‘Spectre’ Review: Shaken, Not Stirred

The recently released ‘Spectre’ is the 24th installment in the storied James Bond film franchise, and Daniel Craig’s fourth and possibly final appearance as the fictitious British spy. Christoph Waltz stars alongside Craig as a stereotypically infamous Bond villain, and Sam Mendes returns as the director after previously working on ‘Skyfall’. It was not only the most expensive Bond film made to date, but also one of the ten most expensive movies in the history of cinema, with a budget of almost $250 million, according to Columbia Pictures.

The plot centers around James Bond’s initial encounters with Spectre, a worldwide organization of criminals. This group of evil masterminds has been referenced in Bond films before, most recently in ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ (1971). The complicated storyline tragically attempts to tie together all of the Bond movies featuring Daniel Craig into one overarching conclusion, which seems like too far of a stretch for a film series usually focused on the individuality of each of its respective parts.

‘Spectre’ has been criticized for its predictable nature as well as its confusing and boring plot, which jumps around from country to country for no apparent reason. The action sequences in the movie are top-notch, which is to be expected from any James Bond adventure, but they fail to serve any real purpose as the aim of the movie seems misguided and inconsequential. The film focuses on cyber security and governmental authority, two relevant topics in the modern world, but boring nonetheless.

‘Spectre’ was released on October 26th in the United Kingdom and November 6th in the United States, and it has received mixed reviews from the general public as well as from film critics. The foremost complaints with the movie are for its length – it clocks in at around two and a half hours – and its storyline, which seems too convoluted to interest even the most hardcore James Bond fan. Despite all of this, the film has grossed nearly $550 million dollars in less than a month since its hyped release, according to MGM.

James Bond is and always will be one of the most recognizable names on the planet. The Bond franchise is a timeless brand with millions of fans all over the world, and its distinctive aura will never be understated, no matter the quality of the latest Bond film. Although ‘Spectre’ might not have hit the mark in the way that ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘Skyfall’ did, it is still James Bond.

In my opinion, ‘Spectre’ fell flat because it tried to grasp concepts farther than it could reach. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have superb acting and the familiar feel of James Bond, but it leaves something to be desired in its attempt to cross lines that the previous Bond films never dared to approach. The movie takes itself too seriously at times and ends up leaving the audience feeling more shaken than stirred.

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