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Review of Spectre (2015) starring Daniel Craig as 007

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2015-10-22
SPECTRE recension review
Daniel Craig really becomes James Bond in SPECTRE - A spoiler-free review of SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film from Eon Productions. (This is the first review originally published in Swedish.)

By Anders Frejdh, Founding Editor of From Sweden with Love.

For the fourth time Daniel Craig stars as Ian Fleming's secret agent 007 with a license to kill. This time, he's better than ever in the role. Craig is a great actor - the greatest of all who have played Bond so far. This really is his finest hour as Her Majesty's best secret agent.

Once again, director Sam Mendes has given us a film full of entertainment, excitement and sexuality. As with his previous film, Skyfall, SPECTRE retains a freshness and vitality. Stunt co-ordinator Gary Powell and special effects supervisor Chris Corbould ensure there are many spectacular chases, stunts and special effects from a vast and talented team. Mendes gives us a sense of reality and plausibility together with several visual nods to previous films in the series (satisfying all the Bond fans). It is smartly done, but not pastiche. It is also just the right level of humor this time, something that Craig handles really well. Even more refreshing was that there are no exaggerated product placements.

The entire ensemble is impeccable. Casting director Debbie McWilliams have yet again done a wonderful job in finding the right actors for each role.

Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser is perfect as a rogue - a complex character who is similar (or possibly superior to) Bond, which is as it always should be. As for "Bond ladies' Mendes has once again made good choices. The Italian Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra, the oldest Bond girl so far, shows that sexiness is not about age. But unfortunately, her role is far too small. French actress Léa Seydoux as Dr Madeleine Swann is as engaging and stylish - her character an integral part of the action, not just eye candy, as has sometimes previously been the case.

American Dave Bautista as the Oddjob-like villain, Mr Hinx, provides a sinister and evil presence on the screen. All MI6 employees played by Ralph Fiennes (Gareth Mallory aka M), Ben Whishaw (Q) and Naomie Harris (Eve Moneypenny) are back and being really in the forefront of this film. And I totally enjoyed their 'rival', Andrew Scott (head of the Centre for National Security), another new fabulous actor on the Bond scene.

Denmark's Jesper Christensen is back as Mr. White (from Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace) and adds an extra layer of depth to the film and although small, the part in not insignificant.

SPECTRE is enhanced by the stunning cinematography by Sweden-based Hoyte van Hoytema (has been Guldbagge for Best Cinematography to three Swedish films) and his Swedish colleague Jallo Faber who handled the 2nd unit photography. Each frame is fantastic with the composition and color palette simply delicious. Undoubtedly, SPECTRE is the most beautiful Bond movie.

The sound in SPECTRE gives that extra dimension: this is thanks to three-time Swedish Oscar® hero Per Hallberg. Having won an Oscar® for Skyfall, Per and his team have again done thorough and outstanding work. They may well be rewarded with another statuette.

The composer Thomas Newman is back and has done a sterling job with the music for his second Bond film. The screenplay by John Logan, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth have made a plot that is tight and makes sense with an eye on contemporary intelligence concerns. They injected a lot of charm and wit into the story.

Mendes second Bond film is first-rate cinema entertainment that will please cinema audiences around the world - and also satisfy all those who, like me, wished for a classic Bond this time.

Skyfall set a new standard for Bond films which SPECTRE will do well to match. In fact the fourth Daniel Craig Bond film reveals itself to be connected to the previous three.

Finally, just take off the hat for the producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, who once again have outdone themselves to bring Bond back with a bang. See SPECTRE at the cinema and decide for yourself.

Official synopsis for SPECTRE:
A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra, the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.

Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh, the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond's actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M. Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny and Q to help him seek out Madeleine Swann, the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White, who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot.

As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks.

Photo above:
Official poster for SPECTRE. © 2015 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Danjaq, LLC and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

For more information about the James Bond franchise, visit the official website:

www.007.com

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#naomie_harris
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Founder & Managing Editor: Anders Frejdh