Disclaimer – This writer is a massive James Bond fan. He has collected every single release of James Bond on DVD and plans to convert the same (shortly) into an enviable Blue Ray collection before the release of Bond 2017-18. He can rarely find fault in a James Bond movie and therefore can be classified as a “classic fanboy”. Read on.
The camera pans into the Day of The Dead celebrations in Mexico City where a man in a light coloured jacket and tie, replete with a mask of a skull (which is a standard accessory on the day) is making his way through the carnival. Another man in a dark jacket and tie that can put a skeleton to shame watches him with girl in arm. His gaze follows him into the alley before he takes the other road into a hotel – All in a single shot and we are 2 mins plus into SPECTRE.
Dark skeleton enters his hotel room (and even now, you think it is a single shot) before relieving himself of the first layer of clothing and showing himself to the audience as Bond (Daniel Craig). He picks up one of his gizmos that enables his license to kill, looks at the girl who is now all but waiting to be taken and says, “I will not be long” before hopping onto the parapet of the hotel and making his way to his vantage point. The walk is shot in a manner that can make you ever so slightly giddy.
Bond’s target – Light coloured jacket guy aka Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona) who plans to blow up a stadium. Of course Bond blows up the building instead but Sciarra is not one to die easily. A chase through the carnival leads Bond and Sciarra into a fist cuff in a helicopter followed by death defying stunts before Bond all but crashes the chopper into a few thousand revelers…. Fade to – Sam Smith crooning “Writing’s on the wall”.
Spectre then moves onto narrate a story (as always an unbelievable one) involving a nexus of crime led by an unknown person who Bond has to eliminate. Only this time, he is not doing it under the umbrella of MI6. He is doing it to avenge his mentor and ex-boss, Old M (Judi Dench). His chase leads him to Sciarra first before travelling to Rome, Austria, an exotic Alpine Health retreat, Tangiers, the middle of the Sahara and back to London for the inevitable climax at the now defunct MI6 HQ (blown up in Skyfall).
En Route, he has an encounter with a 50 year old sizzler Lucia Sciarra (Monica Belucci), a giant called Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista), a less than sensational car chase (by Bond standards) through Rome in his new Aston Martin DB10 (which was meant for 009), a less than romantic escapade with a daughter of an assassin (White – from Casino Royale) Dr. Madeline Swann (Léa Seydoux), another encounter with Mr. Hinx in a Trans Saharan Railway Carriage for good measure before blowing up the villains lair.
Bond goes through all of this in a manner that makes him look the least vulnerable amongst all Daniel Craig Bond movies to date. Sam Mendes has definitely nudged the character up the ladder in a way. But unfortunately for Mendes, the script / story doesn’t do absolute justice to Bond. It is not tight and meanders a little in bits and parts leaving the audience a tad (in many cases very) disappointed.
But don’t let the critics dissuade you from enjoying the 24th Bond roller coaster. The stunts are superbly executed. The performances especially the sinister one from Christoph Waltz is worth spending money on. Daniel Craig is as always awesome. A pity that our “Sanskari” Censor Board will not let you see as much of Monica Belluci as Sam Mendes wanted us to see. Overall, not the best Bond movie ever made, but definitely enjoyable and as much of a roller coaster as many of the good ones. 7 on 10.