Saturday, November 7, 2015

Spector (James Bond)

Plot:  Spy agencies are going digital, and old school spies like M (Ralph Fiennes) and 007 (Daniel Craig) have a new boss C (Andrew Scott), and he wants to consolidate into one global pan-national spy agency, that would collect all data - rather like the NSA. Bond suspects it is a ploy by the shadowy Spectre organized crime group, which uses terrorism to justify the global intelligence units it will use to take control.  He travels from London to Rome to Austria to Algiers to Monaco  and more as he chases the shadowy Spectre organization he suspects is orchestrating it all. In Austria he questions Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) and she joins the international chase. The outcome is resolved by car chases, fist fights, gun fights, and explosives.  [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Spectre has big splashy action scenes that are simply fun to watch, and it's threaded together with a story line that is has modern and traditional spy-movie elements. Modern with electronic surveillance and computer crime, but traditional in that Bond's classical villain Spectre is back, and lots of thugs get killed. Like all other Bond movies the action is in far-flung locations providing variety for example the aircraft chasing cars down a snowy mountain, and a luxury car ride in a sandy desert.

This Bond movie continues on the theme that terrorism causes governments to collect more data and this in itself is bad. Daniel Craig's Bond is not a playboy, although he does hit on a friend's daughter whom he promised to protect from assassins - which is sleezy & unprofessional, and more like the original Bond character.

What didn't I like? The depth of emotion is down from Quantum of Solace or Skyfall. For example Madeline is too cool to be alarmed that an evil terrorist group wants to kill her. While Ralph Fiennes does a good job, he is way less powerful than Judy Dench.
Cast: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Andrew Scott

Directed by: Sam Mendes

The Music: Great sound track by Thomas Newman which weaves the iconic melody with many other influences.

The Visuals: 
Spectre and recent Bond movies set a new standard for action movie visuals. Great variety, always well done. 

Rating: 3.0 stars; A movie Experience. Great visuals. Maybe it should be 3.5 stars because of the quality, but maybe not because it is a little mindless. It is a summer popcorn movie that happens to have come out in November.

More: Bond movies always have a little comic element. It reduces the tension, and makes the movie fun. I find it hard to grapple with certain elements of the story are there to make it move fun for audiences, and that does not fit with movie as Art or movie as Message. Spectre, other big mass-market, and horror genre movies are Experiences not Messages or Art. They give the viewers something to feel which has its own intrinsic value. Maybe all Art gives us something to feel, but good Art needs to be new, and good Experiences don't.

Even More: The villain and his white Persian cat live to take over the world in the next movie.