Spectre-taculary Disappointing

Cole Mier, Staff Writer

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Throughout my cinema going experiences this November, I was reminded why film is the most meaningful art form. It can convey emotion, ideas, and beauty like no other medium. Combining music, literature, and pictures, movies completely immerse viewers in an enchanted world. Even if a film is subpar, there is always at least one aspect that can be admired.

The film I was most looking forward to last month is a marvel in technical achievement, but severely lacking in other departments. So, without further ado, let’s take a look back at the largest film of November. Sorry Hunger Games fans—it’s not Mockingjay Part 2, but rather the newest Bond film, Spectre.

James Bond is an icon of cinema. His name is instantly recognizable to film lovers and casual moviegoers alike. Additionally, the latest incarnation of Bond, played by Daniel Craig, has starred in two of the best Bond films of all time. My expectations for Spectre were incredibly high, which made the movie’s mediocrity so much more disappointing.

Directed by Sam Mendes, who also directed Skyfall, Spectre once again stars Daniel Craig as the suave and deadly 007. Following a mission in Mexico City that caused incredibly high property damages and civilian casualties, Bond is suspended from active duty by M, played by Ralph Fines, and the entire 007 program is threatened with cancellation. Through some good old-fashioned spying, Bond discovers clues of what he fears most, an international institute of terror. He goes rogue to embark on a worldwide expedition to discover and dismantle the sinister organization known as “Spectre.”

There are some very positive aspects to the film. Craig delivers a fantastic performance, cementing himself as one of the all time greatest Bonds. The film also looks beautiful. Every shot in the movie is a work of art, and just sitting back and marveling at the epic scale of each scene was the most satisfying part of the film for me. Finally, the action in this movie is the best action in the franchise’s history. Any scene in which Bond engages with an adversary is incredibly exhilarating (a fight taking place on a train is a definite highlight). However, my compliments end here.

Virtually every other aspect of Spectre felt forced and phony. Both the plot and the villain are nonsensical and silly while simultaneously boring. The grand reveal of the antagonist is met with crickets instead of gasps. One reason why the leader of the sinister crime organization is so disappointing is the fantastic actor playing him (who I will not spoil for those who have yet to see the movie). One of the greatest actors in film today is given just twenty minutes of screen time. Furthermore, the tone of the movie contradicts itself. All of the Bond movies starring Daniel Craig have aimed for a gritty and realistic tone. At times, it appears that Spectre is trying to reach the grittiness of the other movies, but the constant winks to the audience make all attempts at being realistic futile. Yet, what the film was attempting to do is praiseworthy. It strove to emulate the Bond films of old. All of the tropes are there: an epic opening, over the top schemes, an abundance of beautiful women, classic cars, and of course, vodka martinis. Although all of these beats were hit, the movie feels hollow and void of any true meaning. With that being said, hardcore fans of the franchise will enjoy many parts of this film, as will moviegoers just looking for a “fun” time. I, however, was looking for something extra in what may be Craig’s final film as Bond, and left dissatisfied.

 

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