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Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Andrew Scott, Naomie Harris, Dave Batista and Lea Seydoux
Directed by: Sam Mendes
I’m not going to lie and say that I’m a huge James Bond fan, but in recent times the films have developed a must see aura about them. It’s a bit like whenever a new comic book film gets released. It’s guaranteed to bring in box office money, and that’s what Bond is like now. There’s always this great argument regarding who was the best Bond of all time; Sean Connery or Roger Moore. I say it’s Moore (will say for the record that Timothy Dalton is a very underrated Bond. Had he done more than two films, he would have been right up there with Moore & Connery) and I’ve said many times before since Skyfall that Daniel Craig is one great Bond film away of being the greatest Bond of all time. Will this be the one?
All isn’t right with Bond and crew. A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him to uncover an organisation called SPECTRE. Elsewhere, M is in the middle of a political power struggle which could see the ‘00’ service being closed down in favour of ‘Nine Eyes’ a global surveillance and intelligence so-operation initiative between nine member states which will see Britain be under a ‘big brother’ style ruling. As Bond peels back the layers of SPECTRE, he discovers connections between himself and the enemy, Oberhauser.
While Spectre doesn’t top Skyfall in any way, but it certainly does deliver. It features everything the previous Daniel Craig films had – the gritty action, traveling the world and trademark Bond wit. We have a solid Bond Girl and Christoph Waltz nails it as Oberhauser. Long term Bond fans would appreciate the nod to the past by having a villain that everyone will instantly recognize. The scar he received midway through is a call back to Donald Pleasence’s portrayal of the character and his white Persian cat is also shown briefly.
The villain isn’t the only nod to Bond’s past. You’ve got the timeless car chases, icy environments, the gadgets, the threatening henchman (superbly played by Batista) and a train fight which has shades of From Russia With Love. I didn’t think that it was too long, some scenes could have easily have been trimmed. Much of what happens narratively is predictable, and most lines of dialogue don’t go over too well. The good outweighs the bad; I’m just nit-picking I guess.
I may get some stick saying that but I’m going on record to say that Daniel Craig is the greatest Bond of all time. I stand by that opinion. He’s just the perfect fit for the legendary spy. He’s everything that you’d expect from the role of James Bond and he nails it. There’s this one scene at the start where he’s on his way to kill two guys who are arranging to blow up a stadium (I’m watching this film four days after those horrible terrorist attacks in Paris and that just sent a shiver up my spine). He’s walking along roof tops and narrow ledges without a care in the world and it’s just perfect.
However, he has been quite critical of Bond in the press stating that he’d rather slit his wrists than play Bond again. Will he continue in the role? I honestly don’t know, but those comments do suggest that it’s time to move on. Who will take over? People have been campaigning for Tom Hardy to take over the mantel of 007. I think he’ll be excellent but he isn’t my pick. I would go with Henry Cavil, he’d be ideal as Bond. Idris Elba and Benedict Cumberbatch should also be in consideration.
Rating: **** (Champion)