Editorials

James Bond: From Worst to Best – S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

SPECTRE
Spectre-James-Bond

I know this is a very new addition to the franchise, but it really has become one of my favorites. It beautifully blends what’s great about the modern era of Bond and what was great about the classic era. This has also become one of the least loved entries in the series, with it also being Daniel Craig’s worst reviewed film as 007. This is very surprising to me, especially when you compare it to 2008’s Quantum of Solace…a film infamously without a script. I honestly blame the bad reviews for this one on the fact that it came out in a year when five spy films have been released, and Bond was the last one to grace audiences. When I put it against the others, it still stands tall, but all were very different. Spy was a flat-out comedy, and not one I was too impressed with; Kingsman: Secret Service I absolutely loved for its hard-R homage to the Roger Moore era of spy films; The Man from UNCLE was Guy Ritchie’s fun little take on James Bond; and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was actually my favorite of that franchise and is the closest to being on-par with SPECTRE. Tom Cruise is actually doing amazing things with the M:I series, putting the Bond formula to great use, but they are always combating situations or technology. The only worthwhile villain in that series was Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who was perfection in the third one. Here’s the thing, ALL of those movies are stealing from the Bond franchise, but nobody does it better than 007 in this case.

Most of what I’m going to say here, I said in my review earlier this year. But really, this one just hit all the right notes for me. This is the Bond outing I wanted after the end of Skyfall. Big set pieces, legitimate Bond girls, car chases, gadgets, henchmen, and a hidden base! Daniel Craig is on point here, finally having some fun as 007 and getting to build upon his relationships with Q, Moneypenny, and M that began in the previous movie. All the actors here are great, especially with the additions of Christoph Waltz, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, and Lea Seydoux. Each all give solid performances and are a joy to watch in the process.  Spectre

Director Sam Mendes returns for this one, bringing back a hint of class to the proceedings with gorgeous cinematography and epic set pieces. The sequence in which Bond chases down Hinx in a commuter plane vs. Range rover is a real highlight for me. Although I don’t want to gloss over the exciting opener, the car chase, the train fight, or the biggest explosion ever put to film. Each set piece is great and Mendes brings a touch of class to each one, especially in the way he demands the stunts to be real and free of CGI. While this does add up to quite a budget, reportedly $243 million dollars, I have to say it is all up there on screen. Aside from that terrible opening song/title sequence, I love this movie.

Worst to Best so far:
24. Live & Let Die
23. The Man with the Golden Gun
22. A View to a Kill
21. Die Another Day
20. Octopussy
19. Moonraker
18. Diamonds are Forever
17. Quantum of Solace
16. Licence to Kill
15. The World is Not Enough
14. You Only Live Twice
13. For Your Eyes Only
12. The Living Daylights
11. Thunderball
10. Tomorrow Never Dies
9. SPECTRE

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