Friday, November 6, 2015

Spectre Review - 3 Stars

“Spectre” sticks to the successful James Bond formula that’s a good thing.  I felt like I was watching an update on “Goldfinger” and that’s a compliment.  “Spectre” opens with a long no cut tracking shot that would make Orson Wells jealous.  Bond works his way through Mexico City’s Day of the Dead parade into the bedroom of a beautiful woman and then out her window to an assignment that leads to a bomb and an earthquake of an explosion capping off with a fight inside a careening helicopter.  The sequence looks so breathtaking you shake your head and mutter “how’d they do that?”  And that’s just the opening, followed by the usual credits featuring Bond and a screen filled with suggestive women.  In this episode, the now dead Judy Dench as “M” leaves Bond a beyond the grave assignment.  As he goes rogue, Daniel Craig channels the great Sean Connery.  Rumor has it this is his final Bond feature but I doubt it.  The plot takes Bond to Morocco, Italy, Austria and London.  The forces of evil have an opportunity to infiltrate Bond’s agency, something Ralph Fiennes as the new “M” is determined to stop with Bond’s help.  The young French actress Lea Seydoux emerges as the daughter of one of Bond’s enemies becoming our agent’s lover as well as a helpful partner.  A bloody battle on a luxury train with Bond in white dinner jacket and Seydoux in an evening gown especially resonates with the roots of the series.  The former wrestler Dave Bautista stands in for “Oddjob” from “Goldfinger” as one of the heavyweights Bond must finish.  Their fight almost demolishes the dining car.  Christopf Waltz steps in as the master villain, complete with long speeches explaining his motives while a timer runs down to disaster.  Always a count-down, eh?  The plot feels familiar and the movie at two and a half hours sometimes feels long.  I doubt that Bond fans will mind.  Step aside and make way for “Spectre.”  Does it deliver what it promises?  By the numbers Bond adventure.  Is it entertaining?  Very much.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Bond fans will love it.