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One of 2015’s most anticipated releases – but does it live up to the hype?

‘Spectre’ is the 24th film in the hugely popular James Bond franchise. 007 is undoubtly one of Britain’s most iconic characters. Sam Mendes returns as director, and the film follows on from Mendes’ 2013 success, ‘Skyfall.’ The film received high praise from critics and fans, leaving this latest instalment with big shoes to fill. Sadly, ‘Spectre’ falls short.

The film follows on from ‘Skyfall’, and sees Bond following a cryptic message from the past which leads him to discover the existence of the sinister organization known as SPECTRE. The closer he gets to the heart of SPECTRE, he soon discovers that he has a chilling connection between the enemy. The film stars Daniel Craig as Bond, Christoph Waltz as Oberhauser and Lea Seydoux as Madeleine Swann. The film also has an impressive supporting cast, with Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Wishaw and Rory Kinnear reprising their roles, and welcomes new members of the cast such as Monica Bellucci and Andrew Scott.

The film opens in true Bond style, with an exciting and action packed chase through Mexico City. The scene is set to the background of the ‘Dia Los Muertos’ festival, and is a visual feast, as well as being an exciting action sequence that really draws the audience in from the first few moments. The true highlight of the film was the film’s opening title sequence, which is, personally, the most stunning and spectacular title sequence of the Bond series so far, and it’s worth seeing on the big screen just to fully experience those titles. The titles are set to Sam Smith’s ‘The Writing On The Wall’ and any doubts about the brilliance of this as a classic Bond song are gone when seeing these fantastic titles play alongside the song.

Sadly, after this opening sequence, the film never quite picks up the pace and regains that same level of entertainment. The script seems very hollow, especially compared to Craig’s previous outings as Bond. The film seems to use a well-worn plot and do hardly anything original with it. The plot seems to drag on in places, just filling time with pointless and barely-thrilling action sequences, slowly slugging along to the finale. This film takes Bond a step closer back to his campy and over-the-top roots, which feels uncomfortable and strange with Craig at the helm, who doesn’t seem to play these moments well. The script is littered with classic Bond catchphrases and throwbacks, and whilst fun for the nostalgic value, contrasts sharply with Mendes more grounded and gritty interpretation of the character, seemingly out of place, giving the film a strange, campy tone that contrasts harshly with the more gritty tone of Mendes’ Bond films.

Luckily, the film is topped with a finale that is more exciting and thrilling than the past couple hours, but that isn’t saying a whole lot. The scenes towards the end are the few scenes that have substantial plot and drive to keep you interest and save the film, despite not being as shocking and memorable as the end of ‘Skyfall’. The very final moments of this film feel out of place in a Bond film, and left me questioning where the story was concluded. For a film that is apparently a big moment in the world of Bond, something is falling flat.

The cast of Spectre are a definite highlight, with excellent performances being seen across the board. Craig is on form as Bond, as ever, and Lea Seydoux, ‘Spectre’s ‘Bond Girl’, is very good, convincing the audience she is a force to be reckoned with, and easily on par with Bond. Sadly, the fantastic Christoph Waltz is underused, and isn’t showing his best performance in this film. This mainly comes out of his struggle for screen time, and shouldn’t be an issue with the film sitting at an impressive 2 and a half hour run time.

Whilst Spectre is an entertaining Bond film, it drags and does not leave much of a lasting impression, with an underused villain and a tone that can’t decide if it wants to be fun and campy or Mendes usual gritty and dramatic interpretation of Bond. The film provides some thrills but brings little to a worn formula of a film.

‘Spectre’ is in cinemas now. Check out the trailer below!