When there are so many great TV box sets to wade through, it’s an easy option to slob out on the sofa after a hard day, with a pizza and back-to-back episodes of your favourite American drama. So it was a pleasant surprise to find the cinema full to bursting for the latest James Bond movie Spectre.
Fans who haven’t yet queued to see the 24th film in the franchise can rest assured. This is a cracking adrenalin-fuelled romp around the world with all the guns, girls and glamour we’ve come to expect.
Director Sam Mendes stays true to the format we know and love, opening with a hold-your-breath shot in Mexico City with exploding buildings and a fight in a helicopter. From there the pace doesn’t let up. An energetic – if slightly middle-aged – Daniel Craig hops from Rome, to the Austrian Alps, to Morocco, on the trail of a villain intent on enslaving the world through surveillance technology.
The plot is a little convoluted, but that won’t spoil your enjoyment. Safe to say the old school 007 style of shoot first ask questions later is being made redundant by whizz bang technology.
Mendes mines the Bond archive allowing us to go on a nostalgia trip. I particularly liked the henchman’s resemblance to Oddjob from Goldfinger. But unlike in those first films, our hero is very much a man of today, having made strenuous efforts to drop the sexism and misogyny.
High-class support includes Christoph Waltz as Bond’s nemesis and Ralph Fiennes as M. A much-anticipated appearance by Monica Bellucci lasted all of two minutes!
If this is Craig’s last outing as 007, he’s ended on a high note. He’s just not the best Bond. That’s Sean Connery. No debate.