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 organization 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.
“Spectre” is a fast-paced ride for much of the movie. You want action? Granted! You have action. The problem is that several scenes are contrived. They seem to be placed in the film not because they add to the story, but because they are fun to watch. There are some exceptions to the rule. A well-choreographed fight on a train between Bond (Daniel Craig) and a really big guy takes several minutes and involves chains, punching and kicking, a rope, and an outsized Bond navigating through the fight with quick thinking and some slick moves. The scene relates to some unscrupulous people who want Bond out of the way.
The locations are awe-inspiring, as they feature Rome, Tokyo and Africa. The viewer gets to see the cool Mr. Bond fly a plane, a helicopter, a boat, a fast car, and escape danger time and time again. However, you know, when you see Bond flying the plane on the ground after the wings have come off, that this is entertainment and not to be taken too seriously. Craig gives an excellent performance, and so does Ralph Fiennes as his boss, M; Christoph Waltz as his nemesis; and the beautiful Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, his love interest in the film.
Regrettably, the film contains strong sexuality and language, in addition to violence, and we therefore cannot award it our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.