‘Spectre’, the ghost of a good James Bond flick


If you want to see a good Bond movie this weekend, go rent “Skyfall.”

In “Spectre” James Bond (Daniel Craig) screws up a secret mission—as the formula of most Bond movies dictates—and spends the rest of the film bouncing around the globe uncovering clues about a mysterious villain who’s pulling the strings behind a bunch of seemingly unrelated issues. Meanwhile, M (Ralph Fiennes) spends most of the movie with his brow furrowed.

Bond films generally follow a formula, to such a degree that this formula is one of the beloved features of the series. “Spectre” relies on this to a degree that the formula is almost directly discussed in the actual film.

The standard torture scene is taken in stride, Bond escaping without a scratch as per usual.

The big car chase scene is done at almost highway speeds, Bond could’ve ditched his expensive Aston Martin prototype for a Ford Fiesta and have received the same results.

The super villain reveals his master plan in such a way Bond has plenty of time to save the world.   

Somewhere within the bloated one hundred and fifty minute run time of “Spectre” is a pretty good film, but as it currently stands, I found myself wondering why this film exists.

The world isn’t at stake in “Spectre,” instead the big doomsday device just wants your search history. The big bad mega-weapon is nothing more than the idea of plugging a bunch of different server banks together to offer the villain the ultimate Google search engine.

Oh, and the opening song by Sam Smith is absolutely awful as a Bond introduction song. The series has prided itself on funky introductory songs in the past, but following up Adele’s award-winning “Skyfall” intro with Smith’s wailing was a horrendous bad decision.

I get it, modern audiences are concerned about their online footprint and modern spy thrillers have to take the Internet into account if they wish to seem relevant. Nuclear weapons and presidential assassination plots have been replaced with firewalls and SIM cards, and the genre is worse off for it.

As it stands, “Spectre” is a bloated re-hash of the main plot points in the last Bond film: “Skyfall.” In that way it’s a pale, overly-long ghost of a much better-executed film.

2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)