• 007 Spectre (2015) - Odd mixture of classic and contemporary elements - 6/10 (12/11/15)

    007 Spectre

    ''Spectre'' is an entirely entertaining above average action- thriller but only an average part of the famous James Bond franchise that I know by heart. While I enjoyed watching this movie at the cinema, I still felt somewhat disappointed and won't revisit this film anytime soon.

    The main problem of the movie is that it tries to arrange an odd mixture of the more recent films characterized by a more fragile main character, more personal plots and a sinister atmosphere on one side and the reintroduction of antiquated gadgets, classic characters from the seventies and the waffling of the usual trademark sentences on the other side. Instead of being an intriguing mixture of both styles, ''Spectre'' feels directionless, odd and surprisingly predictable.

    This has to do with an extremely weak story line. While the first hour of the movie is promising and builds up a mysterious tension around the main villain, the last ninety minutes fall flat from any point of view. The movie rehashes all the old stereotypes that aren't credible anymore in a contemporary setting. The love story between James Bond and Madeleine Swann isn't credible and feels forced. The main villain makes the most stupid mistakes such as torturing his victim instead of killing it at several moments. Even exploding watches and flame-spitting cars are back and add some unintentional slapstick humour to a film that starts in a serious manner. The problems don't stop there. Many parts of the movie are directly copied from several previous films of the franchise. The fighting scene on the train is a cheap copy of ''From Russia with Love'' for example. The character of Mr. Hinx is a cheap copy of Jaws from ''The Spy Who Loved Me'' and ''Moonraker''. These elements lack so much originality that they can't just be excused as simple tributes to the past.

    The acting of the movie is also rather underwhelming. It's Daniel Craig's least emotional performance of James Bond as he feels somewhat shallow and like a hollow shell of his former self. I was severely disappointed by the underused talent of the outstanding Christoph Waltz who is one of the best contemporary actors around the world but limited to a predictable character and a very short screen time. Monica Belluci's role is even completely unnecessary since she only has about five minutes of screen time, ten lines of dialogue and her role seems just to be a weak pretext for showing off some skin.

    Obviously, there are still several positive elements. Léa Seydoux is a confident, smart and tough incarnation of a Bond girl that contrasts the more traditional characters in the movie. Ralph Fiennes as M is convincing as a cold, loyal and serious boss. The geeky reinterpretation of Q portrayed by Ben Whishaw reaches a new high quality peak as well.

    The action sequences of the movie might not be original but they are definitely stunning. The chase scene in Austria is bombastic, breathtaking and well-edited. The costumes and settings of the movie are diversified but always appropriate. The soundtrack is on the same elegant level as the previous ''Skyfall''. 

    Some elements of the plot are truly promising, especially in the first hour of the movie. The longer the movie gets, the more ridiculous the story becomes and especially the closing scene is really weak in my opinion.

    In the end, ''Spectre'' is a slightly below average James Bond movie. Die-hard fans of the franchise should go to the cinema while anyone else can simply wait for a release on DVD/Blu-ray. You will probably be entertained while you're watching this movie but in the long run, it's a rather exchangeable film that you will soon forget.

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