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Q30 Entertainment Review: “Spectre”


Photo courtesy of Eon Productions.

By Vincent Guarino

In 2006, Martin Campbell brought Bond into the Batman Begins era of filmmaking with Casino Royale. It was a darker, grittier reboot of the beloved cinematic hero with Daniel Craig starring as 007. Two years later we got the Bond film that most people forgot they saw, Quantum of Solace. Then Academy Award winning director, Sam Mendes was hired to direct the 2012 Bond film, Skyfall, which to me is like The Dark Knight of Bond films. Jump forward three years to November 2015. Sam Mendes is back at the helm for Spectre, which sadly feels more like The Dark Knight Rises than The Dark Knight.

Spectre is a bad film, plain and simple. I don’t mean this like “Oh it is bad film for a James Bond film.” No, I mean Spectre is bad film. It was so bad that I genuinely was upset after the film ended. I actually could not believe what I just saw.

Let’s just get what was good about the film out the way. The cast is filled with highly talented actors that are able to give decent performances even though they are working with such a bad script. The actor who genuinely gives an extraordinary performance is Dave Bautista. It is a mostly silent performance, but he is just so menacing in the role.

That brings me to the best action sequence of the film that involves Bond and Bautista’s Mr. Hinx, facing off on a train. It reminded me a lot of a mission from the game, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. That scene is one of the only times during Spectre, I found myself at the edge of my seat.

On a technical level, the film is pretty solid. The cinematography is excellent, the score is pretty is good, the visual effects are really great, but these things do not make for a good movie. The rest of this 148 minute film is a complete and utter mess.

One of the most infuriating things about Spectre is how dumb it is, especially in its final act. This new era of Bond was supposed to be the darker, grittier, and more realistic iteration of the character, but Spectre throws everything the prior movies established, in terms of logic, out the window.

The script, like I said before, is so messy. It is full of underdeveloped characters and an overall story that is predictable and not entirely interesting. There were points of this film where I just wanted to go to sleep.

Two new characters in Spectre are Léa Seydoux’s Madeline Swann and Christoph Waltz’s Oberhauser. Both actors have proven in the past that they are terrific actors, especially Waltz who won two Oscars in a row for Inglorious Bastards and Django Unchained. Spectre completely wastes them.

Seydoux is just there to be Bond’s forced love interest. Her and Daniel Craig share absolutely no chemistry. It seems as if the studio came in and was like “Bond has to have a love interest,” making the writers go on in and add a few scenes of the two of them making out and saying they love each other. It just makes no sense.

The biggest misstep of the film, is how they use Christoph Waltz. His screen time is very limited until the last 45 minutes of the film and when they finally reveal the twist I have been calling since he got cast in the film, it seems like they did it to make a one-dimensional character more exciting, when in reality it comes off as lazy.

I won’t get into spoilers, but when the big twist was revealed, I threw my hands up in the air like I was giving up. It was at that moment of Spectre that I realized truly how bad this film was. There were a few questionable moments throughout the film, but it was the twist at the end that put the nail in the coffin.

I do not know what the producers Barbra Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, and director Sam Mendes were thinking when writers, John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Jez Butterworth turned in this script. How did some of these guys also write the magnificent Skyfall? Maybe this was a fluke? Hopefully it is, since they are penning the screenplay for the next Bond film.

Spectre might be the most disappointing film this year. Hopefully they can write their wrongs in the next film, but who knows? Honestly though, if it has to be that Spectre is bad and Star Wars: The Force Awakens is good, I’ll take it.

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