REVIEW: Spectre

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Chris Luckett

A friend once theorized to me that it takes every James Bond actor three movies to “become” Bond, which is largely why Goldfinger, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Skyfall were the respective best of Connery’s, Moore’s, and Craig’s (so far) turns in the tux. (Brosnan was the only one to hit it out of the park his very first time with GoldenEye, but then he’d already spent five seasons practicing on Remington Steele.)

Of course, as strong as those entries in the series were, they were each followed by movies that tried so hard to be bigger and better they ultimately took on too much. Thunderball was at least a half-hour too long, Moonraker remains a low-point of the 53-year-old franchise, and even the above-average Tomorrow Never Dies remains the most forgettable entry of the Brosnan years.

The question was never whether Spectre would be worse than 2012’s Skyfall, arguably the very best in the everlasting series; it was how close to those same lofty heights Spectre could reach. Thanks to the return of director Sam Mendes, some gripping action sequences, and a perfectly pitched performance from Christoph Waltz, the answer is: pretty damned close. Continue reading