Spectre Review: Not A Good James Bond Movie

I have this thing for James Bond movies. I love them, is what I mean. I've loved almost all of them.

I do not love Spectre, the final installment of the franchise with Daniel Craig playing the Bond character. It is, to my recollection, the worst of the Bond movies I have seen. Or at least the worst I can remember.

The beginning of the film is promising, with Bond in Mexico City, clad in a costume for a massive Day of the Dead parade. The costume and the parade are a front for Bond to execute a hit on someone; in the same way, this scene is a front for the rest of the movie. It is the best part of the film, and it is up first, and then everything falls of a cliff.

The problem here, as I see it, is that there are no surprises. This is as formulaic as a Bond film gets. Dave Bautista is a good muscle-bound henchman, but he's the same henchman we've seen in every other Bond film. He's Oddjob, only it's 2015. And the rest of the story, from the opening to the fast cars to the women to the villain to the end, well, it is Bond as we are used to, or at least the version of the Bond we have recently become accustomed to.

The only true surprise in the movie comes when Bond orders a dirty martini, which offers a bit of an unexpected delight. It gives you hope that things won't be as they usually are, that director Sam Mendes will toss everything on its head at some point later in the film.

But he does not. This is the fourth time Craig has played Bond (and the second time Mendes has directed the character), and while the early films were full of hope and promise for something new and daring for the series (a blonde Bond, omg!), it has now come to a stuttering halt and we are left hoping that someone new and refreshing will take over for Craig and Mendes the next time out.

I'm still pulling for Idris Elba to next fill the role, though I know that's a long shot. And I believe there was a time when Daniel Craig was the perfect Bond. He was brooding and serious and looked like he could actually kick someone's ass, which was a refreshing change from Pierce Brosnan. But Craig's time in Bond's shoes is over, and nowhere is that more evident than this awful movie.

SCORE: 4 out of 10

What do you think?