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“Spectre” Is Technically Satisfying… But That’s It

Perhaps the most surprising fact to come out of this latest Bond film was that its theme song “Writing’s On The Wall” is written and sung by English singer-songwriter Sam Smith. What’s even more impressive is that the song was written in under half an hour and the demo recorded thereafter is the actual music used in the film itself.

The 24th Bond film to feature the suave Agent 007, Spectre sees Oscar-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes return to direct his second Bond film after 2012’s Skyfall and English actor Daniel Craig reprise the famed role for his fourth time. With a budget that hovers between USD$245 – 300 million, Spectre is one of the most expensive films ever made, and is also the most expensive instalment of the Bond franchise.

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You may wonder: What makes one flick so pricey? Spectre kicks off during Mexico City’s Day of the Dead festival, an event that has hordes of people parading in skeleton costumes. Bond enters a hotel with a woman, flings her onto a bed, changes into a suit and climbs out of the building with a gun in hand – an opening sequence established with just one single shot. This is followed by many explosions, a gunfight, and a closed-combat tussle in a spinning helicopter. Naturally this sets lofty expectations for the rest of the film, a benchmark that was unfortunately a creative letdown despite being technically satisfying.

With a running time of just under two and a half hours, Mendes keeps the action scenes flowing and the pacing consistent throughout. However, what lacks is dramatic tension within the plot; tension that would make you worried for Bond even though you know very well that he is going to emerge from danger unscathed. Luckily for Mendes, the performance of the supporting characters in Spectre raises the film from mediocrity.

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Christoph Waltz plays Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Spectre’s central antagonist who torments Bond from a comfortable distance. An actor who performs most convincingly through speech and tone, Waltz excels in his character’s dialogue-driven script filled with sinister exposition. On the flipside, former wrestler Dave Bautista plays Mr Hinx, an assassin and henchman to Ernest Blofeld. In the two major action sequences he’s involved in, he steals the scene in trying to kill Bond. Bonus: he utters just one word in the entire movie, muttering a measly “shit” before his demise.

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No Bond film is complete without a starring female. Italian actress Monica Bellucci plays Lucia Sciarra, one of the 2 Bond girls featured. At 50 years old, Bellucci holds the record as the oldest actress to be cast as a Bond girl. Suffice to say, she exudes enough charisma to be memorable during her short screen time with Bond. French actress Léa Seydoux plays Dr. Madeleine Swann, Bond’s other love interest. Seydoux’s character is slightly weaker compared to Bellucci even though she dominates half the film. Thankfully, her youthfulness lends extra spark for her chemistry with Bond.

All in all, Spectre is a satisfactory watch that’s worth seeing on the big screen. As for the franchise’s continuity, the producers needn’t worry as Bond is already confirmed for another film. But if you must know, Bond still uses his famous classic line “Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred”.

DANamic.ORG Rating: 3.5/5


 

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Yue Jie

Yue Jie is a film and culture enthusiast who is deeply interested in all things entertainment. Besides English and Chinese, he also speaks German and French.

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