Spectre, the new James Bond movie, had its first critics-only screening on Wednesday, and the overall consensus seems to be that it is, to use the words of The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw,
terrifically exciting, spectacular, almost operatically delirious 007 adventure.
The first impression of the movie seems to justify it’s high position on our top 20 list of movies you should see before the end of 2015. This is the 24th installment in one of the longest-running movie series of all time so it is a bit of a miracle that it still manages to maintain freshness and to keep so many generations interested.
Whenever a James Bond movie comes out it is always one of the top grossing movies of the year. How do they do that? The people behind The Pirates of the Caribbean couldn’t even make a proper second movie, let alone 24th!
In addition to being a “pure action mayhem with a real sense of style”, the film has a level of seriousness that you don’t necessarily expect, or even want, from a movie of this kind. We admit that we are fans of the good old Sean Connery and Roger Moore entries to the Bond franchise. They were unpretentious, pure fun, and didn’t even try to take themselves seriously or tackle the subjects that were beyond their scope (they were sort of like Kingsman: The Secret Service).
Recently, there’s been an obsession with kitchen sink realism in action and super hero movies, like in the case of Nolan’s Batman, or Snyder’s Man of Steel. It’s sort of ridiculous when you see Batman dealing with existential questions. He’s friggin Batman! He’s not supposed to do that! If you want to make a drama, go make a drama, don’t turn Batman into Hamlet for Pete’s sake.
The success of The Avengers only serves to prove our point. We are absolutely convinced that it was the result of the movie going back to it’s comic book roots. It was funny, unrealistic, unpretentious, and purposefully ridiculous at times. It knew what it was and it knew what it wasn’t.
There is no doubt that James Bond suffered the same destiny when Daniel Craig was cast as the famous spy in Casino Royale. However, in our opinion, this franchise is the only one that managed to successfully pull this off!
As we have already mentioned, we love the old, over the top, macho James Bond movies, but we love the new ones every bit as much (except for Quantum of Solace, which wasn’t that great).
Going forward, it would be best if 007 would try and strike a balance between the two styles, and according to critics that have seen it, Spectre does just that. Even the latest trailer succeeds in merging the two seemingly opposing approaches.
One of our favorite critics, Peter Bradshaw, wrote in his 5 star review that while the movie tackles the subject of “the rights of a free individual” by, surprisingly, taking a pro-Snowden line against voyeuristic surveillance it manages to remain “deeply silly” and “uproariously entertaining”. Since this is probably the last time we’ll see Daniel Craig in the role, we are glad that he’s leaving on a high note.
While you wait for this movie to be widely released, go check our top 20 list to see what’s already available to see.