I have never heard of Sam Smith before. Not until I read somewhere that he was going to lead the opening song for Spectre, the newest James Bond film. So I tuned in to YouTube the day before and was quite surprised to hear the songs "Lay Me Down," "I'm Not the Only One," and "Writing's On the Wall."

I was downright excited to hear what song Mr. Smith was going to have for "Spectre," having enjoyed those I've seen. Though I don't really understand myself why I do. It's just a small thing that gives me this sorry ass pre-judgment if the film is going to be bad or not.

For "Spectre," Mr. Smith's "Writing's On the Wall" turned out to be the opening song, and my pre-cognitive couldn't have been misled as much as it had been. While the song itself was exquisite-its lyrics and tone brought a sense of finality that would see Daniel Craig's final bow as 007 James Bond-I felt the film was going to be the best Bond film I'm going to see ever.


While predecessor "Skyfall," is a monumental feat that is difficult to top. It was a defining moment for Mr. Bond, and has succeeded immensely with its climatic encounter at the end. It was a scenario where he couldn't simply muscle his way though. He was at a total disadvantage and had to make the best of what limited resources he has: Lightbulbs, for instance. This, emotionally-driven action survival scene carried "Skyfall" all the way to the top, despite lacking that punch of finality. It was a little bit about Bond but leaned closer to his relationship with M.

"Spectre" on the other hand, made things more about Bond, fulfilling that taste of finality from Sam Smith's opening. It ties up everything from "Casino Royale," "Quantum of Solace," and "Skyfall," as if 007's life had been scripted from the beginning.

We get to see homages from older Bond films, many of which were never used in any of Mr' Craig's versions, as if the actor needs to under this baptism of fire before making his exit. We're talking about here: The return of gadgets, spy car, torture chair; the villain's diabolical hideout, the villain's diabolical monologue, and the villain's diabolical cat, which serves as a fine refreshment after all this time missing most of it.


"Spectre" has zero spy appeal-except for the suit-and is more "Die Hard" than "James Bond." Well, I guess the same could be said for the first three films, but in those, Bond actually manages to do some spy work-infiltration and gathering intel. "Spectre" is about running wherever part of the world that has a lead on the organization. They're also very fond of chases, which every action film needs, but to have one in every other scene feels tedious and dulling.

The film's plot twist came out in gentle sigh of relief. It was nothing that anyone might've guessed somewhere in the film. Bond himself says to his nemesis that the whole scheme is nothing complicated. And indeed, there's no guesswork needed anywhere, director Sam Mendes basically tells you to sit down there, watch, and don't think.

In an interview from another publication, Daniel Craig has claimed the ending for "Spectre" was a bit of an anti-climax. It turned out to be major understatement. For three consecutive James Bond films starring Mr. Craig, the climatic scenes had been action-packed, full of fire, and emotionally heart-breaking. There was always something in each exchange of fists and underneath of bullet storms that has raw emotion.

In "Spectre" however, the ending left me hollowed. Initially, I felt it was as if Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig themselves were tired and wanted to be rid of this film as soon as possible. But then thinking it through, it's an inverted pyramid. The beginning was stuffed with action and the further down the film the line: The less chases, punches, and trigger-happy scenes there were. It becomes a premonition of James Bond's upcoming fate as a Double-O agent.

I just wished there was more to it than that. Though, I was satisfied by the final confrontation with the villain - the execution could have been better, but ultimately, I was good. It's not as beautiful as "Skyfall," its action doesn't compare with "Casino Royale." But it's still an all right film to watch. And for the first time with Craig as Bond, we get an ending that is quite different from the earlier three. I think it's an ending that James Bond well deserves and it's time to let go of Daniel Craig.

I'll ready now for a new installment with a new storyline and a new Bond. 



About the author: Jonathan Kevin Castillo

Reviews Editor. Jonathan is hiding from a lynch mob after messing with the wrong basketball team. His favorite song is "Boys do Fall in Love" by Robin Gibb.


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