REVIEW: Spectre

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Review by Dustin Heller

Spectre is the new James Bond film and the 24th installment in the series.  Daniel Craig is back as agent 007 and making his fourth appearance as James Bond.  The film is directed by Sam Mendes, who was also in the director’s chair on the last Bond film, Skyfall.  Alongside Craig, the film boasts a pretty amazing cast including Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Dave Bautista, Naomie Harris, and Ralph Fiennes.  With an astronomical budget, Spectre is considered one of the most expensive films ever made.

A cryptic message from M just after her death leads James Bond to Mexico City and Rome, where he tracks down an assassin and then saves the life of his widow.  It is here that he gets information about the existence of a sinister organization known as SPECTRE.  Wanting to dig deeper, Bond attends a secret meeting where he comes face to face with the leader of SPECTRE and discovers a shocking connection between the two of them.

With the help of Dr. Madeleine Swann, the daughter of Bond’s nemesis Mr. White, Bond goes directly into the heart of SPECTRE and faces his greatest enemy of all.  Meanwhile, back in London, the head of the Joint Intelligence Service is making a push  to create the “Nine Eyes” intelligence co-operation agreement between nine countries, and close down the ’00’ section in the process.  Bond must stop SPECTRE before the entire world is under their control.

Spectre comes right out of the gate with guns blazing, opening with an awesome tracking shot through Mexico City and going right into an intense helicopter scene.  Things slow down quite a bit after that, but the film manages to keep a pretty good pace even during the plot building scenes.  The action scenes are fast and furious and incredibly well shot.

The budget of Spectre is estimated to be around $300 million, and the movie feels like it got every penny’s worth.  Personally, I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan of the James Bond series, but I would say that Daniel Craig is probably my favorite Bond.  He is naturally suave and debonair and as cool as they come.

Christoph Waltz is excellent as the villain, whereas I thought Dave Bautista’s character was a little too much of a bonehead.  Spectre has enough going for it that it should appeal to all audiences and not just James Bond fans.  The nearly two and half hour run time feels a little long by the end, but at the same time you definitely get your money’s worth.  This is a movie that should be seen on the biggest screen possible.

Grade:  B

Spectre opens in theaters on Friday, November 6.