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Movie review: SPECTRE starring Daniel Craig (a James Bond film)

By: Anders Frejdh
SPECTRE, Daniel Craig, 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.

News on SPECTRE featured on From Sweden with Love:
>IMAX® premiere for SPECTRE in Sweden (November 3, 2015)
>Box-office record for SPECTRE in Sweden at opening weekend (November 2, 2015)
>Gala premiere for SPECTRE in Mexico City (November 2, 2015)
>Gala premiere for SPECTRE in Paris (October 29, 2015)
>Gala premiere for SPECTRE in Moscow (October 29, 2015)
>Gala premiere for SPECTRE in Madrid (October 28, 2015)
>Gala premiere for SPECTRE in Berlin (October 28, 2015)
>Gala premiere for SPECTRE in Amsterdam (October 28, 2015)
>Gala premiere for SPECTRE in Zurich (October 27, 2015)
>Gala premiere for SPECTRE in Rome (October 27, 2015)
>New video from the production of SPECTRE (October 20, 2015) VIDEO
>Third and last official trailer for SPECTRE (October 2, 2015) VIDEO
>Cover for original motion picture soundtrack for SPECTRE revealed (September 28, 2015)
>Scandinavian Gala premiere for SPECTRE in Copenhagen (September 28, 2015)
>The teme song, Writing's On The Wall by Sam Smith, released (September 25, 2015)
>Blood, Sweat and Bond: Behind the Scenes of SPECTRE book (September 24, 2015)
>New video from the production of SPECTRE (September 23, 2015) VIDEO
>Heineken launch SPECTRE campaign with Daniel Craig (September 21, 2015)
>Naomie Harris & Dave Bautista promotes Jaguar Land Rover (September 15, 2015)
>Bollinger reveals SPECTRE limited edition champagne bottle (September 14, 2015)
>Naomie Harris in SPECTRE ad for Sony Mobile (September 13, 2015)
>James Bond wears Crocket & Jones shoes in SPECTRE (September 11, 2015)
>Stephanie Sigman in SPECTRE ad for Belvedere Vodka (September 10, 2015)
>Sam Smith to sing title song for SPECTRE (September 8, 2015)
>New official poster revealed for SPECTRE (September 3, 2015)
>Aston Martin launch DB9 GB Bond edition to celebrate SPECTRE (September 2, 2015)
>OMEGA presents SPECTRE model of the Seamaster 300 M (August 14, 2015)
>New video from the production of SPECTRE (August 13, 2015) VIDEO
>Official trailer for SPECTRE (July 22, 2015) VIDEO
>World Premiere SPECTRE announcement (July 17, 2015)
>Video from the filming of SPECTRE in Mexico (June 15, 2015)
>TV spot for SPECTRE on American television (June 10, 2015)
>Video from the filming of SPECTRE (April 30, 2015) VIDEO
>Official teaser trailer for SPECTRE (March 28, 2015) VIDEO
>SPECTRE to be released in IMAX theatres (March 27, 2015)
>Official UK quad teaser poster for SPECTRE (March 17, 2015)
>Official international teaser poster for SPECTRE (March 17, 2015)
>Stephanie Sigman to play Estrella in SPECTRE (March 9, 2015)
>Video: Director Sam Mendes on SPECTRE (February 26, 2015) VIDEO
>Official photocall for SPECTRE in Rome Italy (February 18, 2015)
>First look at SPECTRE includes behind the scenes video (February 12, 2015) VIDEO
>Official photocall for SPECTRE in Solden Austria (January 7, 2015)
>Belvedere Vodka announces SPECTRE partnership (December 16, 2014)
>Official press release with details about the SPECTRE filming in Austria (December 10, 2014)
>Start of principal photography for SPECTRE in London (December 6, 2014)
>British actor Andrew Scott portrays MI5 staffer Denbigh in SPECTRE (December 4, 2014)
>Italian actress Monica Bellucci portrays Lucia Sciarra in SPECTRE (December 4, 2014)
>Aston Martin DB10 confirmed to appear in SPECTRE (December 4, 2014)
>Title and teaser poster revealed for Bond 24 (December 4, 2014)
>Opening photocall with cast & crew at Pinewood Studios (December 4, 2014)
>Janine Temime is the Costume Designer for Bond 24 (November 27, 2014)
>Austrian actor Christoph Waltz set to appear in Bond 24 (November 13, 2014)
>Dave Bautista set to appear in Bond 24 (October 13, 2014)
>French actress Léa Seydoux signed for Bond 24 (October 10, 2014)
>Hoyte van Hoytema is the Cinematographer for Bond 24 (September 17, 2014)
>IMAX experience awaits Bond 24 in Sweden (May 15, 2014)
>Scandinavian actresses auditioning for Bond 24 (May 12, 2014)
>New Aston Martin confirmed for Bond 24 (March 19, 2014)
>Ben Whishaw (Q) unveils the new Q Stage at Pinewood Studios (December 4, 2013)
>MGM and Danjaq acquire all film rights for Blofeld/SPECTRE (November 15, 2013)
>Initial press release for Bond 24 (July, 11 2013)

For more news on SPECTRE featured on From Sweden with Love, click here.

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:



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