Review: ‘Spectre’ falls slightly short of ‘Skyfall’


Patrick Compton, Staff Reporter

It’s been three years since the highly-acclaimed James Bond film “Skyfall.” With it’s incredible writing, awesome soundtrack, brilliant villain and fascinating character dynamics, there was almost no way for the next film “Spectre” to top it. However, while “Spectre” is not as great as “Skyfall,” it’s still a well-made Bond film that doesn’t deserve to be overlooked.

A cryptic message from the past leads James Bond (Daniel Craig) to Mexico City and Rome, where he meets the beautiful widow (Monica Bellucci) of an infamous criminal. After infiltrating a secret meeting, 007 uncovers the existence of the sinister organization SPECTRE. Needing the help of the daughter of an old nemesis, he embarks on a mission to find her. As Bond ventures toward the heart of SPECTRE, he discovers a chilling connection between himself and the enemy (Christoph Waltz) he seeks.

The cinematography is some of the best of any of the 007 films, with the opening shot slowly following James Bond through Mexico City allowing the audience to gradually be brought back into this world and get a feel of what this film’s atmosphere will be like. Despite what some may say, the opening song by Sam Smith, “Writings on the Wall,” is actually very well done. It has the suave feel that any Bond song should have, and it works especially well in context with the rest of the film.

Daniel Craig is once again incredible as James Bond, and his well-picked co-stars also supplement his acting. Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q and Naomie Harris as Moneypenny are once again an enjoyable trio to help Bond along his adventure. Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann does well with what she’s given, but her character is another story. Dave Bautista as Mister Hinx is an intimidating henchman who provides the film’s best action sequences and biggest laugh from the audience. Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser is an incredible villain and is definitely one of the best in the Daniel Craig era of 007 movies.

Sadly the film is polluted with a few problems, with the most prominent being it’s pacing. The film starts strong at a balanced speed, slow enough for the audience to know what’s going on but not get bored. However, once Oberhauser is introduced in an incredible scene, the film takes a nosedive with it’s pacing and begins to move at an almost tedious degree. Along with the fact that Oberhauser is hardly in the film after this scene until the last 30 minutes, which is a shame given Christoph Waltz’s show-stealing performance, it makes you wish that he had a larger role, especially given all the hype surrounding his character and what the truth about him is.

Spectre for all of it’s problems is still a very fun ride, with great characters, clever writing and an amazing soundtrack to accompany it and is probably the second best of the Daniel Craig James Bond movies.