Spectre: Bond will return

Jon Fuge

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In a James Bond flick, you’re guaranteed certain things: Bond will sleep with any woman that adorns the screen; he will voluntarily give his name to anyone who asks (not a great trait in a spy); and, above all – however patchy the film is – it will be entertaining enough to keep the fans happy and the franchise trundling on.

The new Bond film, Spectre, is the 24th in the series and MI6’s best agent is still going strong. Since Daniel Craig took up the mantle in 2005, the Bond films have taken on the gritty and realistic aspects of the modern action film and merged them with the Bond clichés of old. Here, there is no bigger cliché then the eponymous ‘Spectre’, a villainous syndicate that is behind crime and terrorism across the globe. Spectre, we’re told, is the big bad guy that Bond has been headed for since Casino Royale.

Spectre is pitched as a culmination of the Daniel Craig era, though it is not totally successful. Christoph Waltz’s Franz Oberhauser, the head of Spectre, is a cut-out Bond villain – but his motivations are a bit too vague. Oberhauser is the self-proclaimed ‘author’ of all of Bond’s pain, but we are just told this rather than shown it. Picking up where Skyfall left off, Spectre aims to dig deeper into Bond’s psyche, but while this adds real weight to the film, it feels like something of a rehash.

Despite all this, Spectre has a lot to offer. The opening sequence in Mexico City is a masterpiece of technical filmmaking and action, and the single-take sequence of Bond navigating his way through the throng is a pleasure to behold. And while we don’t get much in the way of eye-popping action throughout the rest of the film, what we do get is a series of outstanding, quieter moments. Bond’s exchange with Quantum of Solace villain Mr White seethes with tension, and the first shadowy meeting with Spectre is a particular highlight. We even get a sleepy, tipsy Bond interrogating a rat – which is equal parts hilarious and insightful.

Spectre may not be a masterpiece, but it’s certainly enough to tide us over. As the closing credits guarantees, Bond will return.

Jon Fuge is a writer based in London.

Watch the trailer for Spectre:

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