The latest instalment in the James Bond franchise arrives on DVD this week, giving us the chance to see Daniel Craig going old school in Spectre.
Last time round we were treated to a barnstormer with Skyfall, a movie which pushed the boundaries of Bond. Returning director Sam Mendes puts us on far more familiar ground this time, resurrecting one of the great bad-guys of the series.
Her Majesty’s most famous spy is taking on the shady international organisation Spectre and it’s even shadier boss Hans Blofeld, played this time by Christoper Waltz. It’s a battle for the personal freedom of the world and in typical Bond style, it’s a glamourous affair.
From Mexico to Morocco, Bond leaves a trail of destruction as he battles the secretive criminal organisation.
Meanwhile, back at home Bond’s new boss Garreth Mallory, played by Ralph Fiennes, faces his own battle as he struggles against plans to have the 00 unit shut down.
Spectre packs a lot into the 148 minutes running time including some of the best action sequences that the franchise has seen. The opening segment in particular is a standout as Bond skips across crumbling buildings taking out villains left and right.
Big budget action aside, much of the film marks a return to the Bonds of old, complete with a sinister mastermind who has an apparent aversion to killing secret agents quickly. It is one of the many familiar elements thrown into the movie which now feel slightly out of place.
I suppose using a computer controlled, brain-drilling robot is more fun than just shooting someone but when the operation inevitably goes wrong it just smacks of ineptitude. It’s one of the many elements in the film which is high on stylish nostalgia but low on substance.
There are enough good things about Spectre to keep it fun, but ultimately the whole thing is a little disappointing.
Skyfall raised the bar for Bond films and this one falls just a little bit short.