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MOVIE REVIEW: “SPECTRE” Is Haunted by the film’s Past Flaws



Directed by: Sam Mendes
Produced by: Barbara Brocolli and Michael G. Wilson
Written By: John Logan, Robert Wade, and Neal Purvis
Starring: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Andrew Scott, Naomi Harris, Ben Whishaw, and Dave Bautista.
MTRCB Rating: PG
Genre: ,
6.0/ 10

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The best shot Bond film in years, solid performances by the cast, some good call backs to the classic Bond films, a solid effort to tying loose ends.


didn’t exactly pack an emotional punch, some characters didn’t really serve their purpose enough, minor pacing issues, the narrative flow wasn’t exactly meshed well.

Plot Summary: In Spectre, James Bond (Daniel Craig) finds himself in a whole mess of danger once again as he tries to find meaning behind the message given to him from the past. After infiltrating a secret meeting he discovers the existence of a sinister organization known as Spectre. By this discovery he enlists the […]

Posted November 21, 2015 by



Plot Summary:

In Spectre, James Bond (Daniel Craig) finds himself in a whole mess of danger once again as he tries to find meaning behind the message given to him from the past. After infiltrating a secret meeting he discovers the existence of a sinister organization known as Spectre. By this discovery he enlists the help of the daughter of an old foe, Madeleine (Lea Seydoux). The deeper they go into this mission, the more they find out about how big of a connection the enemy, Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) is in their life.

A Spectre from the Past

Spectre-23-600x398The film really does feel like a Bond movie right from the start; it begins with the classic gun barrel intro, a (masterfully shot) ridiculous action sequence, and then take a break in London to set up the film’s stakes. What comes after that is the film’s problem. The film went on going hand-to-hand with two different themes; one being a spy film in outrageous fashion (ala the classic Bond films) while the other takes the time to make a commentary towards national security and even so exploring the humanity towards threats alone. It does feel like the film is exploring familiar ground when they go into Bond’s mission, very much so a callback to some of Moore’s and Dalton’s outings tonally with references that would make longtime Bond fans feel giddy in their seat. What makes it a problem is that thematically, when you have a love story triggered by sexual tension, an under-used villain who is pretty much there to monologue our hero to death and finds the time to make theatrics you do feel like it is dated as it was being matched to the modern 007 that we know and loved these past 9 years. The thing with Skyfall that made it a better tribute to the rich history of the character’s adventures is that the callbacks and even so the tone of past incarnations felt more spontaneous to the flow of the overall narrative and consistent to the tone the modern films have established in the past 2 films before it. Though some things from Bond’s past that were implemented to tell the story do work, most of the things they pushed in the movie is the opposite of what Skyfall did.

The other thing that diverges to the 50-something year-old formula is that the film follows a continuing story as it tries to tie loose ends of the past 3 films. But when the whole twist was revealed towards the last third of the film I was just scratching my head going “was that even needed at all?” Sure, there were certain things that did work in the long run. But like I said, the things that occurred in the third act didn’t really provide this movie at least a decent resolution of all these ideas at the table. They put so many contexts to things that weren’t exactly needed to be, and doesn’t exactly focus on what’s going on in the action. Nothing about the connections and the revelations feel like it was supposed to give us the emotional punch they needed to give to its audience.

spectre-image09Daniel Craig as 007 is still an excellent James Bond as he continues to do what he does best and it is to give the character a mix of virility and vulnerability. Although towards the latter half of the film you just feel like he was just sleepwalking throughout the entire movie in all these formulaic scenes. Playing opposite with him is Lea Seydoux, who can be hard-nosed at first but very much so like Craig in the latter half, just when you think all is good for her she then converted to being “just another Bond girl” as you also question her chemistry with him by most parts of the movie. Christoph Waltz was sadly underused; which was a shame because when I first heard that he was going to be the villain of the film all I could think about was how that is a match made in heaven for this movie. He was excellent of course but he was only in the movie for a handful of scenes and he only appears in the movie only to converse on how awesome he is than showing how awesome he is. This would work in the 70s and even the 80s era of Bond films, but definitely not for an era where our main problem are about country’s security and surveillance and even morality.


In the end, Spectre definitely shaken things up this time around but all of the ideas in mind didn’t exactly stir well with each other. It is fun to explore to familiar territory but staying on the same ground with one foot in reality and another in a fantasy for a long time sacrifices what makes the modern incarnation of James Bond unique from its predecessors. A James Bond movie can be a James Bond movie without the franchise’s tired and dated tropes. Though, I can’t really take away the fact that this is the best looking James Bond film thanks to Sam Mendes’ near perfect direction as he gives an effort to putting this movie together, Hoyte Van Hoytema’s brilliant cinematography giving a certain grandiose to the film’s style and the ensemble cast giving their all as they are involved in the action.



GP Manalo

G.P. Manalo is a student by day, and a resident tortured writer by night. Writing to keep him sane from all the Business School papers and presentations piling up each week.


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