“Spectre” (plus a little side note on two other movies)

As much as I admired “Casino Royale” (2006) and “Skyfall” (2012) either altering the gun barrel sequence or saving it for the end, I was ecstatic to see “Spectre” begin with this sequence again. I knew right away I wasn’t in for an ambitious Bond film like the two previously mentioned, but a fun spectacle. And that’s okay, too!

“Spectre” follows Daniel Craig as Bond, who has gone rogue for the third time (he first went rogue in “Licence to Kill” (1989) and again in “Quantum of Solace” (2008)) to track down and kill a terrorist with a personal connection to him named Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz). It’s that simple, but much better than it sounds.

“Spectre” features some of the greatest action sequences in the history of the franchise that are some of the highlights in the movie. This includes a very impressive long take that follows Bond on a mission, a semi-meta car chase, and a frenetic fight scene between Bond and a silent assassin played by WWE’s Dave Bautista.

Don’t let me give the impression this is a mindless action tale like “Quantum of Solace” was, because it’s not. We get a lot of tie-ins to the previous Craig Bond movies that work well and some slick visual storytelling reminiscent of “Skyfall” (Sam Mendes returned to direct after all).

Perhaps the greatest scene is a very tense and shadowy introduction to Oberhauser, which might be the greatest villain introduction ever put on film. It uses darkness and silence for tension, and Waltz once again provides a wonderfully villainous performance.

Of course this movie isn’t perfect due to an annoyingly melodramatic theme song by Sam Smith, a rushed romance, and a subplot featuring commentary on surveillance, that doesn’t always mesh with the main story. But I was able to forgive these flaws since “Spectre” was a damn near-masterful generic Bond movie.

Grade: B+

Quick Note – I did see “Steve Jobs” and “Beasts of No Nation” over the last few weeks. Due to some delays and problems with my hand, I wasn’t able to get these reviews up in time, but I would definitely recommend both! “Steve Jobs” is another masterpiece for Danny Boyle, while “Beasts of No Nation” proves Cary Fukanaga is one of the most artistic rising directors in the industry. Both movies get an A+.