When you have a fourth film being released in a modern franchise, especially one following the award-winning success that was “Skyfall,” you can’t help but have high hopes. Thankfully, director Sam Mendes carried over the same tone for Spectre from his previous accomplishment with Skyfall – leaving you breathless and in suspense plenty of times throughout the film. According to a press release from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Spectre marks the 24th James Bond adventure, as well as the longest running and most successful film franchise in cinema history.
With an estimated budget of $245 million dollars, you better believe the visuals are going to be jaw-droppingly grand. The unbelievable opening scene takes place in Mexico City on the Day of the Dead celebration. The camera pans around from one skeleton mask to another and another, setting an eerie mood that just may give you chills and make you wonder what sort of mess James Bond is about to get into. In classic 007 fashion (the opening credits beginning the film with creativity and artistry) the melodic tune of Sam Smith’s theme song in Spectre coincides flawlessly with the dark and mesmerizing visual sequence.
Played once again by the no-less-than-perfect Daniel Craig, his James Bond character is still that suave, classy, insanely handsome, modern assassin that has stood before you on screen time and again. Craig brings about a timeless nature when it comes to the newest installment of the Bond experience. As he jumps around from London to Rome to Austria and Morrocco – all in what seems like 48 hours – he is what most would think of as the quintessence of the modern day Bond. All of the cutting edge technology that Q (Ben Wishaw) hooks him up with, just adds to his polished demeanor. For example, the Aston Martin DB10 that goes from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds flat, which James may end up taking without permission, will leave you smirking and thinking, “Oh James, you did it again.”
The plot picks up where Skyfall left off, giving more insight into what James’ next move is and why every female close to him ends up getting killed. As he begins to go on a rogue mission around the globe to finish what others had started, he figures out whom around him he can actually trust. Familiar faces come back to support the ever-winning James in his journey, such as Ralph Fiennes as M, and Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, as well as a new Bond girl, Madeleine Swann, played by the gorgeous Léa Seydoux, who ends up being quite possibly the best match for James in a long time. Even old faces will creep out of the shadows, like past nemesis Jesper Christiensen, playing Mr. White, last seen in Quantum of Solace (2008).
Those who have followed 007 since the earlier days will notice the subtle nods to the previous Bond eras. From the silent henchman in Spectre, Mr. Hinx (played by Dave Bautista), sharing similarities to Oddjob from Goldfinger (1964) and Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) with his razor-like thumbnails, to the train scene that relates to From Russia With Love (1963), many will appreciate and respect the understated links between the old and the new.
With just under 2 hours and 30 minutes of play time, you may think boredom a possibility. However, there was not one moment where I checked my watch to see how long was left until the film was over. Spectre encompasses all four of the previous 007 films that Craig has starred in, and completes with an epic conclusion that will leave you untroubled and delighted in your seat. The unbelievable, stunning cinematography as well as the talented group of actors in Spectre, will alone make it a must-see film of the year.