A little disappointing.
I remember my first Bond film: 1965. Thunderball. Totally Completely Awesome. For me Sean Connery IS James Bond. No one has ever played Bond as well as Connery.
When Daniel Craig appeared on the screen as the new James Bond, I was pleased. None of the interloper Bonds were able to pull off the occasional need to be a mean cold-hearted assassin like Connery could.
At the conclusion of Skyfall I really had high hopes. The Secret Service was returning to the old wood-panelled offices. The Aston Martin DB5 was back. I thought we were being set up for the return of Classic Bond. Alas no.
There were lots of references to Classic Bond, for sure, the main villain being named Ernst Stravo Bloefeld (complete with cat) being the most prominent. But it’s as if the producers simply threw those references in. Imagine GM building a care with the right front fender reminiscent of a 63 corvette, the left rear fender resembling that of a 57 Chevy, the left front fender of a 68 Camaro, etc. It wouldn’t look right. That’s what Spectre felt like: gratuitous use of old iconic images.
I read that the legal rights to the name ‘Spectre’ and ‘Erst Stravo Bloefeld’ had been tied up in legal wrangling for 25 years, and that those terms could now finally be used in a Bond film again. If that’s true then the producers had the opportunity to create a masterpiece but chose not to.
And I have to admit I miss the double entendres. (“Just a slight stiffness coming on.” – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; “Do you mind if my friend sits this one out? She’s just dead” – Thunderball). The producers have taken the serious grittiness too far.
Conclusion: Spectre is an opportunity not lost, but wasted.