The latest James Bond film Spectre is way over its budget at an astonishing $300 million plus, and was plagued by script leaks in 2014 Sony Hack, so there’s a lot riding on reaction to today’s preview screening in London. Luckily for the studio, and fans of Daniel Craig’s world weary interpretation of the super spy, Bond’s 24th outing is already earning positive comparisons to box office monster Skyfall.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw calls it inventive, intelligent, and complex.
“If nothing else, the spelling of the title should tip you off that this is a thoroughly English movie franchise. 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.”
The Telegraph review offers a similar rave, praising the latest entry’s ability to mimic creator Ian Fleming’s style as “pure cinematic necromancy.”
“If Skyfall, the 23rd film in the Bond franchise, was about making sense of the Bond character in the modern world, finally resetting the clock with that delicious closing scene — Bond, M and Moneypenny restored to the wood-panelled office of old — Spectre, the 24th, is the film that Skyfall made possible. The four-word epigraph that begins the film — “The dead are alive” — reminds you that no film series has been better at raiding its own mausoleum, and throughout Spectre, ghosts of Bond films past come gliding through the film, trailing shivers of pleasure in their wake.”
Then there’s this notice from The Standard that calls the view an improvement on previously Mendes-helmed critically and commercially successful Skyfall.
“Spectre feels even more like a classic Bond film than previous Craig outings. There’s the Alpine chase sequence, the return of the chunky henchman (Dave Bautista as the silent-but-deadly Mr Hinx), and the title agency itself — a villainous relic from the series’ past brought to new life.”
The biggest buzzkill of any of them so far comes from Indiewire, which asserts that the film has the feel of a classic Bond, though it’s rife with plot holes and a sagging pace.
“There were still complaints that Sam Mendes’ film didn’t quite feel like Bond in places, so it would be nice to report that his second movie in the franchise, Spectre, will please both the hardcore and the more casual fan. Unfortunately, the new film, the 24th in the long-running series, feels more like a successor to Quantum, or to one of the ropier Roger Moore films, than to its Oscar-winning predecessor. (It won for best Best Original Song and Best Sound Editing).”
Spectre opens November 6 in the United States.