Breaking Down The First “Spectre” Reviews

The first reviews for “Spectre,” the latest James Bond film, have gone online and though reaction overall runs the gamut, it is for the most part quite good. None have claimed the film is the best in Craig’s run so far, a few saying it’s on par with “Skyfall” though most indicate it falls short of that first Sam Mendes-directed outing.

At 148 minutes long its length has been criticised, as has the pace which is decidedly slower than “Skyfall,” while the tone has less pathos. They do confirm that “Spectre” reportedly attempts to tie together various subplots and story threads left dangling by the previous three films.

The most interesting debate though is about tone with the film finally giving Craig a full blown classic Bond film. There’s not just throwbacks to 1960’s Bond films, but also decidedly more humor and ridiculousness on hand than any of the previous three films – something that will please long-term fans of the whole series but may alienate some of those who only like their Bond on a serious (ie. Craig/Connery only) level.

Frequent compliments go to the performances, notably Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux with the actress in particular cited as the second best girl of Craig’s run behind only Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd. Craig meanwhile reportedly gets far more comedic moments and lines than any of his previous films – Ben Whishaw’s Q and Ralph Fiennes’ M similarly get some jokes in. Monica Bellucci is praised though one complaint is that she’s underused, Dave Bautista’s henchman Hinx seems to be getting more praise than Christoph Waltz’s villain.

Complaints have generally run to the story, or lack thereof, with the opening sequence and the first hour-and-a-half of the film raved about. Quite a few have issues with the last hour, others seem divided on the action which is well filmed but doesn’t quite get the blood pumping like “Skyfall” and “Casino Royale” did. Production values have been praised throughout. Here’s just a sampling of reviews:

“A wealth of iconography – both incidental and integral – from the series’ founding chapters is revived here, making “Spectre” a particular treat for 007 nerds, and a businesslike blast for everyone else.” – Variety

“Spectre will go down as Craig’s stab at going full-blown BOND – big, bold and a bit more like Roger Moore.” – Digital Spy

“A rousing, spectacular, scattershot and somewhat overextended victory lap.” – Time Out

“Spectre feels like a film patched together out of endless hastily-drafted script rewrites rather than a cohesive vision.” – The Playlist

“As an action movie, Spectre is every bit the equal of its predecessor, Skyfall. For at least half its running time, this is as good as Bond gets – a rip-roaring and very stylishly made thriller with tremendous production values.” – The Independent

“A terrifically exciting, spectacular, almost operatically delirious 007 adventure.” – The Guardian

“This fourth outing for Daniel Craig as James Bond is achingly cool, as sleek and powerful as the silver Aston Martin DB10 that races through the movie.” – The Times

“No film series has been better at raiding its own mausoleum, and throughout Spectre, ghosts of Bond films past come gliding through the film, trailing shivers of pleasure in their wake.” – The Daily Telegraph

“Mendes isn’t afraid to hurl every trick in the Bond book onscreen to remind us of why we love 007.” – Screen

“After the sombre excellence of Skyfall, Spectre tries to tweak the formula while clearly being thrown into panic at the thought.” – Financial Times

“Bond’s 24th outing delivers handsomely in action set pieces and crowd-pleasing moments, but is let down by a weird mix of tone, a lack of plot and poorly defined characters.” – WOW247