James Bond - to many of you he may have been around for your entire life. I remember when I was a young teen going to see the first of the movies, Dr. No. It starred an actor, unknown to Americans, called Sean Connery. I was hooked.
Ian Fleming was still around in those days and still writing. I devoured all of the books as they were published.
Although I haven't always liked the later Bond films - I'm sorry, Roger Moore and the silliness of his era of the films drove me away. But Timothy Dalton with his one Bond film brought me back. I've been back ever since.
Daniel Craig has become one of the best Bonds in my opinion, for all that my first thought of him was he looked more like a KGB agent than 007.
SPECTRE is the latest entry in the Bond collection. The entity SPECTRE is from the original Fleming books, worse than SMERSH, more deadly and more sinister, nihilistic in their enmity for all. The head of SPECTRE, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, is also a Fleming creation.
The film SPECTRE opens with a crowded fast-moving scene in Mexico City on the dia de los Muertos. (Day of the Dead) similar to Halloween in the states, it celebrates the dead.
As the scene progresses, there's a lot to celebrate. The action is huge, explosive, and loud with Bond triumphant when the scene ends. But the sheer magnitude of destruction gets him censured and put on leave.
Of course he doesn't stay put as he's ordered. Like an English bulldog with a bone clamped in his jowls, 007 keeps going after his nemesis. Do we ever expect him to do anything less?
This time, the entire 00 program is in jeopardy, seen as outdated, obsolete. Drones and other electronic surveillance is so much neater than a single agent going about shooting indiscriminately, killing, leaving a mess.
Honestly, there's not much new to the story, but the story isn't the reason the Bond films remain popular. The action is bigger, louder, more improbable than ever before.
Daniel Craig does another fine turn as 007. Ralph Fiennes, introduced as the new M in the last film, is excellent. His character will surprise you.
Christoph Waltz plays Blofeld with relish, complete with the character's sinister white Persian cat. Nobody can play someone so unapologetically wicked as he can. His villains are so happy in their evil.
Lea Seydoux plays James' reluctant love interest, although she gradually accepts the inevitable. Her character is the daughter of a late SPECTRE member.
Ben Whishaw continues his fresh take as Q, the long-suffering quartermaster. (Aren't they all when Bond breaks their toys?)
Also notable is Dave Bautista as a cruel SPECTRE assassin. I kept wondering where I'd seen him. It was only when I sat through the cast credits I realized he played Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy. This character is very different from that one.
If you like the Bond films, enjoy them as entertainment, check out this one. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours, enjoy your popcorn with an exciting movie. Some of the stunts are amazing.