Spectre 007: The Pros and Cons of the Newest James Bond Movie

When it comes to spy movies, 007 James Bond films are definitely high on the list of movies-to-watch. The only question is – where to watch it? Should you run to the cinema nearest you with popcorn and drink on hand or should you just wait it out until it’s shown on HBO or when it’s released on DVD?

Well, I trooped down to Newport Cinema to catch the latest 007 film, Spectre along with some friends. I was quite excited to see this movie, not only because I’ve grown to liking James Bond films thanks to my Dad who was a big fan, but also because I enjoyed watching Casino Royale and Skyfall, the previous 007 movies that starred Daniel Craig.

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What can I say about Spectre after seeing it on the big screen? Well, for those of you who are still wondering which option to choose (at the cinema or at home), I hope this review helps.

Let’s start with the pros of this movie:

The opening scene was picturesque! It was set in Mexico during the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities where you would see thousands of people dressed up in skeleton costumes. It made me want to go to Mexico just to witness that holiday! It then zooms in on Bond in a skeletal mask with with a beautiful woman in his arms and in just a few minutes the film takes the audience from being awestruck to being in suspense as the first fight scene in a helicopter and a spectacular demolition were shown. I was so amazed! Add a car chase scene in Rome where Bond drives an Aston Martin! Well, impressive!

Spectre was definitely an action-packed movie that would keep you at the edge of your seat. And I know I wasn’t the only one who would say that about this film because at one point in the movie, my friend, unable to contain her excitement, exclaimed “Dali!”  prompting a shush from me.

Plus all the outfits of James Bond and the women would make you think you were seeing magazine fashion editorials come to life. These were my favorite:

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I’ve never really been fond of Daniel Craig as James Bond because I find his looks too rough for the sexy and dapper spy, but when I saw him in Spectre, well, I’ve completely changed my opinion about him. He looks hot!

However, I thought it was a shame that Monica Bellucci was not given much screen time nor a good storyline. To think her casting as a Bond girl – the oldest Bond girl to date at age 50! – got so much hype. She was a widow of an assassin that Bond killed and whose life was seemingly now in danger. Does Bond do anything about it, though? Not really. That left me wondering, “What happened to her character?”

The villain is someone seeking revenge from James Bond because, as it would turn out, Bond is his stepbrother! Unfortunately, while I give credits to Christopher Waltz’ acting (he could make a scary, saddistic villain), the movie failed to establish a stronger back story as to why this baddie is seething mad at James, enough to kill his father and cause Bond so much pain by taking away those near and dear to him (Vesper Lynd; Judy Dench as M). At least Javier Bardem’s villain character’s motivation in Skyfall for feeling so vengeful against M was very well-explained.

Then there was the plot about S.P.E.C.T.R.E (Special Executive for Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion), a huge criminal cartel causing chaos all around the world, led by Waltz’ character, Franz Oberhausen. The big and evil master plan of S.P.E.C.T.R.E? A cyber terrorist attack. In this new era where technology plays a big role in people’s lives, that sounds like a very exciting plot for Bond to foil. Unfortunately, the scene where M (Ralph Fiennes) and Q (Ben Whishaw) stopped C and S.P.E.C.T.R.E’s cyber terrorist attack  just left me feeling “Eh.” Very anti-climactic!

Lastly, the opening credits: a shirtless Daniel Craig being caressed by octopus tentacles while Sam Smith’s Writings on the Wall played in the background – that just made me go “Uhm…weird.” The visuals and the music just didn’t mesh well together for me. I couldn’t help but compare it to Skyfall again where Adele’s song, also entitled Skyfall, could be heard playing in the background as audiences watched an unconscious Bond fall deep in the waters. Those were very beautiful opening credits.

I think there was just too many subplots that were left unresolved, too. Throughout the movie, I kept waiting…and waiting…and waiting for the stories to unfold, but they never did.

Spectre would probably make it big in the box office despite negative reviews, though. It’s a 007 James Bond movie, after all – it’s such a well-established movie brand. Special thanks to Resorts World Manila and PMCM Events Management for making this event possible with WhenInManila.com :)






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