Spectre has finally come out of the shadows. The new James Bond movie — a lot of which is still a mystery — hosted the first press screening in London. While the rest of us wait for the film’s November release in the U.S., early reactions from critics are starting to hit the web. So, is Spectre more Skyfall or Quantum of Solace?
As in most cases, it depends on who you ask, though most reviews lean towards the positive. While Yahoo Movies and The Playlist writer Oliver Lyttelton called it Quantum of Solace 2 (which isn’t a good thing), Geoffrey MaCnab of The Independent wrote “Spectre is every bit the equal of its predecessor” but “struggles to reconcile its own internal contradictions” in the “latter stages.”
Robbie Collin of The Telegraph writes,
It’s a swaggering show of confidence from returning director Sam Mendes and his brilliant cinematographer, Hoyte van Hoytema…
The Daily Mail’s Brian Viner similarly had a positive response, writing,
From the exhilarating pre-credits sequence, against the backdrop of the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City, to a spectacular denouement in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament, Spectre is a proper joyride of a James Bond film.
The official plot description for the film about a “cryptic message” is pretty, well, cryptic:
A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
With these early reactions, though, come more info on the plot — so skip this paragraph if you want to maintain the film’s are of secrecy. Essentially, these “political forces” are comprised of a counter-terrorism wing that seeks to bring the dark ages of MI6 into the light. That entails abolishing their current program and replacing it an “international alliance of networks,” as The Guardian describes it. Some critics have described it as the Bond for a post-Snowden era.
Check out more early Spectre reviews below.
#Spectre great fun, very exciting, sexily pro-Snowden
— Peter Bradshaw (@PeterBradshaw1) October 21, 2015
I was neither shaken nor stirred by that #SPECTRE
— Emily Hargreaves (@emhargreaves) October 21, 2015
#Spectre is such a weird mix of Craig-era grit and Moore-era silliness that it’s bewildering. Great action bits but so confused.
— Helen O’Hara (@HelenLOHara) October 21, 2015
To expand slightly on my official review of #Spectre – “It was fine”– Léa Seydoux may have been the first ever Bond woman.
— Sam Parker (@samparkercouk) October 21, 2015
SPECTRE: Quantum Of Solace 2: This Time It’s Personal. Bad action, lousy plotting, Lea Seydoux only redeeming feature. — olilyttelton (@olilyttelton) October 21, 2015
Sadly #SPECTRE was a bust. James Bland, 0-Ho-Hum, license to shuffle through a lifeless, thrill-less, luxury lifestyle magazine world.
— Marshall Julius (@MarshallJulius) October 21, 2015
Spectre hits U.S. theaters on November 6th.