When I heard this film was coming out, I wasn’t exactly optimistic about it. Not only was I certain that Daniel Craig is the worst man to play James Bond, but also that the Bond franchise is a decaying relic of a now irrelevant age. Eventually, I decided to put that cynicism aside, if only for a while, in order to give this film a fair chance. After all, I’m fairly certain that this may very well be the last film in which Daniel Craig even plays the main character, so it might be worth it to see him bow out gracefully. After sitting through all 150 minutes of the film, I came to a rather startling conclusion, that Spectre is perhaps the only good film to come out during Daniel Craig’s tenure.
Given that we tend to have our preferences, allow me to make my case. Before I saw Spectre, I thought it was going to be little more than a campy, bloated throwback to the 60’s. To my surprise, despite the plentiful use of the Bond theme as a leitmotif, this is perhaps the least campy Bond film in quite a while. In fact, this film found the balanced approach that the previous three films in the series failed to do. Given the film’s unusually long runtime, it’s actually quite bizarre that it managed to stay afloat long enough to fit all the pieces of the previous films together, leading up to a thrilling and satisfying conclusion that ties up all the loose ends. As for Bond himself, he seems much colder than he does in the other films, but I find that in Spectre, he’s more of an interesting, multi-faceted character than he ever was in twenty years. I may not like him, but at least he does a good job this time. Yes, he is an outdated character, but at least there’s no glossing over it this time. The other characters stand out like flying colours, with the kind of fine acting that has been missing from the series for far too long.
Whether or not you cared about the story, the characters, or the acting, you may very well have been impressed by the way the film presents itself with its crisp visuals, special effects, and awestriking set pieces, and for once, the gunplay and fist-fighting were quite a spectacle as well, and without an overabundance of silly toys to ruin it all. All in all, I’d say the producers were really trying this time. It may not be the best Bond film, but it certainly managed to give at least one last breath of life into a decrepit brand. If, for the sale of argument, this is to be Daniel Craig’s last outing as Bond, then I can at least say he ended his tenure on a high note. It took twenty years, but I think the Bond franchise may have finally shaken off the spectre of camp that has dogged the franchise for so very long, even though it tends to lean on the established formula.
- Score: 72%
- Grade: C