Spectre review: Daniel Craig’s rumoured final Bond film is more zero than 007

Gayatri Gauri

Nov 20, 2015 13:42:17 IST

Spoiler Alert: James Bond has already lost to the Indian Censor Board. He cannot kiss beyond a time limit. Bond girls, be damned.

We'll just have to deal with that. We'll also have to deal with the longest 148 minutes in Bond film history.

There is a moment in the 24th James Bond film, Spectre when Bond says, "doesn’t time fly?" The line is a pun on a certain gadget, and an explosive scene that follows. But unlike Bond, the script and director, Sam Mendes, seem to have total disregard for time in Spectre.

Time doesn't fly in Spectre, time crawls. Even though length is a given trademark in Bond films.

 Spectre review: Daniel Craig’s rumoured final Bond film is more zero than 007

Daniel Craig in Spectre. Screen grab from Youtube.

Spectre’s descent into a the most boring action film comes as a bigger disappointment considering its predecessor-- the richly layered Skyfall. After introducing a personal history element to Bond in the last film, Mendes reverses gears, just like one of Bond’s fancy cars, and takes the nostalgia path. He tries to be so true to the original format in terms of the car chases, helicopter sequences, train episodes, that even the plot remains predictably the same.

What's worse is the Bond girl, Dr Swann (Lea Seydoux) is more sugar than spice. And the beautiful, the best and oldest Bond girl - Italian donna, Monica Bellucci only remains a promise-filled vision. Shot beautifully in golden light, her lone walk towards a pool has more oomph and mystery than her censor-controlled kiss with Bond.

As for the rest, there is more energy in Q’s (Ben Whishaw) presence than both Bond and M (Ralph Fiennes, wasted).

The film starts with a worthy octopus filled credit sequence hinting at the nostalgic value of the franchise. Fleeting images of Xavier Bardem and Judy Dench reconnect you with the last film. The story opens to a grand visual spectacle of a smooth one take shot of Bond amidst collapsing buildings and carnivals in Mexico. The theme music completes the perfect Bond introduction.

Back in London, we meet a new M (Ralph Fiennes) who is rendered merely functional along with an eager Moneypenny ( Naomi Harris). M grounds Bond for his irresponsible actions in Mexico and replaces him with C (Andrew Scott). Q (Ben Whishaw), the only character who brings in as much energy as the background score, is given the task of monitoring Bond’s moves. This, of course does not stop Bond from his secret assignment—to kill Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz), the mastermind of a terrorist organization called Spectre.

Soon, Bond is back on his sexy Aston Martin, and on the streets of Rome. The exotic locales, especially at night, spellbind with stunning photography. The music gets better with every action sequence that reels in Austria and the Moroccan deserts. They include lengthy chases in trains and choppers and brief arm-to-arm combats. It's perhaps important to mention that one of the dullest romance sequences of the film is with Dr Swaan, who prefers to sleep alone while Bond keeps a watch. There is more emotion in a scene when Bond picks up a dusty videocassette labeled “Vesper Lynn, Interrogation”. It's enough to bring a sigh of utter loss from a Casino Royale throwback.

The three primary characters: Bond, the Bond girl and the villain, come together in a tension-filled sequence. There are also never-ending, wearisome action stunts across snow-clad exotic terrains. By the time the climax arrives, Bond is seen running frantically and you frankly don’t care. You just sit back and surrender to the music tempo rising. Craig’s sexy presence and unreadable expressions only occasionally heat up the mood.

This 007 is neither shaken nor stirred, but simply frozen in time. There is more entertainment to be found on Twitter on trending #SanskariJamesBond in which Mr Pahlaj Nihalani plays the unbeatable, joker of a villain.

Updated Date: Nov 20, 2015 13:51:40 IST