Written By: Mike Agostinelli

I was brought up on many things: Batman (first and foremost of course), the Ninja Turtles, Jurassic Park, Godzilla…the list goes on and on. But one thing that stood out above the rest a bit more, and rivaled Batman at certain points, was my love for James Bond. A classic character with many classic films, Bond fascinated me. There was one summer where I watched one Bond movie a day until I made my way through all of them. Granted, I didn’t understand 90% of what I witnessed, but it was still a seminal experience. Since then, I’ve seen them all, most of them numerous times. So when I say that Spectre is an absolute pleasure, you should take it to heart.

It begins properly: with the old school James Bond gun barrel opening (finally), and then segues into an epic opening action scene that is up there with one of the best in the franchise. Over time, the plot unspools. The recently deceased female M leaves Bond a message from beyond the grave, leading him on a chase to uncover the organization who has been behind all of his troubles since the fantastic Casino Royale. That’s right: everything has indeed been connected right up from the start of the Daniel Craig Bond films. Over the course of this latest mission, Bond battles a why-wont-he-die henchman with metal thumb nails, has sex with a woman his own age (a rare thing for these films), and falls in love with another. Or does he just like her alot? Lets hope he doesn’t love her, because that never turns out well for the woman involved.

The biggest takeaway from this film, and the best thing about it, is that it returns the Bond franchise to the sense of fun that it lost after Day Another Day, the final Pierce Brosnan installment. It feels odd at first, since the Craig era has been notoriously dark and depressing. Skyfall seemed to revel in it’s moody, dark depression. So when things like the aforementioned metal-nailed henchman, a villians lair situated inside a meteorite crater, and a gadget filled car that shoots fire out the back and has an ejector seat present themselves it may come across as a jarring tonal shift. But if you’re a real Bond fan, you remember these days of light fun and quippy one-liners. A hero who seems generally unfazed by the danger he finds himself in. The bandwagon Bond fan hacks may recoil at this, but those who know the character will embrace it. Everything doesn’t need to be “realistic”, murky, and an overall downer. I promise.

It’s a bit of a shame though that in a movie with such a fresh yet nostalgic feel that the score itself is repetitive and lazy. Thomas Newman seems to have re-used many tracks from Skyfall, but re-jiggered them a tad so it’s not too obvious. The Bond theme itself is only present in short spurts until its broken out fully at the end in an awkward spot where it doesn’t belong. How hard can it be to compose a good Bond score? Bring back David Arnold for the next one, for the love of God.

But do most of you reading this give a crap about a movies background music? Likely not. (Although you should. It’s 80% of why you FEEL anything when watching a movie.) No, you care about action, a cool story, hot Bond girls, and Bond being a badass. You get all of that in spades here. And even though he’s looking a bit older these days, I hope Daniel Craig sticks around for one more film before handing the role off to another lucky actor. (Henry Cavill, I pick you for the next Bond.) He’s done far too much for the role to not go out in a more decisive fashion, as this film leaves a few too many threads open to just ditch Craig now. We all know you don’t love that girl bro. You just like her boobs and ass.

I give Spectre a 9 out of 10. See this movie.

I’ll be back in a couple weeks with a review for The Night Before, the admittedly awesome looking Seth Rogen Christmas comedy. I freaking love Christmas bro.