Film Review: Spectre

[April Wilson | Contributing Writer]

Spectre, Daniel Craig’s fourth James Bond film, has very much set itself up to tie-up the series neatly. Although the series could of ended with Skyfall, after seeing Spectre, I am glad that it didn’t. This film has fixed up a lot of the loose ends that were dotted throughout the series. I think that this awareness is what marks out this run of James Bond. From the start, we are presented with a James in conflict about his 007 status, and in the end, we have a Bond resolute.

One of the things I particularly like about the new Bond films is that the women are a lot more ’rounded’ as characters. Madeline (Léa Seydoux) is one of my favourite characterisations in the film. She saves Bond’s life, fights back, and still has an emotional core. My only criticism would be the age gap; which I would not have a problem with, if not for Hollywood’s well known problem with large age gaps in couples.

Other highlights include Moriarty – sorry I mean Andrew Scott– and Christoph Waltz; I admit that I squealed a little when I saw he was in the film. There’s even one part in the film, in which we’re treated to a brilliant Sherlock reference, but I don’t want to mention it as it will verge into spoiler territory.

jb car.jpg

Image: Automotive Rhythms via Flickr – The gorgeous car Bond drives in the film.

The film then, is very much a Bond film. But does it have substance beyond tying up loose ends? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It presents to us a Bond trying to stay relevant in the digital age, something I’m very glad they have brought up. Through this, the very relevant topic of surveillance was talked about. We now live in a society in which Ashley Madison hacks take place and in which we get caught on CCTV, in Britain, an average of 300 times a day. M is right when he says that it sounds like George Orwell’s worst nightmare. The problem is then, that they do not attempt to reach any kind of resolve with this material. They stop surveillance going in the wrong hands, but there is no kind of discussion on whether the surveillance itself is bad or not.

There are no particular highs in this film, but there are no particular lows either. There is a sense that they did not particularly want to make this film very much and a lot of building tension just for the moment to fall a little bit flat.

For fans of the Daniel Craig cycle, I recommend seeing this film. However, note that this is not a standalone Bond film. Without the rest of the films, it loses almost the entirety of its relevance. Watch it to say goodbye to Daniel Craig.

Have you seen Spectre? Let us know what you think! @TridentMediaUK.

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Film Review: Spectre