One of the biggest challenges when it comes to making a new James Bond film is matching, if not bettering, its predecessor. In this case, it would take a mammoth effort to reflect the success of Skyfall, but with Sam Mendes again in the director’s chair, as he was for the last Bond three years ago, Spectre certainly does itself proud.
The film opens with a noteworthy tracking shot of our favourite secret agent as he roams the streets of Mexico City, before eventually winding up on top of a roof. All done in one five minute or so shot without cut – immediately a moment for the franchise’s golden archives.
The reason behind Bond’s (Daniel Craig) appearance in Mexico follows a cryptic message from his past, leading him to the organisation known as Spectre, headed by the gruelling Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz).
Naturally this is extra curricular work for 007 and completely out of the watchful eye of M (Ralph Fiennes), who faces his own challenge when young tech head, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott) seeks to wipe out the 00 programme and replace it with high security surveillance throughout the world.
Mendes and his team have taken the Bond franchise into completely new dimensions, enhancing plot lines, emotional attachment to characters and producing more thrilling action sequences than we’ve seen in any other Bond movie. This in addition to the versatility of Craig is a recipe for great viewing.
Speculation continues to grow regarding Craig’s post as 007. He heads a well put together cast in Spectre, including Waltz whose reputation was built on his soft but terrifying nature and therefore fitting the villain role perfectly. One of the stand out performances however comes from Lea Seydoux, playing Dr Madeleine Swann and Bond’s love interest. It’s a refreshing perspective of a ‘Bond girl’, as she balances strength and independence, as well as establishing herself as a key component within the film and not simply portraying the pretty woman under Bond’s shoulder.
As with all Bond movies, the plot is slightly ludicrous – but in a way where we as the audience never question it and in the end it neatly ties in previous Bond outings. It would be wrong to compare Spectre to its predecessor Skyfall. Both are completely different types of films and Spectre was always going to be a case of moving on from Skyfall rather than trying to replicate it, which is admirable in itself. Ultimately, it’s an incredibly enjoyable watch and can be considered another grand success for Mendes and Craig in particular.