Spectre (2015) is not a bad film. It just fails to reach the new heights.

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Who doesn’t want those Tom Ford shades?

I’ll make this review quick, with as few spoiler as possible.

Spectre is a very long film. If feels much longer than the actual duration as it slides from the first 60 minutes. Watching this film is like going to a blind date—it’s fun at first and then you question where it leads or when it will be over.

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It’s pretty much like the jewel of the crown of the franchise’s installments in recent years. It wraps the story from Casino Royale to Skyfall, but the execution, sadly, is not that impeccable. Casino Royale is great because Bond is convincingly humane—he shows feelings, he falls in love, not just sleeps around and leaves (what a debut, Daniel!). We can forget about the next one. Skyfall is probably the greatest Bond movie ever: Bond grows, he gets close to what he’s been looking for, he loses his moral guide (God bless Judy Dench!), he goes to the past and looks forward the future. Spectre doesn’t reach the bar set by the previous film. It’s probably too high, both artistically and box office-wise.

Spectre is very modern, very 2010s, with the government surveillance issue it brings to the table. But it looks back too many times, from Bond skips a heartbeat when he discover Vesper Lynn’s archive (please, Bond, the bitch is dead!) to an old photo hanged on the wall in the room somewhere nowhere in the dessert. This film is infuriating here and there.

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Now, about the characters. Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci) probably only gets 5 minute of screen time and that counts 2 minutes of kissing scene. Dave Bautista (Mr. Hinx) plays the typical henchmen as we know it, a trademark of Bond films. The car chase scene in Rome is very classic Bond, if not silly. Dr. Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) is probably the best Bond girl yet: she plays hard to get at first, she is not good with gun but eventually pulls the trigger. But Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) is clearly trailing behind Skyfall‘s Raoul Silva. Man, people buy tickets and expect you to be very evil, very menacing and very ruthless. Get rid of those goddamn loafers—you’re the Satan of all these films after all!

Let us all not talk about Sam Smith’s song.

Photo: Sony Pictures.

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