The possible final outing in the Daniel Craig era of James Bond. An era that had the two best Bond movies ever made and also one of the the worst. But if 'Spectre' is indeed the end, does it serve as a satisfactory ending? Well if you continue reading you will atleast know if it is in my opinion.

This movie had quite a lot going for it. Bringing back practically everyone from the last movie and then also introducing one of the most famous Bond villains ever. This could be all the ingredients that is necessary to catch that lighting in a bottle that 'Skyfall' was again. And I am happy to tell you that for the most part, it certainly does. When truly dissecting it, it is definitely on the weaker half of the Daniel Craig Bond movies - but that does not take away from the absolute thrill ride this was throughout. I cannot think of another movie worthy of your money in the theater right now than this so if you were sort of on the fence on whether or not this would be worth your money and for some reason you put the ultimate decision on me... I would say 'Spectre' certainly deserves your money. All you have to remember though, this IS a movie that follows up not only the best Bond movie ever made - but one of the best ACTION movies ever made so do not go in with unfairly high expectations. 

Daniel Craig has once again returned as 007 and he is just as entertaining and awesome to watch as ever. He truly is a revelation in this role as he is being asked to do so much more than any of his predecessors. Again, if this truly is the end for him as this character (I kind of hope it is not) then he himself left on a real cracker of a performance that will likely not be matched anytime soon. In terms of the character, my only problem comes near the end were it seems like he goes against what was established about him in 'Casino Royale'. No I will not spoil it but since I re-watched all the previous movies leading up to this, this really stood out to me.

One of the best aspects of the whole movie is how well it manages to juggle all of these different characters. This is not just a completely Bond-centric film, it is very much an ensemble with M (Ralph Fiennes), Tanner (Rory Kinnear), Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) all having their assignments and scenes to shine in. Ben Wishaw especially continues to being magnificent in the role as Q. He has such an enjoyable presence on screen and I am really happy he got even more things to do here compared to 'Skyfall' (a movie he was also brilliant in)'. Props also has to be given to Ralph Fiennes as this is his first movie as M - and filling in the shoes of Judi Dench who had the role since 'GoldenEye' in 1995 is not exactly a walk in the park but he is more than up for the job. Rory Kinnear is great in everything I have seen him in and Naomi Harris is also great - but I do wish she had a little more to do now that I look back on her role in the movie compared to what she is capable of as an actress.

Clocking in at approximately 148 minutes, this is the longest Bond movie to date and while it certainly justifies that length - it might be a tad too long. Just a bit. A tiny bit. Okay, yes it is a long movie but I was never bored and the story is engaging enough to keep you going to the very end. This is definitely the most ambitious movie of the year as we have never really seen a Bond movie in this scale before. There are so many different locations our heroes visit this time around that you can practically see the money up on the screen. Not a single expense has been spared as they definitely utilized every single cent that the studio were willing to throw at them after the box office smash hit that 'Skyfall' turned out to be.

The movie does have problems of course. Out of the three good Daniel Craig Bond movies (you know which ones), this is the most flawed installments which naturally comes with the territory for a movie of this scale. For one thing while the villain Oberhauser is great, the script does try to make him seem a lot more important than he actually comes across to us. I see what they were going for seeing as this is a possible conclusion to this era but all of the tie-ins to the earlier movies do not quite work in trying to build up the importance of him and how personal this guy is supposed to be to Bond. It is almost like the writers are suddenly pretending like they have been building on this grand plan all along when really it does not come across like that at all. This is a shame because Christoph Waltz is amazing with the material he has been given and he could have been right up there with Silva as the best Bond villain if the script had allowed him to.

The direction is fantastic. The opening is one long take that goes on for over four minutes (according to the film's director, Sam Mendes) and right there the movie had already done what 'Quantum of Solace' was unable to for 100 minutes - have at least one memorable scene in it. The movie moves along at a steady pace and Mendes makes sure all of the action set pieces are visually dynamic. Although at times it does feel like the camera shakes a bit too much in comparison to what we got in 'Skyfall' (but then again, it feels quite unfair to compare this to that masterpiece).

Overall, 'Spectre' is a very satisfying conclusion the several plot threads in this current era of Bond and if it is indeed Daniel Craig's last, he definitely went out on a great movie. At times it feels like we are treading some familiar grounds and it can get a little clunky but the script is smart enough to understand how to balance all of these elements and make as many of them work as possible. So while it does not quite reach the status of 'Casino Royale' or 'Skyfall', it should not have to and instead be its own thing. I had a great time watching it and I cannot wait to see it again.


- Lucas


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