Spectre (2015)

It's time to put Daniel Craig's Bond to rest.

When Casino Royale came out in 2006, it was a big reboot for the James Bond character. It was gritty, it was a spectacle, and it was fresh. It was fresh because a lot of those tropes that Bond was known for were thrown out the window - he could get hurt, he could bleed, he could actually lose the girl, and he didn't wear a tux well. He was fallible, and that is an important quality in an action star. It's what made movies like Lethal Weapon and Die Hard so successful. Casino Royale took James Bond back to where we needed him to be. Spectre has officially wiped that all away.

Bond is now back to being an emotionless, invincible super human, one who can fire one bullet and destroy an entire complex while simultaneously turning to kill several enemies without batting an eye. Women are back to being powerless damsels in distress, designed only to bow to our agent's sexual whims. In 2015, James Bond has become...boring, a franchise without stakes.

Spectre has a few good action set pieces, but the more you think about them, the stupider they seem. In one scene, Bond chases after a car with an airplane. His plan? Who knows. Hell, we even get an Austin Powers like scene in which our main villain straps Bond to a chair and points high tech drills at his eyes, promising to create holes into his head - a far cry from a similar scene in Casino Royale in which Le Chiffre straps Bond to a chair and swung at his balls with a wet knotted rope. I can't say much more without spoiling a ton, but if you even attempt to think about nearly every scene in this movie, it seems more lazy and more idiotic. The writing in this movie is flat out dumb. The rest is things you've seen in every single Bond movie - exotic locations, fast cars, dispatched bad guys, and over the top set pieces.

The last thing that bothered me in Spectre was the shoehorned sex scenes. YES, we get it - Bond is a suave British agent. Unfortunately, we're force fed this from the moment the movie kicks off. We get a quick glance at Monica Bellucci (criminally underused in this movie) - a grieving wife - who proceeds to be seduced by Bond the very same day her husband was buried. He knows she has assassins after her, but after he nails her, he bails. Later, we get another eye roll inducing scene in which he beds another lass - but this time, it's different. This time, he's magically in love...only, it doesn't work, because of the bullshit we've seen Bond pull throughout the movie. Now we're supposed to care about his muse? Now it matters?

There are some good things about the movie. Sam Smith's song is pretty good. The cinematography is pretty great. The opening scene in Mexico at a Day of the Dead festival is breathtaking - the logistics needed to pull it off must have been mind bending - but again, it ends in a way that just makes absolutely no sense.

At this point, I'm only guessing that Craig is done as Bond. As much as I love Casino Royale and Skyfall, I think it's time to move on to someone else and take this ship in a different direction. Lets bring Bond back down to Earth.

Final Score: C-