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After all the “inspired by true events” movies we’ve been getting lately, purely fictional escapism such as that provided by SPECTRE is welcome. This is a true fact.

Director Sam Mendes and the four guys who collaborated on the script have brought to the screen a film that includes all the things a James Bond fan expects from a 007 movie.

The James Bond movie checklist:

  • Peril for Bond (Daniel Craig) in opening scene. This time it’s a fight inside a copter, following an explosion.
  • Chase scenes: on foot, in cars, in cars and planes.
  • Discipline for Bond from a stern M. (Ralph Fiennes)
  • Flirtation between Bond and Moneypenny. (Naomie Harris)
  • Cool gadgets from the quirky Q. (Ben Whishaw)
  • Attractive Bond “girls.” (Monica Belluci—the oldest Bond girl ever, looking gorgeous at 50. Also Léa Seydoux of Blue Is The Warmest Color fame).
  • Sex with gorgeous babes.
  • “Shaken not stirred.”
  • Exotic locations: Mexico City, Rome, Austria, Morocco, London.
  • Generous amounts of gunplay.
  • A timer, counting down to an possible explosion.
  • A generous number of fiery crashes and explosions.
  • Painful torture and/or death.
  • Outrageous architecture.
  • An eccentric villain. (Christoph Waltz.)
  • A memorable title song. Writing’s On The Wall by Sam Smith.

It’s all there. The movie may be a bit long for some at two-and-a-half hours. For me, it was time well spent.

In case you’re wondering, it’s not quite as good as 2012’s Skyfall. Few Bond films are. Be happy that you have this (supposedly) final movie from Daniel Craig as Bond and enjoy SPECTRE for what it is—a solid film with all those Bond things we’ve come to expect and embrace.

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