Standing Room Only

Spectre - A Spoiler-free Review

Nov 06, 2015

# | Rica Wiersema

Spectre is the latest James Bond movie, starring Daniel Craig as 007, and picks up the story from where the highly-acclaimed Skyfall (also directed by Sam Mendes) leaves off. Bond is on the hunt for an organization called “Spectre” that links several villains from his past, from Le Chiffre of Casino Royale to Silva of Skyfall. Scattered clues lead him to Mexico City where, in a masterful and epic five minute-long continuous shot, he weaves ever closer to his quarry in a waltz of death, while masked to blend in with the thousands of revelers in skeleton suits celebrating El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

What follows is a thriller that connects all of Bond’s painful past to one elusive criminal mastermind. And, the hope of finding him rests in an unlikely ally, Mr. White, the man Bond holds responsible for the death of Vesper (perhaps, a true love) in Casino Royale. But Bond has never let his emotions get in the way of his job before, and so, he sets out to accomplish his task even if he must seek help from criminals and endure some of the most precisely-engineered torture methods ever invented by man. And his mission is made even more difficult when MI6 is pressured to disclose their secrets and merge with other international espionage organizations for the sake of global democracy. He must defy direct orders, and go into enemy territory without backup. Bond has always been a maverick, but this time, it's different.

The painful episodes of his life come to light in a wholly unexpected way when he learns that all of the destruction in his life wasn’t coincidental, but in fact, very intentionally inflicted. The mysterious head of Spectre has spent the majority of his life arranging vengeance upon vengeance against Bond, all for a secret vendetta that began long before Bond was even a spy.

Now, the deeper that 007 digs, the more he begins to realize that he might not emerge unscathed at the end of this particular mission. Despite his attempts to remain emotionally detached, he encounters old relationships that have changed considerably, and he can’t shut them out as easily as he used to.

Spectre exposes some other more human facets of the hardened spy with the license to kill. And perhaps it’s about time. As the theme song by Sam Smith states in the opening, “the writing is on the wall.” And, when the final shot fades to black, there’s still a glimmer of hope that lingers on, the hope that anyone can change and start down the road to redemption…even James Bond.



Category: film

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