“Spectre” follows closely on the heels of “Skyfall” (2012) as yet another fabulous vehicle for James Bond, Agent 007, played by Daniel Craig.
World class locations, memorable spectacles, and a bit of biographical history tantalize the viewer of this film, as they did in “Skyfall.” It is definitely entertaining.
And this from someone who was never a Bond fan…
Movie poster for ‘Spectre.’ Courtesy Reel Deal Theater
Since Ian Fleming’s books about the MI-6 agent were made and remade, featuring alluring female enemy agents, fast cars and secret weapons, the series had no draw for this feminist pacifist, save for the fact that James Bond was played by a succession of hunky men.
But times change and so do we. Newer stories based on the famous character have been written for the screen and the stories are more compelling, somehow. Smart, agile women in these films are not only alluring, they are given an interesting back story of their own. There has always been the technical side, the gadgets that wow us, which Bond gets to play with and often trash.
In “Spectre,” Bond has gone off the grid, tracking someone as requested in a dying wish by Judy Dench’s “M” (at the end of “Skyfall”). The new “M”, Ralph Fiennes, has his own battles to fight, keeping the secret service organization alive; an internationally supported network of global surveillance threatens to take over such services around the world.
M has lost 007, but his assistant Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) is in touch and their tech geek Q (Ben Wishaw) has outfitted him with only a new watch. Trying to convince M and several world governments that spies are out of date, now that we have modern surveillance technology, is “C” played by Andrew Scott, BBC-TV’s most recent Moriarty in the series “Sherlock.”
The movie opens on Dia de las Muertes in Mexico City. Astounding scenes involving exploding buildings and out of control helicopters keep our mouths hanging open for the first part of the film. As Bond traces references to the next lead bad guy, trying to find who is ultimately in charge of Spectre, he goes to Rome, then Austria, Morocco and back to London.
He romances a new widow and rescues an unwilling daughter of a nemesis (Lea Seydoux). Besides helicopters, small planes, an aerial tram, a desert train and some very fast cars, as per usual, come into play. And the ultimate bad guy, played by Christoph Waltz, makes these efforts worth Bond’s time, energy and disobedience.
If you like action adventure spy films with clever dialogue and an engaging plot, you may like this one. The film is 148 minutes long, so settle in for a good romp. It’s rated PG-13 for “intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language.” Even at that length, I doubt you’ll be bored by this film.