After earning 00 status and a licence to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007. Bond must defeat a private banker funding terrorists in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro.
Years after a friend and fellow 00 agent is killed on a joint mission, a secret space based weapons program known as Goldeneye is stolen. James Bond sets out to stop a Russian crime syndicate from using the weapon.
A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia, 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, the new head of the Centre of National Security, questions Bond's actions and challenges the relevance of MI6 led by M. Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny and Q to help him seek out Madeleine Swann, the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White, who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of the assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot. As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks.
The picture shot in three different locations in Austria: Lake Altaussee, Obertilliach, and Sölden, the latter being the home of the Ice-Q restaurant, and the cable cars that feature in a tense sequence with Q. According to special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, the main action sequence in Austria proved to be very complicated, technically: "We had planes hanging on high wires coming down the valley approaching one of our villains and his men who are in Range Rovers. Then the plane wings hit a tree before it lands. It's going down the hill using its engines to propel itself, but it's on the ground. Hence, we built planes that had skidoos inside, so they are actually being driven." Corbould and his effects team used eight different planes that were involved in several separate rigs. Two of the planes could actually fly, while another two were fitted to the wire rig. Another four planes were carcasses fitted with hidden skidoos, which the stunt team could use to drive the plane down the mountainside, ensuring total control. Corbould adds: "It is a matter of getting the right vehicle for the right terrain, and incorporating it and hiding it inside the relevant vehicle. In Spectre (2015), our sequence sees the plane smash into a barn, and it explodes out the other end, dropping from twenty feet." When shooting this sequence, the Spectre (2015) team added ten sheds and a barn to the area in which they filmed. Eight of the sheds were found in the local mountains nearby, and were bought and rebuilt on the set. A total of twenty miles of reclaimed wood siding was used to create the remaining sheds and the barn, through which the plane smashes. The biggest challenge in Austria, however, lay elsewhere. Corbould says: "Initially, in Austria, there was no ice or snow. All our preparations were delayed, and we had to travel quite a few miles to a different location to test the plane rigs and skidoos." So unseasonal was the weather in Austria, that the production had to make four hundred tonnes of man-made snow to cover the hillside, which would normally be blanketed in white. Corbould concludes: "Austria was a full-on sequence." See more »
Bond detonates an explosive so large that it breaks loose the facade on the building across the street and then collapse that entire facade on the building across the street, collapsing its roof and front wall. This explosion, however neither seriously injures Bond, nor does it cover the opposite roof in debris from the explosion.
Additionally, despite only being less than 30-40 feet from such a powerful explosion, Bond (who is neither wearing hearing protection, nor body armor) is not deafened, nor injured by the blast. See more »
When Bond enters the ruined MI6-HQ Building, the memorial plaque "IN MEMORY FOR THOSE WHO DIED IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY" displays several Names of the Films Art-Department Crew. See more »
In August 2015, Columbia submitted the film to the BBFC in the UK for advice on whether the film would receive a 12A rating upon a formal submission. The BBFC informed the filmmakers that cuts would be required in two scenes before a 12A rating, instead of an uncut 15, could be obtained. These were made prior to formal submission and it was duly passed at 12A with no further changes.
Reductions to "strong bloody (injury) detail" were made in the following two scenes:
The eye gouging now only shows an establishing shot of the thumbs being inserted, then cuts to a counter-shot from behind the victim's head when the slightly bloody thumbs emerge. The uncut version showed this all from the front, including the aftermath.
The suicide now takes place off-screen and with reduced detail. The uncut version showed the man putting the gun under his chin and firing with a spray of bloody mist, and two subsequent shots showed brain tissue hanging down from the back of his head.
These cuts persist in all worldwide versions of the film. See more »
With occasions of triteness, Spectre is satisfactory but not stupendous like Casino Royale
Resuming where Skyfall left off, Spectre points James Bond on a quest to discover and unearth truths behind the sinister organization responsible.
The 00 organization is under duress as the Centre of National Security attempts to take over control of all clandestine undertakings in the protection of the nation. Bond is on his own and off grid as he follows Spectre across the globe, with one mission in mind, to terminate it at the source. Much has changed for Bond since his first mission in Montenegro where he fell for the beautiful Vesper Lynd. On guard, 007's seductive charisma is set aside as he fervently pursues vengeance for M and truth for himself.
Daniel Craig has been James Bond for close to ten years now, a near unbelievable fact until you go back and realize the first film, Casino Royale, was released in 2006. Opening with a strong action sequence set during the Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico City, Spectre starts promisingly intense. Set in exotic locations with transcendentally tactile productions, Spectre satiates the audience's wanderlust craving. Something happens once Sam Smith's "Writings on the Wall" concludes, and the dark gritty James Bond we've grown to be enamored with takes several steps back toward the triteness of the 90s.
It was always going to be difficult for director Sam Mendes to supersede expectations set from the wildly successful Skyfall. The narrative had taken a complicated turn with deceit and bloodshed interwoven with treachery and malice. Mendes had teased us with a captivating scene set in a wintry tundra where a cloaked man compared Bond to a 'kite dancing in a hurricane'. It was enigmatic but furtively beguiling. Desperately longing for Spectre to capture this essence for the totality of its duration, it fails to meet expectations.
There is something intangibly weary about Spectre as a whole. The amorous allure inherently exuding from Bond is overdone and forced, injected into the plot to satisfy token assumptions. His unflinching execution of his license to kill has softened, leaving Bond to feel less like 007 and more like IMF agent Ethan Hunt who participates in a similar journey this year.
Do not mistake these criticisms of Spectre as a conclusion for it being substandard. The hand-to-hand fight sequences are marvelously intense and brutal, especially those against Dave Bautista. The narrative plots across Mexico, Rome, Austria and Morocco and does so without sacrificing the story too much. It just ends up feeling drawn out, as if it were going through the motions.
Spectre is vastly superior to the Pierce Brosnan 007 films, it is just in comparison to its peers that it fails to measure up and is more akin to them than the Craig films we've grown to love. With rare occasions of cheesiness that make you more laughably amused (especially at the senseless love scenes) than suspensefully entertained, we can only hope for a sensational Bond 25.
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