Skyfall has left such a mark on the James Bond film series that no one thought it could ever be matched, but Sam Mendes proved us wrong! It turns out Spectre is an exemplary spy film packed with iconic characters, wonderfully directed actions scenes and surprisingly funny dialogues. All in all, the 24th adventure of the world’s favorite spy is a must-see!
From the very beginning, through the titles and to the end of the film, « the dead are alive »! Sam Mendes capitalizes on former James Bond films, and numerous references to old characters give Spectre a pleasant vintage look. From Dave Bautista’s clearly Jaws-inspired character to the burning opening titles which clearly echo Goldeneye’s, Spectre refers to all the previous James Bond at some point. What may be seen as a treat by hardcore fans may contribute to exclude curious audience who would have no clue how iconic SPECTRE is in the Bond film series. They would also not jump from their seats as high as I did when they’d learn who the cold-hearted Franz Oberhauser (played by the brilliant Christophe Waltz) truly is. In case you’d miss him reveal his identity, Mendes subtly brought back from the dead a massive white Persian cat… Still no clue what I’m talking about? You might want to watch You Only Live Twice then!
SPECTRE has made the heyday of James Bond, and the most interesting thing to reflect upon is why? Why did Sam Mendes felt the need to bring it back? The fear of a global power who could control everything everywhere appears to be symptomatic of today’s world, and features for example in various films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe where HYDRA could be seen as SPECTRE’s twin.
Spectre’s only flaw may be Mendes’ faltering visual treatment of good and evil. From the clothes of Madeleine (the radiant Léa Seydoux) against Bond’s suits, to the Austrian set and the various lighting effects, everything is black and white and causes the film to lack nuance at some point.
Fortunately, smart dialogues, a sly and lovely British humour, and an exquisite irony, allow Bond – and the film – to always lands on his feet. It brings to Spectre a welcomed comic relief while Sam Mendes has decided not to shy away from violence and portray Craig’s character as the sadistic, chauvinist and alcoholic murderer he has always been in Fleming’s novels.
In short, no matter if you love James Bond or if you have no idea what MI6 stands for, I would advise you to run to the closest cinema and treat yourself to some good action! In view of the quality of Spectre, let’s just hope that Daniel Craig will make up his mind and sign for more films now!