Sam plays it again
released 22 February 2015 | 12A | Blu- ray/ DVD
Director Sam Mendes
Cast Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz,
Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes
Feeling the pressure of other work commitments and the stress of following up Skyfall’s outstanding success, Sam Mendes at one point dropped out of directing Bond’s 24th official cinematic adventure. Thank goodness he came back, though, because even though SPECTRE might not be quite the equal of its predecessor, it sees Mendes deliver another assured and visually beautiful film that is also loaded with personality.
Picking up a short while after Skyfall, the story finds 007 on the hunt for more information about the people behind his recent misfortunes. At the same time, he’s pondering his future with the security services, all the while finding time for the requisite fighting, driving, romancing and even some wry humour. Channelling more of the classic Bond feel that occasionally permeated Skyfall, here we have the world’s most famous secret agent globetrotting to Mexico, Austria, Rome and Tangiers.
But though it’s certainly full of a lot that Bond fans will enjoy – Daniel Craig’s on form, the interplay between M and co is suitably droll and Léa Seydoux makes for a sparky sidekick – not everything clicks into place in quite the same way as Mendes’s previous effort. There’s some creeping disappointment with how the reveal of the Big Bad shakes out, and Monica Bellucci is wasted in a nothing role – a true misuse of a real talent. Plus the tone never quite gels from scene to scene, with the team seemingly feeling the strain of shooting such a big production being felt a little more keenly this time. Still, Bond is back for, if not a completely standout effort, certainly a worthy addition to the canon.
Extras An underwhelming bunch. On DVD you just get the short video blogs that previously appeared online. The Blu- ray adds a more in- depth look at the opening, and a gallery. James White
Monica Bellucci previously auditioned for a role in 1997’ s Tomorrow Never Dies, but lost out to Teri Hatcher.
Typical of Bond to go too far on Bonfire Night.