Killers and Liars

Spectre

spectre_ver5

Director: Sam Mendes

Cast: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Naomie Harris, Monica Bellucci, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Jesper Christensen

British director Sam Mendes follows up his 2012 blockbuster Skyfall, with the 24th installment of the 007 franchise aptly named Spectre, which serves as a pastiche of all previous Bond films, but particularly referencing Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.

With a truly spectacular opening sequence shot during the Day of the Dead festival in the sprawling and crowded central plaza of Mexico City, Spectre promises better and bigger cinematic moments. On all accounts, Spectre delivers although at times, the Bond film could have been more tightly edited.

The action sequences in Mexico City, Rome and Tangier are gripping and the production design and cinematography are quite startling, shading the film between sequences of extreme illumination and murky darkness in keeping with the sinister undertone pervading the entire narrative.

spectre_ver6

Mexico City and Tangier are beautifully done, with gorgeous colours contrasting against the monochromatic elegance of the Roman streets at midnight or the snow covered Austrian Alps during ski season.

The Tangier scenes are clearly influenced by Bernardo Bertolucci’s classic film, The Sheltering Sky, especially when Bond and Dr Swann disembark from the Moroccan train into a sweltering Saharan desert, while the previous action on board mirrors that of The Spy Who Loves Me. Audiences should watch out for Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) as the Spectre henchman Mr Hinx who has a penchant for popping a man’s eyes out with his thumb nails.

spectre_ver3

Daniel Craig returns as James Bond looking slightly weary and a tad less nimble but nevertheless maintaining a smirk on his face along with those dazzling blue eyes. In a stroke of genius casting, French actress Lea Seydoux is brilliant as Dr Madeleine Swann, daughter of the Pale King, whilst the villain is suitably menacing and at times slightly camp, Franz Oberholzer better known as the evil mastermind with a penchant for white Persian cats, last seen in You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Diamonds are Forever.

Naturally, Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained) is fabulous as Bond’s crazed arch enemy, but somehow does not make as brilliant an impression as Javier Bardem did as Raoul Silva in Skyfall.

With the absence of Judi Dench as M, Ralph Fiennes, appears craggy and irritable as the new M, reminiscent of the original M in the 1960’s Bond films. Refreshingly, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw as the technically gifted Q have bigger roles in Spectre, acting always as Bond’s necessary sidekicks. Watch out for a brief but glamourous cameo by Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra and Jesper Christensen as the ubiquitous Mr White, last seen in Quantum of Solace.

spectre_ver7

Spectre, which stands for the Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion is subtly portrayed as a pervasive and dangerous shadow organisation responsible for all sorts of international atrocities, which in the 21st century is particularly apt. As the visual references abound throughout Mendes’s Spectre, it will only be the serious Bond fans that will spot all those cinematic clues. In this respect, Spectre pays tribute to the success of the longest running film franchise ever, without undermining its inherent and enduring appeal.

Spectre is highly recommended viewing for ardent Bond fans, although some might find this film slightly long and the narrative muddled, but then again, one has to identify all the past 007 signifiers, for Spectre to be truly appreciated.

The question remains, much like the creepy opening sequence, is there life after Spectre?

 

 

 

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
December 2015
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
  • Annecy Winner ‘Memoir of a Snail’ Gets U.S. Release Date From IFC Films (EXCLUSIVE)
    IFC Films has announced the U.S. release date for the animated feature “Memoir of a Snail,” directed by Academy Award winner Adam Elliot. This charming stop-motion adult drama took nearly a decade to create and will open in limited release on Oct. 25, with a wider expansion throughout November. The film follows the life of […]
    Clayton Davis
  • ‘The Boys’ Cast Answers Burning Questions About Season 4’s Devastating Ending and That Mid-Credits Scene
    SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of “The Boys,” previously titled “Assassination Run” and relabeled “Season Four Finale” before Thursday launch, now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video. These interviews were conducted before the attempted assassination of Donald Trump. “The Boys” Season 4 ended in the darkest timeline possible, with almost […]
    Jennifer Maas
  • ‘The Boys’ Actor Claudia Doumit on Victoria Neuman’s ‘Twisted’ Finale Shocker
    SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of “The Boys,” previously titled “Assassination Run” and relabeled “Season Four Finale” before Thursday launch, now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video. This interview was conducted before the attempted assassination of Donald Trump. “The Boys” actor Claudia Doumit is split (quite literally, onscreen) on her […]
    Jennifer Maas
  • Sabrina Carpenter Unveils International Dates for Her ‘Short n’ Sweet’ Tour
    Singer-songwriter Sabrina Carpenter has announced her upcoming global tour in support of her album “Short n’ Sweet,” due out Aug. 23. Carpenter is set to visit the UK and Europe in 2025 on a headlining arena tour that kicks off with a North American leg in Sept. 23 in Columbus, Ohio. Carpenter has already sold […]
    Thania Garcia
  • Max Launches 50% Discount for College Students
    Despite Max hiking prices for its ad-free plans this month, the streamer has announced a 50% discount on their ad-supported monthly plan, reducing the cost from $9.99/month to $4.99/month. Max is partnering with UNiDAYS, a leading verification-enabled platform for students, to confirm students’ active status. When verification is complete, users will receive a unique discount code […]
    Atingley4
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90