You're a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond.
Well, this was disappointing. I went into Spectre with a fair amount of charity in mind; it was, after all, following up on the masterful Skyfall and there was no chance it would be as good as that. But it certainly didn’t need to be this bad. The cast is good. Craig is solid, as always, and Lea Seydoux is always compelling. And when the film does work, as in that first meeting of Spectre, the credit has to go to Waltz, definitely this film’s MVP; he even manages to make that completely ridiculous torture scene work and he even carries off that absurd burn makeup with sufficient brio that you almost believe it. And Monica Belluci is genuinely one of the best things in the movie in a tiny role; it’s nothing short of compelling to see an older woman catch Bond’s attention. She’s still stunning, of course, but it’s simply still ground-breaking, and not just in the Bond franchise, for Bond to have a liaison with a woman of Belluci’s age. I wish to God they’d done more with her character. But that’s a constant thing with this script. The film has some decent ideas, but it doesn’t know what to do with them. I think the retconning of all the previous Craig villains into Spectre is solid, but the film has nothing to say about it. It’s just “Yes, Javier Bardem worked for me too I am the author of all your pain look a VHS tape about Vesper blah blah well now I’m going to stick a needle into your brain.” And why on earth am I supposed to care about Mr. White’s daughter? I don’t even care about Mr. White himself. And it doesn’t know when to stop; the film seems to have a good half-dozen climaxes. And the direction is quite inept, which is strange, since Mendes also directed the beautiful Skyfall. It’s a little suspicious that suddenly Mendes doesn’t have Roger Deakins and suddenly he’s only a mediocre director. Just sayin’. But he just seems not to know how to handle an action sequence; the Rome car chase, for instance, which takes a lengthy break for some bizarre comedy that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Roger Moore Bond. He doesn’t even seem to know that the moment when the cars drive up on the wall is supposed to be the climax; it just kind of happens. The only action sequence that works is the brutal hand-to-hand fight between Craig and Dave Bautista on the train; it’s a clear nod From Russia With Love and it works. But by and large the action here is incredibly lackadaisical. It’s just a lackluster film. There are pleasures to be had from watching the talented cast do the best they can and some scenes seem dropped in from a better movie, like a scene with Q in Switzerland being pursued by thugs. But, by and large, this film is a massive disappointment. Craig is a great Bond; and he only has so many Bond films in his. Let’s not waste anymore, shall we? 1 ½ star.
tl;dr – lackluster Bond film suffers from a shallow script, poorly written characters and inept direction of action sequences; good performances can only do so much. 1 ½ star.