UK Press Reviews
22nd October 2015
The first reviews for 'SPECTRE' are overwhelmingly positive. MI6 rounds up a non-spoiler summary
By MI6 Staff
Bond is back and Daniel Craig is back in a terrifically exciting, spectacular, almost operatically delirious 007 adventure - endorsing intelligence work as old-fashioned derring-do and incidentally taking a stoutly pro-Snowden line against the creepy voyeur surveillance that undermines the rights of a free individual. It's pure action mayhem with a real sense of style.
It's a swaggering show of confidence from returning director Sam Mendes and his brilliant cinematographer, Hoyte van Hoytema, who shot SPECTRE on luxurious 35mm film - a marked change of texture from Skyfall's gleaming digital froideur. The film's colour palette is so full of mouth-watering chocolates, coffees and creams that when the story moves to Rome, the city looks like a $300-million-dollar, fascist tiramisu.
Spectre is a Bond for our times, as the old-school licence to kill is threatened with obsolescence by cyber-surveillance, drones and smug civil servants. Fortunately, Daniel Craig is having none of it and romps through this movie on full revenge throttle in his sleek silver Aston Martin DB10. The action is exhilaratingly mad, and the director Sam Mendes and Craig are so relaxed with the stroppy, late-007 genre that wit permeates almost every scene.
At times, as Spectre lurches between adrenalin-filled stunts and introspective invocations of Bond's past, it is as if we are watching a Wagnerian version of a Milk Tray ad. Try as he might, Mendes simply can't make Bond into a convincing tragic hero. It doesn't help that this is a 12A movie, aimed at a family audience. This means that even in the most brutal scenes, for example when one character has his eyes poked out and his head slammed on a table, the violence will always be shown only discreetly. What he has delivered, though, is a very vivid and tremendously well-crafted action thriller, seeped in 007 history and tradition. Bond may throw away his gun at one stage but we are left in no doubt that he will soon be back.
Spectre's skill lies in making the traditional thrills and spills seem fresh and exciting and folding them into a plot that is full of surprises. Daniel Craig's flinty, thuggish Bond remains a thrilling force of nature and he finds a worthy opponent in Oberhauser because Christoph Waltz makes such a devilishly good baddie. The pace never falters, the conviction never wavers. Sam Smith's title song may have its critics but in every other respect Spectre is a premium Bond.
The Daily Mail
Does it warrant all the hype, the secrecy, the breathless anticipation? Indubitably, yes. From the exhilarating pre-credits sequence, against the backdrop of the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City, to a spectacular denouement in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament, Spectre is a proper joyride of a James Bond film. It features everything (with the exception of a really memorable theme song) that most of us hope for in a 007 picture: great gadgets, stunts, and a handful of laugh-out loud one-liners.
The Financial Times
After the sombre excellence of Skyfall, Spectre tries to tweak the formula while clearly being thrown into panic at the thought. Everything feels so reliant on its business-class sheen, the grooming, tailoring and tie-pins, that anything other than gunmetal and a scowl unbalances the tone. Sometimes things click: Seydoux in a silver dress and Craig in a white tuxedo aboard a north African train is lovely; Mendes is good at the splendid and spectacular. But the mood is uneasy, and not helped by Craig, who didn't need to make his recent widely reported noises-off to convey his disgruntlement. "That sounds marvellous," he mutters at one point, and the sarcasm feels less that of the character than a leading man who has spent too long terrified of looking in the mirror and finding Roger Moore gazing back at him.
The Daily Mirror
Craig is reliably superb, once again portraying the superspy as a thug in a dinner jacket who's quite prepared to shoot first and ask questions later as he wraps up the loose ends that have been dangling since Casino Royale in 2006. Since he was announced as the sixth Bond 10 years ago this month, the 47 year old has thoroughly silenced those who said he was too short, too ugly or too blond to follow in the footsteps of Sean Connery or Roger Moore.Prepare to be shaken, stirred -- and shattered.
The Evening Standard
When Skyfall became the highest grossing Bond film of all time, showered with praise from critics and cinemagoers alike, the pressure immediately mounted for Daniel Craig to follow it up with an equally impressive instalment in the iconic British franchise.Digging into Bond history, returning director Sam Mendes has, against all the odds, delivered a film that at least matches, and perhaps even betters, Skyfall.
The Radio Times
Despite the rebooted franchise's attempts to subvert audience expectation, Spectre does seem content to trot out the cliches. Bond's capable female foil is reduced to damsel in distress status, the villain of the piece has a secret lair that is impeccably decorated yet improbably combustible, complete with an army of henchman wearing matching black uniforms, just so you know they're the baddies. You do wonder if Sam Mendes has actually seen an Austin Powers movie.But for all its flaws, overreaching ambition and excessive running time, this is a prestige picture on a huge scale. You get literally more bang for your buck than any other movie. You can feel the quality in the supercar chase through Rome, in the high-speed pursuit by boat down the Thames, and as Bond indulges in an alpine game of chicken, played out with an airplane and a convoy of SUVs.
SPECTRE (2015) is the new James Bond film and the 24th in the series. It will be the fourth outing for Daniel Craig as 007, and the second film to be directed by Sam Mendes from a screenplay by John Logan, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade. The new MI6 team of Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Rory Kinnear (Tanner) and Ben Whishaw (Q) are all reprising their roles. The cast will include Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott and Christoph Waltz. Production commences on December 8th 2014, with location work as early as 5th January 2015 in Austria. The film will also shoot on location in: Erfoud and Tangier, Morocco; Rome, Italy and Mexico City, Mexico. SPECTRE is scheduled for release on 7th November 2015.