Spectre, The Longest Ever James Bond Movie, Debuted To Critics At Its First-ever Screening In London On Wednesday Night (21oct15) With Introductions From Producers Michael G. Wilson And Barbara Broccoli.
More than 1,600 ticket holders packed into the Odeon Leicester Square to watch Daniel Craig's fourth outing as 007. The screening was a top-security affair, with members of the media and lucky film fans asked to leave their cell phones and recording devices at the door.
Peter Taylor, Managing Director of Sony UK, also asked the audience "not to reveal some of the surprises you’re about to see."
Wilson introduced the movie, saying, "I simply want to welcome you on behalf of (director) Sam (Mendes), and Daniel, and the cast and crew to the first public screening of Spectre. It’s a film Barbara and I have spent three years of our lives working on and it’s just a wonderful night to finally see an audience see it for the first time... Let’s hope you all enjoy it."
WENN was there to review the film: Set after the events of 2012's Skyfall, James Bond is sent to Mexico to kill a man, and the discovery of a ring with the octopus insignia leads him on a trail to a mysterious organisation known as SPECTRE, led by Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz).
With the help of Dr. Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux), Bond must face a blast from the past and stop the group’s plans of world domination through global surveillance.
Spectre has faithfully kept the necessary elements of a Bond film intact - the fights, chases and explosions, the exotic locations, luxury cars and the gorgeous women. It excels in blending the new with the traditional and much of the film's humour lies with its nods to the past and witty one-liners. The standard characters, Q (Ben Whishaw) and Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), are no longer restricted to their desks at MI6 headquarters, and the subject of global surveillance gives the film a contemporary feel.
The action set pieces impress as always, most notably the opening sequence during a Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City, with a death-defying helicopter stunt and a chase through thousands of costumed revellers. Other stand-out moments include a car chase in Rome with Bond behind the wheel of a custom-made Aston Martin DB10 and a fistfight on a train with henchman Mr. Hinx, played by wrestler and Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista.
But all the action and irreverent winks to the past cannot save a less than exciting storyline that pales in comparison to the high stakes in Skyfall. Craig’s love scenes with Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux fail to ignite and feel false, and at times verge on cheesy. Go-to villain Waltz, who is known for portraying bad guys on the big screen, lacked the menace of his Bond bad guy predecessor Javier Bardem.
Spectre ticks all the boxes of a Bond film, and is fun and exciting, but it was always going to have an uphill battle to compete with the success of Mendes’ first Bond outing, Skyfall, which became the most successful film in the franchise's history. The expectations were high but Spectre fails to match up to the standards set by its predecessor.
Let’s hope Daniel Craig does not end his Bond legacy here.
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