Looking at the line-up of films that were done up to this point, Daniel Craig feels like this is his 'good-bye' to the most famous super spy action hero of all time. Considering this as a repeat due to Pierce Brosnan's run as 007 ended with 2002's Die Another Day, Craig was originally set up for a contract to do five movies instead of four. But he is now saying that he does not want to do any more 007 movies. But if he considers continuing his contract, Craig states that he will do it only for the money. And don't worry about spoilers. That will come later on.
I really enjoyed how Spectre continues to take us as movie viewers where the rebooted franchise of the best spy hero of all time takes its direction to a more mature tone rather than previous entries in the series. From Casino Royale to Quantum of Solace to Skyfall and now to Spectre, this rebooted franchise (for the most part) is in the right direction to take us with a more serious tone to tell more on the backstory of Agent 007.
Now as you may have guessed, Spectre was directed by Sam Mendes, who conveniently was the director of the previous installment, Skyfall. I loved Skyfall because of its deeper tone into what James Bond can do with the story, the villain, the direction; there is definitely nothing bad to say about Skyfall itself. But can Spectre live up to its predecessor? Well, I will say that, for the most part, it is really good but it isn't as awesome as Skyfall was.
Daniel Craig is once again James Bond in this film for the fourth time. And he is what drives the movie all the way from the opening in Mexico City directly back to London. His newest mission takes him all over the world from Rome to Austria and to Morocco. The action with Craig as Bond was fantastic and it really got me going with where the movie was going to go. Craig does not disappoint as 007.
One of the most crucial elements we have in these films is the love interest or in particular, the Bond girl in this case. The main Bond girl in this film is Lea Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann who works as a psychiatrist in the Northern Alps. In the most recent years, I have seen nothing more in a Bond girl than their abilities to aid James Bond in his missions. But what I hate about some of the Bond girls is that some of them tend to betray Bond to his enemy in each film that has a bad Bond girl. But Seydoux was by far a very interesting choice to be the newest Bond girl because she goes on with Bond to uncover what the truth behind SPECTRE really was. And she is pretty much a mixture of a damsel in distress and a kick-ass action star.
But there were a few moments in the film where it could have been a bit better with more of Bond and Swann at each other rather than having them trying to figure out what's going on with that whole thing about SPECTRE, which is part of the film and I don't mind that.
Another crucial element is the villains. From years gone by, Bond has gone up against various factions of villains from gold smugglers to big brutes to media and oil tycoons and even terrorists. And one such villain in the movie is Dave Bautista from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. He is considered the henchman of the movie. I found Bautista to being nothing more than a mixture of what Red Grant and Jaws were. Big brutes who wanted to break 007's neck. And he says nothing in the movie except one line just like Jaws did at the climax of Moonraker. I wish he would've said more in the film. While Bautista is a pretty good actor, I felt that his villain needed a bit more work done with him. It just didn't fit to being the henchman if he can't even speak.
And there is of course the main villain of the film who happens to be Christoph Waltz. Now when I heard about this guy being the next big Bond villain, I found him to being an interesting choice to top off what was left behind by Christopher Lee, Donald Pleasence, Jonathan Pryce, Sean Bean and all the other actors who have been Bond villains gave us. But Waltz was an interesting choice. Before this film, I had never even heard of this guy until I watched Quentin Tarentino's Django Unchained. And when I heard he was the villain in Tarentino's other big hit Inglorious Bastards, I thought 'Wouldn't he be a good Bond villain?' My question was answered with Waltz being mostly used well enough to the point where his character reveals something big (find out in the spoiler filled review).
Aside from that, everything else in the movie is fantastic. We have some very thrilling action sequences here and there and that is what drives the films in the franchise. Great opening sequence taking place in Mexico City. And the opening theme Writing's on the Wall was a pretty decent opening title song. It incorporated some elements from the previous Craig Bond movies and made it relevant with how the movie was going to go.
So that is my review for Spectre. Look for my spoiler-filled review coming soon.