SPEC­TRE

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Bond, James Bond, is back, in boil­er­plate. To be fair, it’s rous­ing boil­er­plate: There’s the humdinger of an open­ing ac­tion se­quence that de­stroys ur­ban real es­tate and civil­ian life on a mind-bog­gling scale; the re­turn to Lon­don for a se­vere rep­ri­mand; the dis­cov­ery of a di­a­bol­i­cal con­spir­acy that will end the world as we know it; the car chases, and ca­reen­ing he­li­copter rides, in­ter­na­tional set­tings, alpine vis­tas, sub­ter­ranean la­goons wor­thy of Phan­tom of the Opera; the beau­ti­ful women, who strip to re­veal a chaste shoul­der (the only real nu­dity is in the cred­its); the jumbo-sized vil­lain for mus­cle, and the compact one (Christoph Waltz) for silky men­ace. Bom­brigged LED screens count down the min­utes and sec­onds to dis­as­ter. For rel­e­vance there are echoes of 9/11 and NSA in­for­ma­tion har­vest­ing. The ex­plo­sions are deaf­en­ing, dwarfed only by the score. Bond is re­mark­able — he can go for hours with­out sex, is roused to it by life-threat­en­ing dan­ger, and de­liv­ers smooth one-lin­ers in the face of death. Sam Mendes di­rects, and Daniel Craig bids good­bye to the fran­chise with dour aplomb. Rated PG-13. 148 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

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