Calling James Bond an iconic movie franchise is an understatement.
Following Ian Fleming’s exhilarating 1953 novel, “Casino Royale”, The Bond franchise took off like a ballistic rocket. The original 1962 film adaptation, “Dr. No”, follows Sean Connery as MI6 agent James Bond as he traverses the world in a tuxedo. Since then, every generation has adapted their version of this simple recipe. From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, the 007 series has had its ups and downs.
Every Bond film has a director behind the name. Most recently, Sam Mendes has held the reigns of the beloved Bond series. Getting his start with the drama hit, “American Beauty”, Mendes soon graduated to the action genre and directed one of the best Bond films to date, “Skyfall”. Most recently, he released the newest 007 feature, “Spectre.”
This movie tries very hard to dig back to the original roots of the series, and it marks the twenty-fourth Bond film. Congratulations Hollywood, there are as many Bond films as there are donuts in a 2 dozen box. So get out the Krispy Kreme because it is time to review the movie that is keeping Sam Mendes relevant. Walking into the theater I did not know how good this film was going to be, so I was in for a couple of surprises.
With “Skyfall” setting the bar, this film had a lot of expectations to reach the expertise of its predecessor. The cinematography kicked off with a long tracking shot showing James Bond sneaking his way through a Day of the Dead festival in Mexico. It is one of the best looking scenes in the movie. One way or the other it was evident that it was going to be an entertaining flick, but the next 5 or 6 minutes proved a complete mess.
It seemed promising at first, but my hope was shaken by the plot that followed. Bond jumped over buildings like some kind of Mario game, and found his way to a helicopter. A classic over-the-top Bond fight broke out. I am convinced that it was taken straight out of the screenplay of “Crank 3,” because of how many flips it does, and how insanely unrealistic the overall fight scene is. Although this scene makes less sense than a majority of bond movies, it is undeniable how awesome it is.
To me, it is very symbolic of the movie itself. At first, it is fun and crazy, but after a while you realize how boring and cliché it really is. The same can be said for the title sequence that answers the question, “What if David Lynch made a music video featuring octopi?” Now it should be stated that Bond films are usually over the top. While not coming across as bad as other instillations, such as “Moonraker” or “Die Another Day”, it does push the limits a little too far.
The script is way too complex, the sound too overwhelming at times and the characters way too laughable to give the film the justice it deserves. The bad guys are under whelming, and Sam Mendes did a much better job directing “Skyfall.” I need to declare, however, that this is an enjoyable film to say the least, and it does have one saving grace, the cinematography.
Every shot is done very well in this film that helps portray the atmosphere and the action better than other films. It is hard not to notice the detail and how hard people worked on this movie to make it good. I recommend that you see this flick if you are in the need for some action. It is a very average movie that simply could not live up to the hype generated from its successful predecessor.