A new Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes-helmed James Bond flick? Yes, please.
After three, steadily improving films, one would imagine that Spectre, Mendes’ feather in his James Bond cap would be a rollicking, mad-dash spy caper, with all the mood and angst of Skyfall. Instead, Spectre is a messy dump on the baccarat table, a convoluted, toneless (though pretty) mess of a film that squanders the good (hell, great) that the trilogy of films before it have garnered. The film starts in Mexico, where James Bond (Daniel Craig) is searching for someone who is connected to something, but instead he ends up blowing up half a city block and entangling himself in a 22 minute helicopter chase over a crowd of Day of the Dead celebrators. Somehow Christoph Waltz’s evil bad-guy character appears, there’s a big, quiet hitman who’s looking to pull Bond’s tag, there’s lots of women, and then one particular woman, and some nice cars, and a whole lot of loose ends that never come together. Where one might think that the thematic ending of Skyfall, with Bond’s past burning behind him, his symbolic mother dying at the hands of her symbolic son, a past cleansed, a new future ahead, would engender this film to be a fresh start for the character, but somehow the army of writers they threw at it manage only to dig, superficially, into the narrative layers of the last three films. Yes, it seems you could drag out another tense, gripping film from the mysteries of Quantum and Silva and all the other nonsense (because that’s what this film makes all the hard work into) but Mendes and crew don’t, they convolute and confuse and generally strip away the wonderful world they’ve created for this James Bond. And that’s the film’s main problem, Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Where before Mr. Blonde, under Craig’s bullheaded hand, was a cold-blooded killer with a knack for running through walls, torturing people and generally eschewing the Bond we’ve seen before, in Spectre, he’s somehow evolved into a rougher version of Pierce Brosnan. There’s jokes, so many jokes, and witty banter and the same stupid sexual politics (i.e. James Bond = pseudo-rapist) as all the films that came before people started working to bring Bond into the future. Craig seems altogether pissed that he’s in this film, sometimes serious, sometimes mocking, always lazy. It’s a sad, maybe-end to what could’ve been a legendary run.
This film is two and half hours long. The trio of monkeys they let edit it need to be put out to pasture.