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The first Spectre reviews are in and the verdict is...

10.22.2015

Spectre Sam Mendes Daniel Craig Lea Seydoux Christoph Waltz Banner

The first SPECTRE press screening was held yesterday, and while the early reviews for the 24th Bond film are mostly positive, not everyone is having a love affair with Sam Mendes' SKYFALL follow-up. SPECTRE is currently sitting at 90% at Rotten Tomatoes, however I have a feeling that number is going to drop as more reviews come in, although probably not to the same level as say THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH or THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN.

Bellow you'll find excerpts from several of the early reviews, which are mostly spoiler free, but some of you may still want to avoid them.

Variety - Guy Lodge

Ricocheting from London to Rome to Morocco across action sequences of deliriously daft extravagance, the pic accumulates a veritable Pompeii of mighty, crumbling structures. What’s missing is the unexpected emotional urgency of “Skyfall,” as the film sustains its predecessor’s nostalgia kick with a less sentimental bent.

The Hollywood Reporter - Stephen Dalton

The first act is great, full of dark portent and bravura film-making flourishes. However, the final hour disappoints, with too many off-the-peg plot twists and too many characters conforming to type. While its commercial prospects seem bulletproof, Spectre ultimately feels like a lesser film than Skyfall, falling back on cliche and convention.

The Daily Telegraph - Robbie Collin

There is a torture scene for the ages, peppered with dark laughs, but tense and shiveringly sadistic – which probably tests the film’s 12A certificate to its limit. But Spectre pulls it off in the grand old Fleming style. It’s a feat of pure cinematic necromancy.

Daily Mirror - David Edwards

Craig, of course, is reliably superb. Once again he portrays the superspy as a thug in a dinner jacket who is quite prepared to shoot first and ask questions later as he wraps up the loose ends that have been dangling since Casino Royale in 2006.

The Independent - Geoffrey Macnab

Bond is described as being like “a kite in a hurricane,” a description which cutely sums up the cinematic mayhem that Mendes unleashes. The only disappointment in what is an exhilarating movie is the surprisingly clumsy and sentimental way in which the film ends.

The Sun

Fortunately Spectre is more in the vein of Skyfall’s predecessor and modern classic Casino Royale than 2008’s dismal Quantum of Solace. As Bond foils a terrorist plot in the jaw-dropping opening sequence set in Mexico City, the audience breathed a united sigh of relief. Bond is back – and at his best.

Spectre Daniel Craig

The Guardian - Peter Bradshaw

Is this Craig’s last hurrah as Bond? His somewhat tetchy remarks in interviews preceding this movie – indicating a readiness to quit – oddly mirror the tetchy media comments that greeted the news of his casting almost 10 years ago. Craig showed they were wrong: and I hope he carries on now. He is one of the best Bonds and an equal to Connery. That great big handsome-Shrek face with its sweetly bat ears has grown into the role.

The Herald - Allison Rowat

Craig, as ever, is the best thing on screen, but at times he looked a little tired, as if he might well be coming to the end of his Bond rainbow. There will be another 007; there is too much left in this pot of gold franchise for it to be otherwise. In the meantime, enjoy this Craig-fuelled thrill ride.

Financial Times - Danny Leigh

After the sombre excellence of Skyfall, Spectre tries to tweak the formula while clearly being thrown into panic at the thought. Everything feels so reliant on its business-class sheen, the grooming, tailoring and tie-pins, that anything other than gunmetal and a scowl unbalances the tone.

The Playlist - Oliver Lyttleton

Plot holes might be forgivable in a Bond movie (even ones of the gaping, you-could-drive-a-truck-through-it size we get here), but they stand out more when you’re mistaking mystery for actual story, with Bond on a quest that jumps from set piece to set piece rather than building up to something more compelling.

ITV - Nina Nannar

If you are a fan of Bonds of old you will love the many nods to the past, Mendes as promised producing a Bond film that respects the tradition. But … Is it as good as Skyfall? No, in my opinion, that was always going to be a tall order, fans will love it but I would be surprised if it smashes the box office in the way Skyfall did.

Den of Geek - Ryan Lamble

Often sublimely, sometimes awkwardly, Spectre contrasts harshness and humour, violence and suspense, warmth and stark coldness. The ingredients that go into the Bond formula don’t hang together quite as successfully here as they did in Skyfall, and at 148 minutes, Spectre feels a touch too long. But Spectre more than satisfies as a big-screen spectacle, and among the superb performances from the top-notch cast, it’s Craig who again carries the day.

Digital Spy - Simon Reynolds

Craig is by far the best thing about the film, more at ease with the one-liners and showing he can still cut it in the intense action set-pieces. Even when Spectre isn’t firing on all cylinders, its leading man is never anything but immensely watchable. The same can be said for Waltz’s villain, who manages to induce shivers without ever raising his voice. Ultimately, though, he’s a malevolent force hampered by credibility-straining motivation that’s right out of Austin Powers.

SPECTRE opens in the U.K. on October 26th, and will hit U.S. theaters on November 6th.

Source: Various

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