- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 18 November 2015
- Written by LAUREN ROSSI | COPY EDITOR
By beginning Spectre with four simple words—“the dead are alive”—the latest edition of the Bond franchise immediately foreshadows the forces that James Bond is up against and the ghosts from his past who will inevitably haunt him. Filling the scene with a Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico City, massive, ornate skeleton heads pervade the sky as people in costume crowd the streets among the shimmering streamers and decorations of a variety of colors. The rustic and delicate features of the buildings of Mexico City provide a stunning image to viewers, especially when combined with the illuminating pops of orange and red mixed with the black and white of the skeleton attire.
The film continues with the startling landscapes of different countries throughout the world, traveling to Rome and the mountains of Austria. Incorporating places of such elegant, beautiful scenery juxtaposed by the constant firing of bullets and explosions following Bond everywhere he goes, the film does a great job of creating powerful, attention-grabbing action scenes.
However, it was not only the scenery that intensified the array of action scenes, but the fact that the creators of Spectre opted to do all of the stunts, explosions, and car chases in real life. Without any computer-generated action scenes, it appears more real and thrilling for the viewers. The pounding echoes of helicopters and the screeching of tires that invade your eardrums is sure to give any person an adrenaline rush.
Personally, I found the storyline and film overall to be a big improvement over the previous installment, Skyfall. While Skyfall was consistently slow and lacking in the action department, Spectre only lagged in the start of the film, picking up when Bond (Daniel Craig) runs into the newest Bond girl, Madeleine (Léa Seydoux). Once Madeleine is involved, the story line finally speeds up and gets to the real action viewers had been waiting for since the first hour of the movie. However, I found Madeleine to be a disappointment in Spectre. She played more of the role of damsel in distress, getting kidnapped more times than I can count, and certainly fitting the mold of a Bond girl rather than a Bond woman.
Although the film centers around the escapades of 007, the other characters prove to have memorable performances and help a great deal from the headquarters of MI6. M (Judi Dench) even makes an appearance in the form of a video to Bond, telling him one last mission to complete, which sets up the entire journey he goes on against the organization Spectre. Also, a special moment is when the camera captures Bond sitting at a table with one of M’s belongings she left behind—her iconic bulldog figurine.
Along with M, head of the research and development of MI6, Q, secretly aids Bond throughout the film and risks his own job to help him, despite having two cats to feed at home and a mortgage to pay. Q provides Bond with gadgets that save him time and time again, including a new car, which in real life was custom made by Aston Martin. Besides Q, the new M played by Ralph Fiennes turns out to be a very likeable character in the film, coming to Bond’s aid and taking down one of the disciples of the lead villain of the Spectre organization. Even Moneypenny somewhat redeems herself for shooting Bond in Skyfall by doing research for him in London while he travels through the rest of Europe hunting for his target.
So in summation, if you’re looking for an action-packed film filled with massive explosions and constant fighting, then you’ll enjoy Spectre. However, if you’re looking for more of a story line and not a complicated series of events that takes two and half hours to tell, maybe skip this one. I thought that the film was better than some previous Bond installments, but still nothing great. Plus, the fact that Craig has been in the media so often trashing the franchise and announcing that he will never do another one leaves a bitter taste in your mouth while watching Spectre, and definitely affected my view of the character while watching.
IMAGE TAKEN from teaser-trailer.com