Cary, NC — Spectre is the latest James Bond adventure with Daniel Craig in his fourth go-round as the super spy. Craig has gone out of his way to establish his Bond as a tougher, meaner version than what we’ve had before, more of a blunt instrument than a suave secret agent.
A Successful Film
He’s been incredibly successful at it as well, as Craig and the filmmakers took Bond seriously again so the audience could, too. Casino Royale and Skyfall are easily ranked as some of the best Bond films out there, but Spectre takes a sharp left turn with tone and focuses more on jokes, gadgets and an overall sense of fun. And that’s okay!
Craig is Good as Ever
I really do think that Craig has been incredible as Bond so far. Casino Royale has already proven to be one of the 10 best Bond films of all time, and I think time will be even kinder to it. At this point, Craig is Bond. He is so comfortable and so confident in the role.
His take on the character gave the franchise a much-needed second (or third or fourth) wind. He doesn’t disappoint in Spectre, either, allowing a bit more humor and fun to show on his face. He is contracted for at least one more go as Bond, but I could happily watch him play the role as long as he is able.
Waste of a Good Cast
Bond’s crew, who were set up so well in Skyfall, all return here. Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Ben Whinshaw as Q.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest disappointments of the movie is that is it doesn’t give these particular characters enough to do. M and Moneypenny in particular proved to be more than capable in Skyfall, but, here, they are delegated to looking at screens and talking to Bond through an earpiece. For shame, and what a waste of great actors!
Best of Bond Traditions are Back
Spectre is a culmination of sorts. Craig and the filmmakers rebooted Bond with Casino Royale, and, since then, it’s all been a build-up to seeing Bond become Bond. We slowly got the theme back. Q and M. The Aston Martin. In Spectre, it’s all here.
Even the most famous evil organization is right there in the title. One of my favorite Bond traditions, though, has always been the henchman, and Spectre does not disappoint there. Played by Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Hinx proves to be one for the books.
His introduction is perfect, showing off his thumbnail knives (!) and establishing his menacing presence brilliantly. And, in one of the film’s best sequences, he faces off with Bond in a great fight scene on a train, referencing one of my favorite Bond films, From Russia With Love. He’s a great bad guy, and Bautista sells it perfectly, but, like the rest of the supporting cast, he is underutilized, and a bit more could have gone a long way.
Tons Of Fun
If Craig’s previous Bond movies harkened back to the Connery era, then Spectre is his version of the Roger Moore era. A little crazier and a little sillier, but still a lot of fun. I think Skyfall had a better balance of the re-imaging of what Craig and company were trying to do, and the more traditional Bond that has been around for 50 years, but Spectre remains great entertainment.
And as a lifelong Bond fan, I can say that Spectre is definitely worth the price of admission.