The Shadows of ‘Spectre’ Obscure Any Semblance of a Coherent Film

GameStop, Inc.

spectre------00002

Bond. James Bond. The superspy creation of Ian Fleming’s has had a life on the silver screen that has lasted over 50 years though 23 films and six different actors portraying Bond. Naturally, there are plenty of ups and downs in such a long-standing, sprawling franchise. The last installment in the Bond saga, 2012’s Skyfall, was among one of the recent peaks, a critical and commercial hit. Hoping to capitalize on the success of Skyfall, director Sam Mendes returns with Daniel Craig as 007 in Spectre, a film that could only be categorized as a disappointment following its effective predecessor. Spectre is a globe-trotting adventure, sure, but it lacks a captivating villain and any narrative clarity for much of its bloated running time.

Before the disappointing elements of Spectre can kick in, the film actually dazzles with a wonderful opening sequence. During a massive parade in Mexico City for Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), Bond (Craig) and a female companion navigate through the packed crowd before Bond takes leave of her to get to work; it’s a long impressive shot that kicks things off, though there may have been a few edits snuck in there. The sequence features impressive action filmmaking and crazy stunt work, all of which work best when not employing blatant CGI. Bond achieves his goal in preventing a bombing and assassinating his target, but 007 wasn’t on official business and creates a firestorm back in England that may very well end the 00 program. From this point onward, Spectre has a few impressive moments but is mired in plotting that is more confusing and underwhelming than exciting.

The head of Bond’s unit, M (Ralph Fiennes), is facing political pressure from C (Andrew Scott), a bureaucrat who aims to replace superspies with modern technology of drones and digital surveillance, which leaves Bond officially grounded as an agent. But James Bond isn’t the kind of person to sit on the sidelines and is able to get assistance from Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw), who direct him to a number of rendezvous in Italy and Austria. In Italy, Bond is able to coerce information from Lucia (Monica Bellucci) about the shadowy organization he’s trying to undermine. Infiltrating this group isn’t as easy as it seems, and Bond soon draws the attention of Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) and the muscle-bound baddie Hinx (Dave Bautista). In Austria, Bond learns that he’ll need the help of Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of a former nemesis, in order to unravel the multiple tentacles of the organization of Spectre. This attempt at a brief synopsis has left a number of ineffective twists and reveals, and is likely clearer in conveying what’s happening in the film better than film itself.

After the excellent opening, the bad omens really begin with the laughably awful theme song “The Writing’s On the Wall,” featuring Sam Smith’s out of place falsetto. As the film builds, you’re willing to go along with it as it features a few nice action sequences, though how they play out in relation to the story remains obscured. But after a while, Spectre begins to wear thin, painfully thin. Mendes and four credited writers (John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth) bet so heavily on the film’s major reveals they forgot to put in the necessary details to make these reveals have any actual impact. In many regards, the reveal concerning Christoph Waltz’s Oberhauser bring to mind the Khan reveal in Star Trek Into Darkness – it makes no sense to the characters in the film and only exists as a bit of half-baked fan service. Even worse, Waltz’s character has quite possibly the most ludicrous motivations for his life of villainy.

The writing isn’t all that shortchanges Christoph Waltz in Spectre. For unfathomable reasons, the charismatic two-time Oscar winning actor is relegated to a handful of scenes (roughly three). Nor is Waltz the only underutilized cast member of the film. Monica Bellucci is criminally wasted in two scenes, one of which being her seduction. As the other Bond girl, Léa Seydoux has more screen time, but her Madeleine Swann is a character written with deep contradictions – a characteristic in a previous scene could be whisked away in a moment’s notice. Seydoux and Daniel Craig don’t have a strong chemistry on screen, rendering their romantic subplot feeling incredibly forced. Having proved himself a capable actor as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s shame that Dave Bautista is handed a mostly silent role, uttering maybe three words, but he does get in some of the film’s best action.

The spectacle of Spectre is easy on the eyes, but it never has the story or the characters to make you actually care what’s happening, if you can figure out what’s happening. It’s interesting how fairly major plot details aren’t entirely clear until much later in the film. Spectre is a mystery that keeps withholding information, keeping the audience at a distance when it should be giving us tidbits to pull us further in. At nearly two and a half hours, Spectre never justifies its length. In a year where we’ve had a number of exciting spy movies, the latest James Bond adventure ranks at the rear of the pack, beaten by Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Spy, Kingsman, and even The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Bond sets the bar for the rest of the genre, and sometimes even he can’t reach it.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘Dune: Part Two’ is Nearly a Perfect Movie – Review

‘Dune: Part Two‘ is a nearly perfect movie, creating a cinematic...

‘Wolf Pack’ is the Thrill Ride we need and Well Go USA Gives it to Us

‘Wolf Pack‘ is the action film we need right now as...

Lim Kay Siu Talks About His Role as Gyatso in Netflix’s ‘Avatar’

International Star, Lim Kay Siu talks about his role as Gyatso...

Event News Event Reviews
Aiden Sinclair and Michael Rangel Talks ’57 Ghosts’ Aboard the Queen Mary Séance

Aiden Sinclair and Apparitionist, Michael Rangel Discuss their new Theatrical Séance...

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open ‘Slashers Axe Throwing’ – Interview

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open Orange County’s first ever horror themed...

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Ent. Host Immersive Christmas Experiences Across the U.S.

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Entertainment Group Host Immersive Christmas...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre – Interview

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre on Sunday,...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presnts: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse! Part 3927

I am a demon that has lived forever and that is,...

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Saga! Back to the story!

Alright you monkeys, back to work!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Valentine’s Special 2024: pt 2

Happy Valentines day, Sugar Beet!

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...