SPECTRE DVD (2015)
SYNOPSIS: A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot. As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.
Skyfall was so fantastic on so many levels that it made the rest of the Bond outings embarrassingly mediocre. Then came Spectre which essentially is a pale shadow of its former instalment even though both are directed by the acclaimed Sam Mendes.
Daniel Craig returns in his fourth outing (but who’s counting?) as the British spy and in this instalment, Bond is being lured to investigate a mysterious criminal organization dubbed Spectre. It turned out that the leader of Spectre, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) is somehow linked to Bond’s past. As Bond falls deeper into the rabbit hole, the newly appointed M (Ralph Fiennes) meanwhile is caught in a power struggle with the Joint Intelligence Service. Will the two men survive the tests and emerge unscathed?
While Skyfall has a solid villain and a clear-cut motive, Spectre often stumbles and tries desperately hard to connect the four Bond movies starring Craig. In any case, the end results are a convoluted mess and surprisingly hollow. Most importantly, returning writers John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade failed to deliver a convincing, menacing opponent to tie up the loose strings instead they prefer to take audiences around the globe (sometimes for no apparent reason except to showcase a snowy landscape for a change) like any other predictable James Bond flicks.
Of course, the movie still boasts an extravagant budget and a longer runtime allowing Mendes and his production team to choreograph a series of loud explosions and breathless chases. The opening scene which featured a fight in a spiraling out of control helicopter is an amazing achievement consider it’s done without or little CGI. Sadly the rest of the action bits that follow are no match for the opening sequence unless you include a massive Michael Bay-like explosion towards the end.
This time round, French actress Lea Seydoux (Blue Is The Warmest Colour) stars as the Bond girl, a Doctor Madeleine Swann whose father is a former member of Spectre. Ben Whishaw returns again as Q and his character gets to venture out of the lab for once. Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) stars as the deadly assassin Mr Hinx who gets to briefly throw Bond around before he himself is thrown out of a train. The worst of all is having Oscar winner Christoph Waltz onboard but never allowing his character to have much screentime or a believable backstory.
Spectre feels awfully bloated and formulaic as compared to Skyfall partly because expectations were sky high. Still for a superspy espionage flick, Spectre remains a thrilling majestic ride. Daniel Craig as the tough brooding spy at least deserves one final outing before he hands over the reins.
Video Blogs are just a compilation of all the featurettes that were released online before the movie's official release.
Spectre looks amazing even on the small screen. Detailing, coloring and imaging are top notch despite the presence of color grading. Sound design is rich and dynamic for example the opening action sequence and the pursuit on the snow mountain. Certainly a title to showcase your home theater system.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee