Release date: October 26, 2015 (United Kingdom)
Director: Sam Mendes
Initial DVD release: February 9, 2016 (USA)
Box office: 880.7 million USD
Film series: James Bond Film Series
I’ve only begun watching James Bond films in the last couple of years, mainly because I’m just not that interested in his world. The films have always been a bit too cold and calculating with too many steamy scenes and too little character development. However, after really enjoying Skyfall I decided to give this film a watch. And while it was ever so slightly underwhelming, I did enjoy it more than I thought I would, mainly because of the characters. James Bond is certainly not my favourite spy – he drinks too much, is a misogynist and has no respect for rules – but you can’t deny that the man has serious skills. I loved Léa Seydoux’s character because she was so intelligent and strong and didn’t fall in a heap at Bond’s feet – personally I don’t think he’s that swoon-worthy. I also thought that all the action scenes were fantastic, and although I couldn’t catch all the throwbacks to previous Bond movies, the connoisseurs among me assured me that they were there. I’ll definitely keep watching the modern Bond films, if they keep being as entertaining as this one.
A cryptic message from the past leads James Bond – played by Daniel Craig – to Mexico City and Rome, where he meets the beautiful widow (Monica Bellucci) of an infamous criminal. After infiltrating a secret meeting, 007 uncovers the existence of the sinister organization SPECTRE. Needing the help of the daughter – Léa Seydoux – played by of an old nemesis, he embarks on a mission to find her. As Bond ventures toward the heart of SPECTRE, he discovers a chilling connection between himself and the enemy (Christoph Waltz) he seeks.
While I may not completely adore the James Bond character, all the rest of the characters in this film were fantastic. I really like Ralph Fiennes portrayal as M – he’s professional but with a sarcastic side and is very much the voice of reason in this film. And while I’m still mourning the loss of Judi Dench, I think this portrayal of M is just as entertaining. Like I’ve said, I loved Madeline Swann much more than any other previous ‘Bond Girl’ that I’ve seen – there were just a few moments with a few lines that made me roll my eyes slightly at her character or the scripting. Why does a female character need saving in every single Bond film? Can’t M get kidnapped by the villains at all? Anyway, I also really liked Moneypenny because she is hard-working and strong-willed with a great sense of humour and keeps Bond’s feet on the ground while still managing to craft her own life. And I’m slightly in love with Naomi Harris. But my favourite character of the entire film was without a single second of doubt Q. He’s insanely talented and clever, whilst being hilarious and having some amazing one liners, and doesn’t let Bond completely rule his life. He is also really loyal and kind and he’s fabulous. I also may or may not be madly in love with Ben Whishaw and Q’s choice of turtlenecks.
As per usual, there were some beautiful shots of scenery and location in this film and that’s one of my favourite aspects of spy films if I’m honest – experiencing all the different cultures. I particularly loved the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico, and I would have liked if we could have stayed there a little longer to be fair. This film looked really beautiful, but I was not a fan of the opening sequence, which I know is a controversial opinion. I really liked how the story was continued on from Skyfall because it felt like a continuous story which is what I want the Bond films to feel like, rather than lots of different and separate films. I really hope that they bring Léa Seydoux back in the next one – or have a suitable break-up story – because Madeline and Bond looked to be pretty serious.
I really enjoyed this film – the villain was evil, the plot was fast-paced and the characters were fantastic. I would have liked the story to have wrapped up slightly differently but overall, I found it to be really entertaining.