The climax of the Daniel Craig era, playing with expectations, and what could have been.
Let me begin with stating that the new James Bond film, Spectre, is not terrible. It’s a serviceable, fun, damn good-looking Bond film. But it brings with it a pervasive sense of disappointment – and the problem is of their own making. Those responsible for the franchise in the Daniel Craig era have consistently elevated it from its resilient (if archaic) roots, to a series of strong, mature dramas which stand as great films in their own right. Elevating the Bond pantheon, first with the brutal Casino Royale, then with the stunning Quantum of Solace (which I continue to defend as misunderstood), and to the cathartic heights of Skyfall, has raised expectations going into Spectre. Fans and critics alike expect a prestige picture with strong components across the board. Unfortunately, while it can’t live up to the heights of Skyfall, Spectre actually takes a big step backwards in almost every regard.