“Spectre”, a default Bond film

By Chris Mudd, Staff Writer

The danger with a franchise as immortal as the Bond series is falling into a boring rhythm that becomes too familiar. “Spectre” is perhaps a sign that Bond only has so many movies in him before it becomes uninteresting.

“Spectre” is Daniel Craig’s fourth foray into James Bond’s tuxedo, and his character remains the more dark and grounded version that I’ve loved since “Casino Royale”. That being said, his performance is one of the few truly memorable things about the film. Most of the other characters don’t seem particularly inspired, and I feel like their motivations are too cliché to really work in the new direction Bond has been going, especially in the wake of “Skyfall” – which is arguably one of the best Bond films ever.

The other exceptional thing about the film is the opening tracking shot. A lot of films have adopted this style of film-making where we stay in a seamless shot for several minutes. Akin to films like “Gravity” and “Birdman,” “Spectre” does an amazing job getting me invested into the world of the film early on. However, after that shot, I don’t really have much reason to care.

Cinematography aside, the fight choreography, stunts, and sound effects are also great. But the soundtrack seems like a bland action movie score. A lot of percussion with little feeling behind it. I love Bond most when we see sides of him beyond the awesome sexy spy guy, and the soundtrack often helps us connect with him on a more human level. And with a story that’s supposed to be personal and traumatic for the character, the soundtrack seems a bit sloppy.

Christoph Waltz is always a pleasant experience to watch on screen and is one of the best actors of today. Yet after being marketed as the film’s main villain, he spends so little time in the story that I feel cheated. Especially after “Skyfall,” where the villain was so interesting and unique, “Spectre” seems to put the car in reverse, so to speak.

“Spectre” is enjoyable on a base level, but it was really only worth watching the one time. It was fun, but doesn’t go much deeper than that. If it didn’t have the James Bond stamp on it, the film would likely go unnoticed.