Sam Mendes’ Spectre, the 24th entry in the James Bond franchise, is not a bad film. Critical consensus indicates it’s flawed, but still basically enjoyable and artfully made by a director who’s proven surprisingly adept at blockbuster filmmaking.
Nevertheless, Spectre has the misfortune of following one of the greatest Bond movies of all-time: Mendes’ own Skyfall. A Bond film made to simultaneously bring 007 up-to-date and celebrate 50 years of the character, Skyfall is comfortably the best of the Daniel Craig Bonds. Spectre comes in at a respectable third.
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That being said, there are ways in which Spectre and Skyfall match in terms of quality: the cast is top-drawer, while the cinematography, though very different in each, can be breathtakingly beautiful. Some of the action set-pieces in Spectre, meanwhile, even top those in Skyfall (the opening Day of the Dead sequence, the car chase through Rome, and the train fight between Bond and Dave Bautista’s henchman Mr. Hinx are all series highlights).
Still, those fans going into Spectre with high hopes after the superfluous Skyfall need to temper expectations now. If the film were coming after the poor Quantum of Solace, we’d be lauding Spectre as something of a return to form; but seeing as it comes directly after Skyfall, Spectre is unavoidably a minor disappointment.
Here, then, are ten reasons why Spectre doesn’t quite top its predecessor. Of course, spoilers will follow….