A great action movie will hook you right from the start. Spectre opens in Mexico during the festival Day of the Dead, where we saw two people walking among the crowd – the gentleman in white tux and the lady in black, both of them wearing an eye masks. They flirt in the lift and kissed once they entered the hotel’s room. The lady unmasked herself and lie down waiting for him to make his move. But, he is now holding a weapon and bid her farewell as he walked across the balcony and kept on walking, jumping from building to building to reach his target: an Italian mob, Marco Sciarra.
Sam Mendes brought an upgrade to the latest 007 movie. I am not saying I didn’t enjoy his work on Skyfall, but the movie as well as Marc Forster’s Quantum of Solace lacked the entertaining switch if compared to the movie that starts it all, Casino Royale. I am not a big fan of 007, heck I didn’t remember following the franchise with great enthusiasm compared to the Mission Impossible movies for instead. Yet, I did enjoy Casino Royale for its high-octane, sleek direction and great cast overall. And I am happy to report that the latest 007 movie, Spectre, has got those things back.
The opening scene is memorable. Not only Lee Smith did a delightful and sharp movie editing, but the gorgeous work by Dutch-Swedish cinematographer, Hoyte van Hoytema (whose previously work was Interstellar) left me satisfied. Speaking of editing, Spectre is by now the longest movie in 007 franchise, and yet I have no complains. I am not a fan of long duration movies, especially when I caught the midnight show, but for Spectre I would ignore my rule and gave it a two thumbs up.
Spectre itself doesn’t necessarily has the most original plot. James Bond has to uncover the secretive evil organization, Spectre, whose leader he may know from the past. Despite sounding over-the-top, the direction still offers a bit of action and drama for everyone to enjoy. Following the previous M’s instruction (cameo by Dame Judi Dench in a video) to hunt and killed Marco Sciarra, Bond deliberately ignore his new boss and C’s warnings, who lead the recently merged MI5 and MI6 and kept on going with his personal mission. The movie doesn’t focus on the internal conflict between 007 and Intelligent Service, instead it smartly involve M, Q and MoneyPenny into Bond’s mission without making them look lame or unwanted. What about the evil organization you asked? I have to say this is the only movie in recent years that make underworld society looks menacing. Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the crook behind the organization has personal vendetta against James Bond. Then there is Mr Hinx, a high-ranking and humongous assassin who will scare anyone in his way.
Daniel Craig once more returned as James Bond, and the 47 year-old actor is physically fit and acted spectacularly. You will sympathizes with James Bond’s childhood story and even forgives him for boning two beautiful women in this installment. Christoph Waltz stars as the evil Blofeld who is enjoyable as always; he didn’t overdo his evil character with comical laugh or gags, thankfully. The beautiful Monica Bellucci did a brief, sexy scene for which I am disappointed since I expected to see her holding a gun and more. Where else French actress Léa Seydoux performed well as Dr Madeleine Swann who once saved James Bond on a moving train.
I have heard mixed responses for Spectre, which I couldn’t understand why since this movie tick all the boxes in my cinematic-book. What about you?