December 15, 2015
There isn’t a person alive that can honestly say that they don’t get at least slightly more excited upon hearing the James Bond theme song. In every generation, there is admiration for the beloved 007, whether he’s played by a Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or, in our generation’s Bond films, Daniel Craig.
Coming off of the recent success that Daniel Craig had in the last Bond film Skyfall, there was high expectations for Spectre. Rumored to be the possible end of Daniel Craig’s Bond era, franchise fans and curious movie buffs alike sat in movie theatres November 6th with anticipation in their eyes.
Spectre soars in all of the classic Bond trademarks, including an assortment of beautiful women Bond totes as his arm candy. The musical accompaniment never fails to impress, with Sam Smith crooning his new song “Writing’s on the Wall” along with the opening sequence. Naturally, Smith delivers and his song quickly lands a spot at #1 on music charts, the first time in history a Bond theme song has landed this spot in its first week after being released.
If the siren calls of Smith’s new song don’t cause you to run to the box office of your local theatre and buy tickets for the soonest showtime, you’re missing out. The movie opens with a riveting action sequence in a packed Mexico City. realistic extras dressed in festive Day of the Dead costumes flood the streets in what appears to be a parade. Exactly 1,500 extras were hired to create the scene in which Bond begins chasing the bad guy through the city and soon loses him. Until, of course, Bond spots him on a plane and hops on.
If the dancing parade-goers weren’t in enough trouble, the fight that occurs on the plane causes the pilot to swerve and almost crash into the bustling square. Camera angles capture the fight and the peril that citizens are in. As far as opening sequences go, this one is categorized as epic.
Other elements of 007’s character are easily spotted, although some differ in Spectre. The villain is the head of a secret underground organization that sees Bond and MI6 as a threat to their power; he comes face to face with the mysterious Franz Oberhauser. The pair apparently have a long history, with Oberhauser escaping death and is the puppeteer behind a majority of 007’s misfortunes.
His love interest, Madeleine Swann, has her moments as his feisty counterpart of the film, but scarcely compares to the historic Bond girls that older films had. An assassin’s daughter, her cold exterior practically dissipates when confronted with the classic “shaken, not stirred” charm of 007. Viewers are supposed to believe that Swann is our favorite agent’s only salvation to a ‘normal’ life.
A surprising standout of the film was a sidekick and fellow MI6 friend Q proved his loyalty in helping Bond continue his journey, made harder by the threat of MI6 and 00 operations being trumped by a more modern intelligence agency. The old-fashioned MI6 agency, under intense scrutiny from the British government, is in jeopardy now that things such as drones and digital intelligence exist. Although in a fictional universe, the stark parallel between their fight and the agenda of modern politics.
While Spectre may have been crowded with rumors and doubts surrounding its ability to survive alongside cinema giants like Marvel’s new universe, viewers put their doubts to rest after watching. It proves that this classic can not only adapt to compete with other films, but thrive among them.