Saturday, February 27, 2016

Movie Review: Spectre

This movie is pretty good, but not as good as it aspires to be.  Taking turns at giving brutal action and the surreal setting, it is a feast for the eyes and the gut.  I only wish it gave more thought to the brain.

Starting with the requisite slam-bang opener action, Bond is on the trail of a shadowy group that he can only guess about.  A posthumous message from the previous M gives him the clue he needs to begin unraveling the mystery.  Ultimately he does trace the group to its core and do what needs to be done – that always happens in a Bond movie, otherwise there would be no sequels.  In that sense the story is predictable.  What gives it its strength is the style with which Bond does his detective work.  It doesn't always make sense, but it is fun to watch.

The cast is impeccable, with Christopher Waltz's part as the head villain especially standing out.  He always plays the intelligent, purely evil – evil to the point of seeming charmingly innocent – character so well, and he is perfect here.  Also he has an amazing Evil Mastermind Desert Lair.   Just as the Bond Girl has an amazing Alpine Glass and Steel Clinic.  Both were stunning, but.... well, sort of high-profile.

Back to the story... Once again, MI6 is under threat and only an off-grid James Bond can bring it back from certain extinction.  Wait, didn't that just happen in the last Bond move?  Can't pull out that plot element too often, maybe every fifth film or so.  Too soon here.  Also, the plot elements don't always evolve naturally into the next scene.  The move ended up feeling like a series of set pieces that made sense in and of themselves, but were not tightly coupled enough to be a satisfying story.

But that's OK because it was still a lot of big glossy action-packed fun to watch.  It is not what it could have been had the story line been better, but it was good enough to advance the series.  Three out of Four Stars.

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