antagonist (Christoph Waltz playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the mastermind behind Spectre), who I should say was menacing, but not enough. The one to beat is Andrew Scott (playing Max Denbigh, a vile British Government official), whose creepy smile is something not very easy to get over. (If you didn’t know, he’s the same guy who plays Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock)
The rest of the cast including Daniel Craig, of course, are spectacular in their respective roles and make the movie eminently watchable. Lea Seydoux as Dr. Madeline Swann, the Bond girl this time is interesting in that she challenges James and makes him see a different side to himself. And she also proves to be quite resourceful herself, even saving Bond’s ass in one fight. The other highlight is the thumping score by Thomas Newman, which the movie never lets go.
Spectre starts off stunningly with a massively mounted opening sequence in Mexico City, a MacGuffin for our Bond. But it never really takes off from there and insists on staying content with being just-another-Bond-movie. You do get some thrills and a world tour, but there’s nothing to make you want to sit through the movie again.