James Bond exposes a global syndicate of criminals called S.P.E.C.T.R.E. that is headed by an enigmatic figure from Bond's own past.
Directed by Sam Mendes
Written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth
Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott, Jesper Christensen, Rory Kinnear
Sequel to 2012's Skyfall
Based on characters created by Ian Fleming
Oscar Wins - Best Original Song (Writing's On the Wall)
Ever since they announced the title of James Bond's 24th adventure, I knew it was going to be one to remember. Boy, was I right. Spectre is a Bond film made entirely for lifelong fans of the franchise like myself. It is filled with 60's throwbacks, in-jokes, and of course the return of 007's arch-nemesis, the global terrorist organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E., which hasn't been featured since 1971's Diamonds Are Forever. Heading the organization these days is the enigmatic Franz Oberhauser, who may or may not be the infamous Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Daniel Craig shows no signs of slowing down in his fourth outing as 007. He is still owning the role and leading the pack, delivering a solid performance yet again. Christoph Waltz plays Oberhauser, the head of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., magnificently. His performance is reminiscent of the megalomaniacs Bond fought in the 60's and the entire third act feels very much like Dr. No. Léa Seydoux plays the naive but dangerous Dr. Madeleine Swann, who has very good chemistry with Craig's Bond. Returning as the core home team are Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q, and Naomie Harris as Miss Moneypenny, all of whom help round out Bond's allies as a solid supporting cast.
What made Spectre such an entertaining film was how the writers managed to finally connect Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall by making the chief villains of the three films all agents of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., working towards an ultimate goal. While it should feel like a massive retcon, it actually works and just makes the film more exciting. Of course, once the obvious reveal near the end of the film finally happened, the Bond fan inside me lost his mind and I was no longer able to view this film subjectively. Frankly, I found it incredibly enjoyable and would rank it among the greats, simply because it finally brought my favorite pack of villains back into the game.
While the Daniel Craig era James Bond films have been excellent and some of the best the franchise has given us, they largely avoided some of the elements and recurring themes from the previous entries. That all ended with the release of the recent film, Spectre. A film that soaked itself in 60's nostalgia with the theme song being used, the criminal organization of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. making a return, 007's arch-nemesis also making a return, and more humorous moments. Spectre not only does a fantastic job of honoring the original films, it also neatly connects all of Craig's movie together in an interesting way. Needless to say, fans will be pleased.
Daniel Craig continues to show the world why he has been the best James Bond since Sean Connery. He once again owns the role, delivering another solid performance of one of cinema's most iconic characters. I hope he has it in for one last movie, as it has previously been reported. Christoph Waltz plays the villain known as Oberhauser, delivering a chilling performance that harkens back to some of Bond's earliest villains. Léa Seydoux plays the seemingly innocent, but possibly dangerous, Madeleine Swann. She has very good chemistry with Daniel Craig and proves herself more than just another object for Bond. The rest of the returning cast are also, once again, great in their roles as franchise favorites.
Luckily for fans, the idea that the organization of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. was secretly behind all of the events that transpired in the past three Craig films' turned out to be a genius move. Even though it should have felt like the writers were retconning the franchise, it made the infamous organization that much more terrifying. It also helped add to the film's numerous throwbacks to the earlier entries. Besides from the obvious villain reveal at the end, which, as a fan of this franchise, made me lose my freaking mind, this was another solid entry in the Daniel Craig era James Bond films. For long time fans of this franchise, Spectre simply has a lot to offer.