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Spectre Was Less Than Spectacular (Spoilers)

Let me start with what this movie did well:

The cinematography was beautiful (the camera rarely held still and the shots didn’t feel motivated but hey, it’s an action movie so that’s acceptable), the locations were wonderful, the acting was (mostly) good, and the wardrobe was stunning (as in any Bond film).

Now here’s where I take issue: there were about 45 minutes of the film that could have been cut to create a nice, tight, movie package. With so many gratuitous chase scenes, romance scenes, explosions, Spectre dragged at multiple occasions. It was about 15-20 minutes in that the titles played and that was the first hint that it was going to be a long haul. For about 3 and a half minutes we listen to Sam Smith sing accompanied by some rather strange visuals. Elementary flame effects, sensual ladies, an octopus whose tentacles slide around the women’s shoulders… There didn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason for this music video interlude other than “they do that in all Bond films”. AND if that’s the only reason they made it then why, with their $300 million budget, couldn’t they have made something a LITTLE more exciting or interesting, or at best, not horribly repetitive?

I had read praise about Monica Bellucci being a Bond woman at an older age than the typical Bond ladies and was interested to see how that played out. She’s in the film for about 10 minutes (a scene that they made necessary purely to have her in the film but really added naught to the plot). PLUS she was replaced by a younger Bond girl (Lea Seydoux) for the duration of the rest of the film. Her part was at least a semi-tough, intelligent, and sexy combination. But I don’t quite understand what all the praise was about in advance for Bellucci’s part. It’s placed in a space that feels contrived and unfounded. Also if she’s this tough Bond WOMAN why did she give up the information (and her body) so easy to Bond on the day of her husband’s funeral? I don’t understand what the point is supposed to have been.

Now, I enjoy car chases – the automobiles (Aston Martin DB10 and Jaguar C-X75) are always works of art and I rarely get bored during them but there did reach a point in the first chase scene where I wondered “when is this going to end and resume the film?” The second vehicular chase scene I enjoyed much more because it involved an airplane that slowly turned into a toboggan-plane through the amount of damage it took on.

The “twists” were so blatant that an infant wouldn’t have been confused. If we’re to believe that a villain is dead shouldn’t we actually believe it a little? Instead the audience had a collective, “oh well he’s coming back”. The first time the Villain, Franz Oberhausen (Christoph Waltz) “dies” the movie should have ended. The film was an hour and 45 minutes by that point. There was no need to bring him back for another explosion and diabolical scheme – we already saw one.

Would I recommend this? If you want to watch it on Netflix, sure. I’m not sure it’s worth spending $10 to see it at a theater. I started to fall asleep towards the end!