Having received the royal seal of approval at its Premiere yesterday, Spectre is now in cinemas and awaiting your approval.
Of course you’re going to watch it - it’s Bond for goodness sake, and here’s why we suspect you’ll enjoy every minute of it.
Sam Mendes’ assured and classy opening tracking shot, taking us through a bustling crowd at Mexico City’s Day of the Dead festival to a hotel lobby, up in an elevator, into to a room and then out to a rooftop where 007 dashes off for an assassination attempt – sets the tone for the entire film. Masterful.
We won't give too much away but let's just say that Bond ends up on a helicopter with this man, climaxing in a mid-air three way punch up high above a city square. As memorable as any opening stunt in the Bond canon since Goldeneye.
Be honest, can you remember Skyfall’s intro sequence? Or have the faintest idea of what they did for the opening bars of Quantum of Solace? Like it or loathe it, Writing On The Wall, may have divided audiences on its reveal, Sam Smith’s sonorous tones fit perfectly with Spectre's shimmering title sequence – packed out with contorting sirens, smoking bullets and octopi. You’ll remember this one for years to come.
From the moment we first lay eyes on Mr Hinx, silently squeezing the life out of somebody through his eye sockets, we know that he’s a different kind of Bond henchmen. A tougher ask for the noticeably less muscular spy. Arguably the first real physical challenge for Craig’s modern day Bond, he’s an absolute bruiser, pulverising people for fun without really saying much. A throwback to the old days, his tear-up with Bond on a train ride is worth the ticket price alone.
Taking the reins from Dame Judi Dench as the the head of a beleaguered MI6, Ralph Fiennes comes into his own in Spectre. When a merger with MI5 threatens to destroy the ‘00’ programme and Bond gone rogue to hunt for Spectre, Fiennes becomes both taskmaster and ally to 007, even getting to do some fighting and sleuthing himself as shadowy forces gather - showing us all just what might have been had he got the role as the super spy back in the day.
Forget your Casino Royale Ford Mondeo – Spectre sees Bond shrug off the conspicuous motors of the every man for a glorious return to improbable supercar territory. An Aston Martin DB10 faces off against a Jaguar C-X75 on the streets of Rome, and without giving anything away, the sequence set a new record for Bond wrecks: some £24 million was spent on smashing up motors. It’ll bring a tear to your eye.
The Craig-era of Bond will be remembered for bringing some grit back to what had become an increasingly flimsy spy formula – at the cost of losing some 007 signature gadgets. With the return of Q (Ben Whishaw), Bond finally gets his hands on some toys we’ve not seen the likes of since 2008’s Die Another Day. From flamethrowers to exploding watches, gadget lovers are in for a treat.