Must be hard to be in charge of Bond movies, when you know how high expectations the fans have! How much of a legacy you're entrusted to further, and how insane a budget you've to spend properly. Maybe that's why recent movies all seem to follow the same formula for success? If you've seen one Bond movie you know what to expect.
On the other hand, if you've seen one, you've all but seen them all. Each one is as different from the previous as night is from day. The budget's always high, the characters are classy and extravagant, the script is clever and complicated, the action is intense and authentic, and the story takes you all over the world. That's just how Bond rolls (in a Rolls).
This particular sequel may not be as grand as Skyfall was after the last, and not as fast-paced as Casino Royale either, but it's a good mixture. It's a bit like the previous (Skyfall) but... classier. Oldskool Bond's coming back again! Not all people seem to: but I like it. I think Léa Seydoux did a good job as the Bond girl too, and I'm happy to see Monica Bellucci make a short appearance. I was also pleasantly surprised at Bautista's appearance! How often do we get to see a WWE wrestler in a Bond movie?! A good one too.
The vicious criminal syndicate Spectre is back as well! And with it, the infamous Blofeld, who we've all seen much too little of in latter movies (apparently due to an ongoing legal battle - that whomever is in charge of this movie finally won!). Or in other words, chronologically, we've seen him much to little. I hope we'll be seeing more of him in the future. A re-occurring antagonist feels like a necessary counterweight for a re-occurring protagonist.
The intro scene was great. I had mixed first impressions of the introductory The Dead Are Alive text, but when I realized it was about more than the festival it made more sense! Hint: it's a hint. ;)
Apart from great filmography, the sound was also masterfully managed. Not just the soundtrack, but also the mixing, such as how you can during the train fight hear the tracks on one speaker and the action on the other, both interesting and effective blending, and the nerve-wreaking audio on the lobotomy attempt had me squirming in my chair. The explosions sound great, the dialog sounds great, and of course: the soundtrack is as pompous as it can possibly get. They've added something too. Some hit-hats? Something that adds to the tension. It sounds good.
The action's superb as always, and it looks like they actually built a little city in a crater just so they could blow it up at the end, just for this movie! Oh, whoops, spoiler alert there... though for anyone who's seen a Bond movie before you'll probably be expecting it. ;)
I don't know what else to say about this movie? It ties in nicely to the prequels, introduces a very capable criminal organization, is clever, creative and classy and packs two and a half hours worth of viewing material that seems at least half an hour shorter when you see it. It's all I'd expect from Bond, and as always also much more. Great watch.
rated 5/5: friggin awesome