Not that I expected Bond 24, aka “Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions presents Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in SPECTRE,” to make a lick of sense… A screenplay credited to John Logan (“Skyfall,” “The Aviator,” “Hugo”), Neal Purvis & Robert Wade (“The World Is Not Enough,” “Die Another Day,” “Casino Royale,” “Quantum Of Solace,” “Skyfall”) and Jez Butterworth (“Jerusalem,” “Black Mass”) goes through disjointed motions, shoehorning Bond lore from before the days of Daniel Craig and dovetailing dribs and drabs of the increasingly Christopher Nolan-like family drama that’s infused the movies since Craig shouldered on those fantastically fitted Tom Ford suits. Nolan’s perilous path leaves other traces here, with “Interstellar” cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema and his customary cutter Lee Smith. But rather than reflective of his work with David O. Russell and Nolan, Van Hoytema’s furnishings-catalogue burnish resembles a send-up of the splendid, aged colors and gold-to-cloacal light of his work on “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” (The tawny, tan-to-yellow palette of “Spectre” fulfills the disparaging phrase “piss-elegant.”) The compositions are clean and casually geometric, the locations lovely and lavish, the furnishings and settings by production designer Dennis Gassner (“Barton Fink,” “Road to Perdition,” “Skyfall”) have the sweet grace of simplicity, elements sketched in as in a keenly focused stage production. But as they say on Broadway, you don’t walk out of a musical humming the scenery. With Christoph Waltz, Daniel Craig, Ben Whishaw, Andrew Scott, Dave Bautista, Judi Dench, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes. 150m. (Ray Pride)
“Spectre” is now racing around the planet.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.