Dom Narcissi, Staff Reporter

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           Spectre is the latest installment in the Daniel Craig era of James Bond films. The previous film, Skyfall, also directed by Sam Mendes, was recognized as one of the greatest Bond films of all time, and Casino Royale, the first of Craig’s films, is often considered the best James Bond film of all time. Quantum of Solace was a bit of a letdown for some, but it was still a good movie. Obviously, expectations were high for this film, but does it meet them? The answer to that remains debatable, but, nevertheless, the movie is enjoyable.

What is most lovable is also the most unlikable part of the film, and that is that Spectre is a traditional Bond film. What’s unlikable is that it’s been done before. The opening of the film, for the first time of Craig in the role, is the iconic Bond walk and shoot scene, immediately letting the audience know that this will be a more traditional Bond film. The Craig bond films are noted for their revolutionary methods of storytelling and unique interpretations of the Bond legacy, but Spectre never really seems to attempt to blow as many minds as its predecessors; instead, it focuses on entertaining the audience. Spectre’s biggest strength is that it succeeds in its goal. It feels like a sixties, Connery era Bond film in the modern cinematic world. Humor is more apparent and on point, the gadgets are few yet memorable, and the action is wildly entertaining. The action scenes are shot and paced like modern action scenes, yet so many elements of prior Bond films make their way in. Everything from the villain archetypes (i.e. the mastermind who reveals his whole plan to his prisoner and the mute yet physically imposing henchmen who isn’t fazed by pain) to a newfound wittiness of Craig’s Bond demonstrates the  slow evolution from this prequel/reboot franchise into the classic Bond films. Whether or not the film relies too heavily on these tropes and references from the past remains a debate, but regardless they will appease die hard Bond fans and entertain those who haven’t read all the books or seen all 23 other films.

Another positive to the film is its development of Bond’s mythos. Skyfall had quite a bit of added mythos to it, but Spectre practically tells the entirety of  all that has been told about Bond’s past. It also adds extra depth into his relations with certain other characters who have appeared or will appear in the future. All of the characters in the film are very fleshed out as well. Each actor, particularly Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx, Daniel Craig as James Bond, and Ralph Fiennes as M, seems to be having a blast during the filming of this movie. This really translates well to the fun nature of the film. The only character who doesn’t really get the opportunity to shine as much as the rest is Christoph Waltz’s Franz Oberhauser. The character has a “shocking” twist to him, but most of the film he is cloaked in shadow and mystery. And when he is finally in the presence of Bond he feels a little underwhelming, as if he was forced to constrict his performance to the already established traits of another character.

Overall Spectre feels like a fun deviation from the typical Craig film and stands as a fun homage to the series past, establishing the pretext to the series end and adding bit more lightheartedness to the Craig repertoire. The movie is fun and enjoyable, yet nothing too special. One can only hope that the next film will be more impactful, but for now Spectre should satisfy Bond fans and regular moviegoers alike.

The film is rated PG-13, but in case you are curious to see how graphic the movie is check out the parental guidance page on imdb.com.

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