The James Bond recipe shouldn't taste good anymore. Every ingredient in the long-running franchise reached its expiration date decades ago. The Cold War? Ended. Nifty little spy gadgets? Passé. Rampant, red-blooded sexism amid a bevy of interchangeable beauties, each more than ready for casual sex? Not cool, man.
Yet here we are, on the eve of the release of the 24th Bond movie (25th if you count 1983's unofficial Never Say Never Again, which you totally should because it's ridiculous and idiotic and fun). Spectre follows 2012's Skyfall, the most financially successful Bond movie in history, and is poised to be even bigger. How is this even possible?
Sam Smith's dreadful theme song is less a piece of music than a dribble of uncooked pancake batter—it is, quite possibly, the worst piece of recorded music in human history. All signs point to Bond, so dour in recent years, getting goofy again. This might not be the end of the world. The best Bond movies—From Russia with Love, On Her Majesty's Secret Service—contain a tricky balance of the darkly violent and the cheerfully bubbly. Will it be the best Bond yet? Almost definitely not. But it remains a pleasure—and, actually, kind of a wonder—to get a chance to see the creaky old bastard take on the world's troubles once again (148 min.).
Director: Sam Mendes
Producer: Michael Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Callum McDougall
Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen, Alessandro Cremona and Stephanie Sigman