Another Bond, another tired cliché. Girls, fast cars, and international espionage. Daniel Craig has recently stated he would only play the role again for the money. But does any of this actually matter? In a word, no. You know what you’re in for – that’s why you watch Bond – and with Spectre, Sam Mendes delivers in droves.
There is a spectacular opening scene moving through the Day of the Dead march in Mexico City, and even if the Mexicans don’t get any dialogue, the panning shots are amazing.
Bond’s ever-freshly-ironed suit takes on explosions, chase scenes and assassinations without ever encountering a crease. Craig delivers his silky one-liners, not quite with the same panache as Roger Moore, but managing to add some gravity.
What makes the recent Bonds work so well is the calibre of actors involved. Christoph Waltz does a great turn as the charismatic uber-villain of the criminal underworld, and it would have been nice for him to get more screen time. Likewise Moneypenny, Q and M are all fantastic – the Brits showcasing their best thespians.
The plot revolves around the government’s attempt to merge intelligence agencies and monitor their population’s communications. Mendes raises a very real issue and it’s nice to see a mainstream film engaging with politics and what for many is a major public concern.
This is Bond doing what Bond does – although I was never on the edge of my seat, it was never boring, and often it felt like the time flew by faster than a speedboat ripping up the Thames.
By Duncan Hall