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Jonathan Hinshaw - Sunday, November 08, 2015

Spectre, starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, returns several players from the Bond series that started in 1964.  This was a good effort, but was not a home run.  We have Christoph Waltz (Django Unchanged, Inglorious Bastards) as the new villain, descended from Blofield!  Movie starts off in Mexico, Craig is out on a mission on his own due to a message he got from Skyfall.  He goes after a group of bad guys, trying to stop huge attack that would have killed a bunch of folks.  He has a fight to the death in a helicopter, flying upside down for a spell, never seen that before.  

Comes back to London, where his boss M, Ralph Finnes (Skyfall, Grand Budapest Hotel) shuts him down, telling him he can't go off on his own, destroying a large portion of Mexico City while on an un-official mission.  One reason is there is a new sheriff in town, Andrew Scott (Locke, Saving Private Ryan), who is head of a new global security force with drones taking the place of 00 agents.  He is going to shut down the London based secret service agency, has a new internet based system that can monitor everything, everywhere.  

Of course, Craig won't stay down, he engages the help of Q, Ben Whishaw (Skyfall, Cloud Atlas) and Moneypenny, Naomi Harris (Skyfall, Pirates of the Caribbean), to get him back on the trail of Waltz.  He borrows a nifty Aston Martin DB 10, only 10 will ever be made, are not for sale till after the movie launched, goes on the hunt.  Gets over to Rome, where he is called out by Waltz, who sends out Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Riddick) who tackle this job.  Dave has a great car as well, Jaguar C-X75, a hybrid first shown in 2010 car shows, and will not be produced commercially.  At 850 hp it rocks, lots of fun chasing the Aston around Rome.

Lots of connections to the earlier movies, we find one of the Bond girls is Lea Seydoux, plays the daughter of Mr. White, from a past Bond movie.  Daniel tracks her down, had promised Mr. White he would protect her, since she knows a key detail to find Waltz.   So he locates her, turns out he may have led the bad guys to her as well.  We have the Alps mountain chase scene, where the Spectre guys are driving Land Rovers, Craig is chasing them in an airplane.  Some good action here, we note that Bautista is firing a dual barrel pistol, that fires a couple of 9 mm rounds at a time.  

Of course we figure out where Waltz is hiding, and Craig and Lea head out to confront him.  Another touch of nostalgia, a train fight scene patterned after From Russia With Love, similar in that we have Bond up against a much larger opponent, it still was a good scene.  Waltz has quite the setup, and doesn't take him long to get the upper hand, strap Daniel down just like Goldfinger did with Connery.  Won't give up too much, but my take on the movie is this: the first two thirds went well, but the movie slows down with too many predictable plot shifts in the last 30 minutes.  So it was good, just not great.  Cars were a major attraction, action scenes were somewhat stretched, so we'll go with 3.5 exotic rides.  

Daniel has a contract to do one more movie, we’ll see what develops. 

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