Spectre will leave you shaken but not stirred


Daniel Craig returns for his fourth outing as James Bond in the franchise’s 24th instalment, Spectre, which opened in North America on Nov 6.

The film kicks off with an adrenaline-filled sequence in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead parade. The elaborate costumes and set pieces combined with a suspenseful score by Thomas Newman set the scene for a classic Bond adventure.

In the first minutes of screen time, Spectre honours the Bond legacy with some subtle and some obvious throwbacks. In the pre-title sequence, the Day of the Dead costumes are clearly borrowed from the Roger Moore film Live and Let Die. Even the title of the film is a nod to the Sean Connery era (SPECTRE being the name of a criminal organization behind many of Bond’s adventures in the ‘60s).

After an exhilarating fight sequence between 007 and an assassin aboard a helicopter, the film transitions into the opening titles, featuring the Sam Smith song “Writing’s on the Wall.”  The song is a tad dramatic even by Bond theme standards, but works within the context of the film.

From there, a rogue 007 finds himself in such grand locations as Tangier and Austria trying to uncover the secret terrorist organization, SPECTRE.

With the help of Dr. Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux), they uncover the chilling facts about the history of the sinister organization and the ties it has to Bond’s past.

While on their journey, they find themselves being hunted by Mr. Hinx, a burly henchmen reminiscent of Odd Job and Jaws.

Meanwhile back in London, M (Ralph Fiennes), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) are struggling to keep MI6 and the “00” section relevant while their superiors push to replace spies in the field with drones.

The concept of MI6 being outdated was touched upon in Skyfall, the previous film in the series, but is used as an entire sub-plot this time around.


James Bond prepares for an action packed chase scene in his latest adventure, Spectre.

More than halfway through the film, Bond and Swann locate the head of SPECTRE, Frans Oberhauser, who is portrayed by Oscar-winning actor Christoph Waltz.

This is where the film takes a turn for the worse.

This is supposed to be the climax of all of the Craig films but you wouldn’t know it. Although events from Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall are tied together in this moment, it comes across as underwhelming.

Since all of Bond films share a continuing storyline, this should be the most stirring moment in the Craig era. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

Part of the problem is Oberhauser, who is unimaginative and typical (his character, too, is a nod to a ‘60s Bond villain).


The final confrontation between Bond and Oberhauser is also anti-climactic, but does leave doors open for the next film.

However, the film does have many redeeming qualities, including references to such classic Bond adventures as Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me.

Spectre also reintroduces humour into the series, something the filmmakers have avoided in the Craig era, which gives it a classic Bond feel. Craig is more confident than ever in the role. After four films, Craig wears the part like a perfectly tailored suit and gives arguably his best performance as the suave, secret agent.

While the film may have some negative attributes, it’s an entertaining outing in the Bond catalogue – and brings back some gimmicks that have been avoided since Craig took on the role.

Spectre will leave you shaken, but not stirred.

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