Friday, November 6, 2015


It has been a looong time since writing a movie review here (*Interestingly my last post was for Skyfall, the excellent Bond film from director Sam Mendes). I kept saying to myself that, when the time is right, I will write here again.

Apparently the time has come.

I just saw Spectre, the new James Bond film.

As I sit here following my viewing of Spectre, and I reflect on how much UK film critic Mark Kermode, whose opinion I trust, liked this film, I am wondering, Did we see the same movie? Is he nuts or is it me?

As a long time fan of everything 007 from the books to the films, I hate to say this: I did not like it. Spectre is a letdown. In fact, I was bored and underwhelmed by it. I think I would be embarrassed if I were director Sam Mendes or star Daniel Craig.

To be fair, let me start with the things I liked about Spectre:

The globe trotting typical in a Bond movie is on full display here with various locations such as Mexico, Austria,  Rome, Tangiers, and London.

The "Bond Girls" are fine this film, in particular the beautiful Monica Bellucci (in the film all too briefly, a big missed opportunity I'd say) and dangerous yet sexy Lea Seydoux (who does a nice job with a role that never quite lifts off).

Q played by Ben Whishaw is great, as is Ralph Fiennes as the new "M." Andrew Scott as a shifty bureaucrat is good but vastly wasted in a throwaway role that could have been so much more.

A few of the set pieces are quite good especially the opening Day of the Dead sequence and the fight on the train.

Now for my beefs:

What a wasted opportunity! If ever a film felt like a committee had written it, this is one. What really hurts is to see the talents of Craig, Christoph Waltz and others go to waste in a big budget film. So much talent, and so little story, motivation, or momentum.

The story, if there is one, has something to do with an assignment from the prior "M" (played by Judy Dench) in a brief video mysteriously delivered to Bond. There should have been much more to this, but alas there never is.

The motivation is never explained. Bond just goes gallivanting around the world wreaking havoc wherever he goes.

There is no momentum, just a drawn out, long film that drags most of the time. Every 15 minutes I was checking my watch and calculating how much longer till the ending credits.

My son Kevin, a filmmaker, said there is something wrong with the sound of the movie. This is most apparent in the scenes with the new "M" which are actually hard to hear.

As my son Kevin and I drove home from the multiplex, we both agreed that the Biggest Missed Opportunity was that Andrew Scott's annoying bureaucrat should have been The Big Bad, wearing a disguise yet later revealed as the mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld. And Monica Bellucci should have returned as his "Irma Bunt."

Well, despite my disappointment, many are enjoying Spectre. That's good. It will probably make bajillions at the box office.

Let's hope for another fresh reboot the next time around.

Anyone for Chris Nolan as director?  And Michael Fassbender for Bond?

Terrence Seamon loves movies. Follow him on twitter @tseamon

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