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The box office-busting
gave director Sam Mendes a licence to take the James Bond franchise in any direction he wanted. And with
he draws upon the ultimate foe to pull together Daniel Craig's three previous missions into one ambitious story arc. The name Spectre will be familiar as belonging to the shadowy antagonist of the original films, and the interesting conceit here is that Bond discovers he has a personal connection to the organisation's leader, Franz Oberhauser, played with smirking relish by Christoph Waltz. While 007 slips MI6's leash to create his usual insurance-be-damned havoc away from home, a more thoughtful spy game emerges in London, with M (an enjoyably starchy Ralph Fiennes) coming under fire from Andrew Scott's obnoxious reforming bureaucrat. Once again, Mendes succeeds in delivering a prestige picture on a huge scale: its quality writ large in an epic pre-credits sequence set in Mexico City, a supercar chase through Rome and a train journey through the Sahara. But the film over-congratulates itself with a surfeit of in-jokes and knowing references - and this game of Bond Bingo soon becomes a distraction. Whereas
owed much of its success to its downbeat mood and the vulnerability of its hero,
forgoes that for a more bulletproof depiction of Bond and outlandish sense of escapism. However elegantly those recycled thrills are dressed up, the spy clichés sometimes veer dangerously close to
James Bond goes rogue after receiving a cryptic message that sets him on the trail of a secretive criminal network. While his colleagues face a new threat closer to home, Bond embarks on a globetrotting journey in search of the elusive mastermind behind the syndicate - whom he discovers may have links to his own past. Spy thriller, starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux and Ralph Fiennes.
Cast & Crew
Max Denbigh / C
DVD and Blu-ray
26 Oct 2015
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