'This is not how you get wrinkles out of a suit; this is how they get wrinkled!" James Bond (Daniel Craig) gets up close and personal with Hinx (Dave Bautista) as Madeleine Swann (Léa Sedoux) looks on in a scene from the latest adventure of the world's greatest secret agent, 007, SPECTRE. Credit: © 2015 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. Danjaq, LLC and Columbia Pictures. All rights reserved. 

KEY CAST MEMBERS: Daniel Craig, Monica Bellucci, Christoph Waltz, Dave Bautista, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Jesper Christensen, Andrew Scott, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux and Alessandro Cremona

WRITER(S): John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth (screenplay); John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (story); Ian Fleming (characters)

DIRECTOR(S): Sam Mendes

60 SECOND PLOT SUMMARY (OR AS CLOSE TO THAT TIME AS ONE CAN MAKE IT): The possible last film featuring Daniel Craig as the character Ian Fleming first made famous, Spectre finds James Bond (Craig) in Mexico City leaving a woman who is ready to bed him to take out a man named Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona). This results in him eventually rendezvouing with Sciarra's wife (Monica Bellucci), who knows she will soon be the targets of assassins from a mysterious organization known only as SPECTRE.

Bond, determined to follow up on a clue he obtained via his encounter with Sciarra, quickly learns that SPECTRE – a massive criminal organization that is connected to all the recent events in his life – has been waiting for him a long, long time. The organization is full of terrorists, hitmen and criminal masterminds ... And then there's Mr. Hinx (David Bautista), a massive man who just really, really, really likes hurting people. 

Meanwhile, Bond's boss M (Ralph Fiennes) is busy with a new problem of his own as C (Andrew Scott) is leading the merger of MI5 and MI6. His determination that the double-0 program is outdated, resulting in many changes for M, Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw). Then again, Bond going rogue and causing millions of dollars of damages in Mexico City isn't helping things, either. 

So then, what does former SPECTRE agent Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) and his daughter, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) have to do with holding critical pieces of information that Bond needs to put everything together to understand SPECTRE's true nature? 

Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz), a man Bond long thought was dead, knows the answer to that question all too well ... 

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? Seydoux and Fiennes fans; fans who have enjoyed all the Craig-as-Bond films; fans of spy movies; people waiting for resolution from the previous Craig-as-Bond films

WHO WONT (OR SHOULDN'T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? Longstanding Bond fans dating back to the 1960s; people who hate plot twists that feel shaky or climaxes that feel anti-climatic or predestined to unfold in a certain fashion; those who do not like it when a franchise that is re-inventing itself plays it fast and loose with certain pieces of franchise history.

SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? A film that does the things it does well very well and the things it doesn't do well very well at all, Spectre is much like the Daniel Craig-as-Bond era itself: A mixed bag that will work well for some but likely not as great for many more.

With a great title sequence featuring a haunting theme by Sam Smith and a somewhat effective opening action sequence featuring some of the craziest helicopter action this side of Grand Theft Auto, Spectre opens on a strong note ... And then proceeds to do a few head-scratching things that delay the momentum it keeps trying to build at some very critical turns.

Whereas older Bond films thrived on the character's ability to seduce the opposite sex, Craig and Bellucci's extended scene comes off either poorly constructed and/or outright corny by its end. Additionally, the villains all come off as either one-dimensional (poor Dave Bautista is extremely under-utilized in a near silent performance) or doing their best imitations of Bond villains past reveling in the glee at the idea of killing Bond and/or making him suffer but never feeling anywhere close to truly menacing (cough, Waltz, cough). And then there's the BIG plot reveal which will likely produce a hard "yea" or "nay" in Bond fans, but only after channeling their own inner Chris Griffin. It's a plot twist that I could spend an extra three paragraphs going over in detail as to why I found it ludicrous in the grand scheme of things, but no one wants that. You really don't.

Here's what I will say about the plot twist which you can read about by clicking here or here if you dare: There are so many homages to the Bond films of the past that the one original idea Spectre's production team can call their own feels like a desperate attempt at creating something cool and trying to oversell the idea of why Waltz's character is so interested in Bond. Yes, it makes sense in theory, but it really doesn't feel that it does once it's in practice ...

What does work well is the performance of Seydoux as Swann, the daughter of a former SPECTRE top henchman who provides the strong antagonist/motivating factor that keeps Bond moving forward. Her character is one that ultimately proves more interesting than Bond's given Seydoux approach to the role, making her the most believable and interesting character in the mix.

Overall, Spectre is a lot like its predecessors Skyfall and the unremarkable Quantuum of Solace: A film based on a very cool premise that doesn't quite fulfill the promise it makes you believe it has courtesy of an anti-climatic third act and too many homages to past - and better - Bond films. At the very least, it's good for a few shakes, but it's unlikely to stir you up in any long-lasting capacity.



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