After an almost perfectly meshed Bond in Skyfall, Mendes, Craig, Fiennes, and crew have finally put it together in Spectre. This is a movie that not only brings forth tried and true tropes of being Bond, but also deals with electronic globalism, non-warranted surveillance, and who the real terrorists are behind the scenes.
To give the audience a heads up to what lies ahead, the movie opens up with the classic gun barrel sequence:
Daniel Craig's gun-barrel sequence from the end of Skyfall
From here, we go to Mexico City and The Day Of The Dead Festival. Bond quickly goes from costumed reveler, to lover, to hunter right at the outset and within six minutes. The action kicks into high gear as Bond stops a terrorist cell from completing their work in the most 007 way possible. From there we go , into the opening titles and sequence for the movie. While Spectre maintains classic opening elements such as bullets and dancing girls, it gets a little creepy. The bad guys logo is an octopus, and parts of the opening take on an almost H.P. Lovecraft kind of feel with tentacled monsters throughout the opening montages. This opening with Sam Smith doing the theme song shows that the producers still have gold fingers when packaging a film.
Very quickly after his fight in Mexico City, Bond is suspended from field work, yet continues on a clandestine mission with secret assistance from Q and Moneypenny. Soon infiltrating the bad guys meeting, he makes himself the target of a deadly assassin, played by Dave Bautista, and the chase begins. This mission brings back Mr. White from the first Craig-era Bond film, Casino Royale. Now run down and dying, this once formidable villain is a cast off thrall of the Spectre organization. Not willing to live and let die, Mr. White enlists Bond in the protection of his daughter. White finds an end to suffering, and Bond plunges deeper into his mission. The film has some fun with Q gadgets loaded onto a high end vehicle and the issues they create for Bond. Also, we see Monnypenny's patience tested while dealing with Bond on her phone while he's being chased. These character connections gives us some insight into their team.
Within the framework of the movie, we are given a different perspective on Bond's background, and a connection to a new/old villain as well. Hinted at throughout the movie, the reveals are handled as a suspenseful build up rather than a way to scare the living daylights out of you.
Ben Whishaw as 'Q' is a perfect foil/sidekick/tech guy for not only Daniel Craig's 007, but for Ralph Finnes ,'M', the head of MI-6. Loyalty is a key component of this film's back bone and heart. From Bond's loyalty to the deceased 'M' , played in a video cameo by Dame Judy Densch, to the loyalty exhibited by 'Q' and Moneypenny towards Bond, this ties well into another theme of the film: ideals. Those ideals are represented by the old guard of MI-6 and the protection of privacy, democracy, and human interaction. The new school is represented by Max Denbigh, played by Andrew Scott, and the new era of electronic surveillance, one world government, and privacy at the expense of security.
The film shows Bond as vulnerable at key moments, and also shows the great reserves of strength he calls upon when in dire situations. Nehru jacket wearing bad guys, and white dinner jackets non withstanding, Bond is a force to be reckoned with by his home agency and the bad guys.
And if this is Daniel Craig's final Bond film, the cast and crew handled this with a great back door for the future of the franchise. The film also ends with Bond finding happiness (at least temporarily). Rather than the Nolan Bat-films, this team has given us insight not only into Bond's past, but his future. By delving into modern geopolitical issues, as well as plenty of fan service for long time 007 fans this film shows that Mr. Bond can certainly live more than twice.