Daniel Craig is back for one of the most dramatic, action packed Bond film of the decade. ‘Spectre’ is the latest release from Pinewood studios and a great addition to the Bond franchise that managed to out sell and captivate cinemas nationwide. This is the first time I’ve watched Bond on the big screen and probably the first time I have truly appreciated how fun it can be to experience a film on opening day. The atmosphere and buzz from a cinema full of Bond fans excited me just as much as the film did, as I anticipated the newest Bond adventure along with everyone else who had lined up to watch this latest blockbuster. As a cinema goer I was in awe by the amount of people that were anticipating this film and it really put into perspective how a film can create a common ground amongst people of every age, race and gender.
It must be said that the trailer did not do this film justice. The footage used was mainly from the first 15 minutes of the film and hardly reflected the story and excitement that this movie presented. Maybe that was done on purpose, to cause the viewers to underestimate the film and then be pleasantly surprised by how entertaining it actually was. I can understand why marketing does this, especially with as established franchise such as Bond. However, I felt that they really needed to sell this bond, especially after how regarded Skyfall was and how their is a growing despise of this ‘overlived’ franchise from a small minority.
Much like ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ or ‘Coronation Street’, James Bond is very much a British tradition. It’s as if the whole country stops when uttered the name ‘Bond’ or as the entire population eagerly await for the release the infamous ‘Bond song’ to be overplayed on the radio, along with the avalanche of marketing that uses the ‘007’ tag to promote some cheap cologne or overpriced razor-blades. Personally I hate this phase as it cheapens the movie franchise, putting the name ‘James Bond’ to some poor tasting beer really causes myself to lose interest not only in the film, but also the credibility of the studio. The only advert of this caliber that I have truly enjoyed was the ‘Unlock the 007 in you’ campaign done by Coca-Cola in 2012 for the release of ‘Skyfall’. The reason why I like this advert so much was because it managed to recreate what it feels like to be James Bond while advertising the product in a stylish and unforceful manner.
Anyway, This isn’t ‘Ryan Criticises Marketing Campaigns’, I’m here to talk about the newest addition to Bond’s catalogue of films: ‘Spectre’. First of all, let me say that this was a great example of Bond in action and would highly regard this as one of the top 5 Bond films in history. There was a weighed balance between romance, action and narrative that made this a satisfying film to watch that progressed the plot well. At the beginning, Mr Bond greets the audience with little to no context, which in turn captivates viewers as they unknowingly question what is about to happen. Before we know it, Bond is catapulted into a series of action sequences involving collapsing buildings, terrorists and helicopters, however Daniel Craig manages to convey a calm attitude to this sudden influx of danger. After all, this is another day in the office for our pesky womaniser.
The audience has a certain expectation when watching a Bond film, a formula that must be followed In order to successfully recreate the menacing spy in all his glory. Beautifully fast cars, mind-blowing gadgets, a villain from with a foreign dialect and plenty of elegant women are just a few of the essentials that are used to brand Bond. ‘Spectre’ manages to contain all of these as well as including some unique additions that really add towards the action and narrative of the film. The specialised DB10 built by Aston Martin was probably one of the sexiest things about this film, excluding Monica Belluci. It’s sleek design and ridiculous silly gadgets harkens back to the historically famous DB5 that has been featured in many previous bond. The new DB10 looked astonishing, at first I thought it looked tacky and too futuristic and didn’t suit the style this bond film was aiming toward. But when I saw it in action I could help but admire how elegant it looked as it zoomed through storm drains, glided through the streets and skipped over ramps.
It seems that they always manage to cast perfectly when producing these films with some of the best names in acting. Of course we have Daniel Craig playing our rogue spy. Craig is probably one of the best bond’s I have seen since Sean Connery and really portrays Bond is a gritty, dirty yet stylish manner that we have never seen before, he really takes makes this role his own with is unique, yet realistic take on a M.I.5 spy. If you’ve seen my Top5 Bonds list then you would know that I rated Daniel Craig the second best Bond ever, I would love to see Craig continue his bond career however his lack of passion in the project details that he probably won’t continue as Bond in the next installment.
Christoph Waltz played the traditional Villain in this film extremely well. His style reminded me of older Bond villains such as Ernst Stavro Blofeld. I really liked how he portrayed an emotionally vengeful character that was a complete parallel to Bond. His connection to bond explained his reasoning for being such a cruel individual that was extremely vindictive towards everything that James stood for. John Hurt made a short appearance in this film, Best known for his awe inspiring performance in the Doctor Who special ‘The Day Off The Doctor’ and has starred in many blockbusters such as ‘Alien’ and ‘Harry Potter’. Hurt easily played and emotionally wrecked individual that was mentally ruined beyond repair, the confrontation between these two characters was probably one of my favorite scene in the movie due to the passionate one on one dialogue and emotional acting.
We can’t have Bond with out the infamous Bond girl. Léa Seydoux had the pleasure of playing the role of Madeleine Swann and played it well. I’ll be honest she adds nothing special to the character and could be played by anyone, however something about her resistance to Bond makes her a respectable character that has control over others. I genuinely liked how she was written, she seemed like the perfect answer to the female bond, being able to take care of herself and even outshining James in many situations using her wit and skill.
Another feature of the Bond films is the popular Bond song that is performed by popular singers of the time, this year the luxury was given to the vocally and lyrically talented: Sam Smith. When I first heard Sam Smith’s ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ I wasn’t too impressed, I thought it was just another mediocre love song that didn’t have anything to do with the movie. The weeks leading up to the film’s release meant a constant repetition of this song on every major radio station and by the end I felt myself slowly dying inside every time I heard his whiny voice sing those lazy lyrics, and to add salt to the wound, it only took him 20 minutes to write, which in my opinion shares how little thought and effort went into this song. Personally, I loved Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ as it was different from any other previous Bond anthem but still maintained the feel of well written, emotional song . However, as the screen fell black and the title sequence to introduce ‘Spectre’ began to play I finally started to enjoy this song as the psychedelic graphics filled the screen in accordance to the song’s melody. As I continued to watch the film I realised how this song plays a key part in introducing the film’s narrative towards the audience and although they may not realise it, I’m sure that anyone will be able to pair lyrics with scenes from the film.
Although I wasn’t shaken by this addition to the Bond franchise, it definitely stirred action and narrative well and created a fun film to watch that caused the audience to be fixed to the screen throughout. I wasn’t anticipating this film which is probably why I enjoyed it so much because it genuinely excited me the more I watched. I could not pick any fault with this film apart from its lack of explanation of the plot. However, the sheer amount of energy this film emitted created a wholesome experience that was immensely enjoyable. I would definitely recommend that you watch this film and would easily regard this as one of Daniel Craig’s best performances. For that reason I’m rating ‘Spectre’ an 8/10.