2015 Bond movie

Rating: 14/20

Plot: James Bond, a kite dancing in a hurricane, goes up against a sinister organization.

This opens with a stupendous five-minute tracking shot through a Day of the Dead parade, into a hotel room, out a window, and across from an explosion. It's a great start, but it's all downhill from there. Not that this is a terrible James Bond movie because it isn't. It's too long, the Sam Smith theme song during an octopus-filled opening credit sequence is terrible, and the movie feels derivative, but it's not a bad movie. Craig globetrots, hooks up with a beautiful woman, drives a cool car, matches wits with Christoph Waltz who makes a really good Blofeld even though he's not bald, fights a henchman played by Dave Bautista who might remind you of Oddjob or Jaws, and kills a bunch of people. The latter's ok though because he's got a license for that sort of thing.

This continues the approach with the Daniel Craig 007 movies of humanizing the character. It doesn't do so as effectively here, but Bond's faced with a decision at the end of the movie that really deepens the character as Craig's played him in these last four movies. This doesn't have the soul and emotional impact of Skyfall exactly, but it's got the same sort of tone.

I did enjoy the action sequences--a destructive bit of fisticuffs on a train, a car chase--although the final act may have been a bit ludicrous. I'm still missing the type of James Bond movie that isn't afraid to accompany an automobile stunt with a slide whistle though.

The plot of this reminded me a lot of the last two Mission Impossible movies. With those and movies like The Kingsman or the Bourne movies, you have to wonder about the legs of this elderly franchise. Are they going to adjust the formula to keep up with these more modern spy adventure things or will they try to remain true to the character and the Fleming novels?

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