REVIEW: Bond’s action-packed ‘Spectre’ - is one for fans of the genre

Spectre - Daniel Craig

Spectre - Daniel Craig - Credit: Archant

Explosive from start to finish the new James Bond offering - Spectre (now showing at The Light in Wisbech) - certainly leaves you shaken and also stirred.

The Light VIP night for Spectre

The Light VIP night for Spectre - Credit: Archant

There is certainly nothing ghostly or ethereal about the 24th film in the Bond franchise, except possibly for all James’ past loves who are brought to mind thanks to the film’s baddie - Christopher Waltz.

As you would expect the opening scenes are dramatic set against the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico City. Bond moves through a crowd of skeleton-clad revellers in pursuit of his prey - accompanied by a beautiful woman into a hotel suite. But as the lady makes herself more comfortable Bond has slipped into a well-cut suit and is off on the trail of his target.

The scene soon turns from carnival to dramatic explosion as a bomb detonated thanks to Bond’s gunfire demolishes ‘half a block’ with our hero caught up in a slowly tumbling building.

Cut to the opening credits with the Sam Smith sung theme tune, which suddenly makes sense.

It transpires Bond is in Mexico, not on some government mission, but on a personal vendetta inspired by a posthumous message left by M - Dame Judi Dench herself - who urges him to act from beyond the ‘Skyfall’ grave.

Consequently his return to the British intelligence HQ is not well received and he finds himself suspended from duty by the new M - Ralph Fiennes.

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Suspension fails to dampen Bond’s enthusiasm for the chase. So cut to Rome, where he attends the funeral of another target, seduces said target’s widow within hours of the funeral, before attending a secret meeting of ‘Spectre’ - the baddie’s organisation bent on world domination with a difference.

It wouldn’t be a Bond film if his presence went unnoticed at such a gathering, so on to a dramatic car chase, in a stolen £3 million ‘prototype’ Aston Martin, through the night streets of Rome - which offers a sumptuous backdrop to wheel-spins galore.

As with any Bond film the countries change almost as fast as the cars roar, and the women alternate in James’ bed . One minute we’re in a tumbled down lake-shore cabin in Austria the next we’re in a health clinic high in the snow covered alps. And another breathtaking car chase, this time featuring a plane careering down the icy mountainside. The next we’re bound for the heart of the desert, with a short interlude on the Marakech express, where Bond helped by the new woman in his life Dr Madeleine Swann manages to dispatch a baddie and enjoy a bedroom romp (well who woudn’t?).

Finally we make it to Franz Oberhauser’s desert hideaway, where Bond endure’s some very wince-making torture. Just who Oberhauser is, I will leave for the film to tell. But to suffice to say there is one massive personal agenda going on, and Christopher Waltz’s portrayal has got to put him at the top, or close to, on the Bond list of best baddies.

This is Bond at his best and in my opinion well and truly establishes Mr Daniel Craig as the best James Bond, so far. When he moves over someone is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill. He is suave, sexy and gives Ian Fleming’s character a 21st century edge. A five-star Bond extravaganza, which could perhaps have been a little shorter without losing its impetus, but one definitely fans of the genre will love.

Review - Sarah Cliss