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Bond is back: Spectre reviewed

Round Table Communication Manager Nicole Carroll reviews the latest Bond spectacle, "Spectre"

Much has been made of the latest Bond outing; Will Daniel Craig star in another movie? Will the next Bond be black? Why did they ask Sam Smith to write THAT song?

It was almost easy to forget that this was a movie with much of the drama happening outside of the latest 2 hour 30 minutes  Bond adventure.

Do not go into this film with any reservations however – this is classic Bond.

Beginning in Mexico, it is almost an overwhelming attack on the senses as Bond hunts down yet another foe at a “Day of the Dead” procession. Audiences are drawn in during the first 15 minutes, despite it being near wordless. Best Bond opening? It is up there. I even got to see it twice after my cinema showing lost all sound after the opening and had to restart the film.

Bond himself is under-threat, with a new head of department claiming that the 00 programme is out of the dark ages. The spies stunts around the world can no longer go unnoticed with the rise of smart phones and internet presence everywhere; Bond is under pressure.

We can’t skip the subject of the Bond girl and this film presents us with Dr Madeleine Swan (Lea Seydoux). Blonde and intelligent, she is your archetypal Bond girl. Indeed, she should be the perfect foil for the spy being the daughter of an assassin herself. My only criticism would be that there just wasn’t the sexual chemistry between her and Bond that you’ve seen in recent 007 films (for example, Bond and Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale).

This is a very modern Bond. An odd statement in 2015, but when the action moves back to the UK you are given a backstory of Government cut-backs and merging departments. Coupled with the underlying theme of surveillance in the modern world, this is an almost political Bond, making a statement on how much intelligence there is out there.

However, we haven’t lost the essence of what is Bond and this is a film for those who have enjoyed both the “classic” Bond films, as well as Craig’s romps in the role. There is a delicious mix of new storytelling with hints to the backstories of the past, especially those of Craig’s previous three outings as 007. Indeed, the name “Spectre” alludes to the fact that this film is all about Bond’s past coming to haunt him.

Despite being one of the longest Bonds ever, the action does not drag and it is hard not to spoil what happens as there are plenty of talking points when you leave the cinema. Watch out for a torture scene which is possibly more gruesome than the infamous ball whip scene in Casino Royale and count the references to the previous three Bond villains: Le Chiffre, Dominic Greene and Raoul Silva.

 Although this is potentially the grittiest Bond portrayal ever, the film even manages to raise a few smirks with some one-liners to lighten the mood on what is a relatively dark film dealing with some of the demons from 007s past.

Is the “writing on the wall” for Daniel Craig’s version of Ian Fleming’s original character? I like to think not. We were expecting you to deliver Mr Bond…and you certainly didn’t disappoint.

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