Saturday, November 7, 2015

Spectre Review

Earlier this year I decided that in preparation for the new Bond movie to come out, I decided that I was going to do the ultimate Bond marathon. I was going to watch all previous 23 Bond movies in order and top that off by seeing Spectre in theaters. I decided that this was especially important for me to do because the only previous Bond movie I've seen was the most recent one, Skyfall, which I really enjoyed by the way. Don't ask me how or why I went my whole life without watching any Bond movies. I was never against them. I guess my parents or family weren't into them, so I didn't grow up with them and I never got around to watching them. But I vowed to change that by watching all of them and then give you my review of Spectre after watching all of them. This would allow me to compare Spectre to all the previous Bond movies with all of them fresh on my mind. Well, not only did I not only make this goal, but I came up completely blank. Sorry. The only two Bond movies that I've still are Skyfall and now Spectre. Life got busy and I didn't allot myself enough time to start this marathon. But that will still happen. And I'll probably do some sort of blog post after I finish. As for now, you get a review of Spectre from the perspective of someone who hasn't watched Bond, which I suppose is interesting in it's own right.

Now I admit that I'm not up to par on my Bond. That's not to say I'm a newcomer to this genre as a whole. I've watched a countless number of action movies and spy movies. I find them a whole lot of fun and thus I know exactly what I expect when I go into one of these movies. If it's a deep movie with a fascinating story, that's a plus, but mostly I just want to be entertained. Being that I loved Skyfall, I expected something similar to that. But holy cow that movie stunned me. Not in a good way. In a bad way. None of the characters looked invested in this project. Daniel Craig especially looked bored. The story of the movie is not interesting at all. The movie is surprisingly slow and boring. When the action happens, most of it really isn't that entertaining. The scenes that are entertaining to some degree are super cliche for a spy/action movie. The villain really doesn't exist. They talk about him a lot, but that's it. He shows up once before the finale for a brief moment then is there for the fairly short, two-part finale. That's all. I just wanted to be entertained by a Bond movie. Is that too much to ask for? Apparently so. I found very little entertainment value in this movie, making it one of the bigger disappointments of the year.

So let's start out with this story. It started out in Mexico City during a Day of the Dead celebration. This actually caught my attention. I liked Bond and his Bond girl's Day of the Dead disguise. I loved how they went up to the room and then he just left her there to stop some other people. "I'll be right back," he says. Nope. He ain't going back. Instead he's out to stop these guys from blowing up a whole stadium full of people or something like that. This leads to a sequence that is actually super entertaining, which ends with Bond and two others fighting it out in a helicopter. That was pretty boss. Yes, the movie had plenty of negative reviews, but it also had a lot of really good reviews as well. One of my friends called it one of his favorite movies of the year. After this opening sequence, I was rather pleased because it appeared that I was going to be among the crowd that really enjoyed the movie. I became really excited for this journey we were about to go on. Insert Sam Smith. His song "Writings on the Wall" started playing during that opening credits sequence and if I'm being honest that was a really weird sequence with a song that really wasn't that great. Sorry Sam Smith. I love your music, but this was not one of your best songs and it certainly didn't hold a candle to Adele's "Skyfall."

It was all downhill from there. It's like Sam Smith cursed the movie with his sub-par song that accompanied a horrible title sequence because the movie never recovered. We never returned to the level of that epic beginning. Instead Bond returns to headquarters and Voldemort is pissed with him over the whole Mexico City gig. "But I stopped them from destroying a whole stadium and only destroyed a whole building," Bond argued. "You didn't have permission and weren't supposed to be there in the first place," Voldemort responds. Or something like that. That's not a verbatim quote. But that was the general argument that took place. Bond is in trouble, so they insert some tracking thing into his blood so they know where he is. We reveal that we have this new awesome car. But Bond is not allowed to drive it. He's grounded. You know that means he's stealing the car anyways and travelling around the world. Europe that is. He's out to hunt down this criminal organization that he found out about or re-discovered. Something like that. This should lead to a really intense spy thriller that has you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Nope. It had me struggling to stay awake instead.

Let's talk about some of these action sequences. When push comes to shove, entertaining action sequences should be the best part of a movie like this. A great story, like in Skyfall, is nice. But if the story itself is a slog-fest, there should at least be entertaining action, right? Right? Well there isn't. Not after that opening sequence, anyways. Which I repeat was rather fantastic. We had a scene where Dave Bautista poked someone's eyes out. That was disgusting. Then the people there realized that Bond is secretly there watching him. That leads to a care chase scene with Bautista and Bond. This should've been super entertaining. I love a good car chase. This was kinda boring. I felt like I was watching Nascar. Sorry Nascar fans, but I find that sport mostly boring. We're just watching cars drive really fast in circles, none really gaining on the other. That's what happened here. Two fast cars driving really fast in what felt like circles. Nothing drastic happened. Later they were on a train. This was kinda entertaining. But nothing special. There were a few other kinda entertaining scenes. But mostly there was a whole lot of boring nothing happening between those scenes that just dragged on.

Then we get to the finale. And hey look! We have a villain! Christoph Waltz was our villain, which sounded like a good idea. I was actually excited for Christoph Waltz as the villain. Too bad he's not really in the movie. We get Dave Bautista for most of the middle of the movie instead. And they didn't let Dave Bautista talk very much, which may have been a good idea. Give him too many lines in a serious movie like this and he becomes a joke because he can't really act. His lack of good acting worked surprisingly well in Guardians of the Galaxy because his character was written perfectly, but this movie they didn't really try. Thus he really just became a big, scary guy chasing Bond for a while until he finally meets Christoph Waltz. After forcing myself to stay awake for two-thirds of the movie, the final sequence of the movie was actually fairly interesting. Then it ended in a cool way. After this I thought the movie was going to end, but it didn't. Christoph Waltz was still alive and we tack on what I call a second ending. Yeah this movie is long. It's 148 minutes long and it drags through that 148 minutes, making it feel twice as long. We didn't need that second ending. It was dumb anyways. I mean, talk about the most cliche ending ever for a spy movie. I'm not even kidding.

Needless to say, I was disappointed. I may not be up to par with my Bond movies, but I've watched a lot of great spy movies in my life as well as even more action movies. I know what makes a good spy movie. This was not a good spy movie. It has a very good start, but then nothing for the rest of the movie. The characters were dull. Daniel Craig looked like he was bored with Bond. The story was uninteresting. The action wasn't really there as much as it should've been and when it was it wasn't that entertaining when it was there. I was completely bored for the first two-thirds of this movie. The finale was fairly entertaining, but we had a lame villain played by a great actor that led a super cliche ending. What a waste of a great actor. What a waste of a Bond movie. It felt like they just did the bare minimum to get this Bond movie made and weren't super creative with anything. I have some people telling me that I will like this more once I watch all the Bond movies. I doubt that, but maybe. All I know right now is that I just watched a really dull spy movie. All I wanted to do was be entertained and that didn't happen. Thus I am going to give Spectre a 6/10.

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