Monday, 2 November 2015

Spectre- The real Bond, with real threats. (spoilers)

The year of 2015 has already seen the release of many blockbusters. From The Avengers: Age Of Ultron to The Man From U.N.C.L.E, but these were all just seat-warmers for the real moments of visual storytelling.

With the Winter holding host to two major, and I mean MAJOR, comebacks in the form of The Force and drinking Martinis with your favourite suit on, I thought I would spend my evening at my local cinema seeing what Sam Mendes had put together for his second 007 outing. I was not disappointed.

Bond's previous mission was nothing short of spectacular, Skyfall was the start of a throwback to the golden days of British espionage. The DB5, the return of Q and his lovely little pot of secrets, the sheer beauty of what James Bond could be (especially after the hideous Quantum of Solace).

Let me set the scene for you.

The opening shot establishes the truly wonderful setting, The Day of the Dead in Mexico, almost a cinematic triumph from the start. The opening scene is captured almost seamlessly with a single shot, following a white suit cladded gent making his way through the crowd of devilishly dressed festival goers. But he isn't the man himself, just a poor, unknowing target. After following a couple up through the streets and up to a hotel room, a mask gets removed to reveal the suave spy himself, James Bond. Cue explosions, a chase through the streets of Mexico and maybe what has to be the most exciting, daring and truly spectacular Bond opening scene to ever be conceived.

With the explosive intro out the way then enters the sexy opening credits that the 007 franchise has always exhibited. Unfortunately with a very lack luster theme song (sorry Sam Smith, but maybe save the vocals for the next Bridget Jones or something?) but that is probably where the mediocrity ends.

After the events of the last film MI6 is undergoing some dramatic changes, with Mallory as the new M, and the threat of the 00 program being halted, espionage is looking to be dragged "out of the shadows", as was the theme in Skyfall. With C introducing himself to Bond, cue some delightfully sarcastic quips from Craig, the audience is made aware of the coming changes that are threatening Bond's way of life.

Poor old James doesn't have long before he is grounded, not to leave London, and having a tracer placed on him by the fresh faced and mustache free Q (reminiscing back to the Cleese days). But the main problem seems to be that Bond is hiding something. Throw in some new gadgets, and I mean throwback James Bond gadgets (wont say what) and the beautiful Aston Martin DB10, and a message from the late, great M (Judi Dench) we suddenly realise that this Mexico mission wasn't an AWOL mission, it was a request.

Now I will leave some elements to you to find out for yourselves..........

The bad guys in Spectre are probably the highlight, a fierce and almost mute Mr Hinx (a brutal and gigantic Dave Bautista) and the menacing head of the shadowy organisation Frans Oberhauser (an always amazing Christoph Waltz) make the main man sweat. In my opinion a hero is only as good as his enemies, and boy, the enemies are what you would want from a Bond film. Think of these two as Jaws and..........ahhhhhh I shouldn't even begin these comparisons otherwise I could go on forever.

 A return of some familiar faces put Bond on the path to some excellent set pieces, including but not limited to 007 trying to take down a convoy of cars using a biplane. Even more familiar faces crop up that link Craig's films all together to become full circle, and I think that was what Mendez was aiming to do. The fact the two most upsetting words, sorry, I am trying not to cry, Vesper Lynd are muttered, shown and implied, means that heartbreaks are guaranteed.


There was a little rumour circulating the internet a few months before the release of this behemoth of a film, relating to a real identity of the big bad, the "architect of all Bond's pain" being none other than the Dr Evil-inspiring, white cat stroking, jibby eyed toting, mastermind that is Blofeld himself.

And if you believed it or not, it still came as a massive, jaw-dropping moment that will haunt me forever. When you see that furry little shit scampering around Bond's feet when he is............ah I have already spoiled the big twist, "strapped" to a real, evil, and Bond-esque torture chair, you know that this man is not to be messed with. Bond's big nemesis has finally made it to the screen. You even get to see how the man gained his 'unsightly' scar (excuse the pun).

One big finale, some major plot points and the promise of a sequel later and that was Spectre, one of the most exciting and adrenaline fueled 007 films ever to grace the big screen.

5/5 and then some. GO WATCH NOW.