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James Bond Strikes Again, Just Not as Hard This Time

Sandy Jun, Editor-in-Chief

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James Bond is back in the action-packed movie “Spectre,” but this time with much disappointment. With few scenes that actually impress the audience, it is becoming clear why Daniel Craig no longer wants to film any more James Bond movies.

The movie starts off in Mexico City on Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) with masked James Bond leading an unknown masked woman to a hotel room. It becomes evident within the next minute that Bond only needs the room to get a closer aim at a target—Marco Sciarra, a criminal who plans to blow up the crowd celebrating the Day of the Dead. After a struggle, Bond kills the criminal and obtains a ring embellished with a stylized octopus, later known as the primary icon of a terrorist group called the Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion (SPECTRE).

When Bond returns, he becomes grounded by the head of the Secret Intelligence Service, ‘M.’ Bond (of course) ignores his orders and goes to Rome to attend Sciarra’s funeral. After the funeral, Bond visits Sciarra’s widow, who provides Bond with information regarding SPECTRE. Bond then obtains information about a former member of the terrorist group named White, who asks Bond to protect his daughter, Madeline.

Madeline becomes the critical source of information that leads Bond to a face-to-face encounter with the leader of SPECTRE, Franz Oberhauser. Because it uses more in-depth information regarding Bond’s past and upbringing than other James Bond movies, “Spectre” creates most of the present plot with Bond’s dark past.

The music was not coordinated with the action of the movie. Except for the theme song, which played at the beginning and end of the movie, the orchestra music did not fit. It constantly seemed to be separated from the movie, instead of helping it enhance a particular mood or emotion of a scene. Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall,” while a great song, was not a good pick for the opening credits. Rarely does the song played during opening credits introduce a James Bond movie well at all, an example being Adele’s “Skyfall” which was featured in the last James Bond movie.

The lighting in the movie, however, was very well used. For example, when first introducing the mysterious and suspenseful leader of SPECTRE, a deep shadow is casted across his face so that no one can see it from any angle. Then, as the leader fully revealed, the light strikes brightly to contrast it from the shadow.

Although the beginning of the movie has the audience sitting on the edge of their seats, cheesy elements of the story prevent the movie from fully recovering. Overly used spy-movie clichés, like the usual car race in a fancy, high-tech car, the predictable main-character-never-getting-shot scenes, and the “hidden” weapon in a very ordinary piece of accessory overshadow the good elements of the movie.

The director, after previously creating a highly praised James Bond movie, has gotten extremely lazy in this one. With Daniel Craig second-guessing his return in Bond movies in the future, “Spectre” will be a very disappointing ending to Craig’s 007 series should he choose not to come back.

I would rate this movie 5 out of 10.

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