Roger Deakins did outstanding cinematography work with Skyfall, but it looks like Hoyt Van Hoytema is giving him a run for his money this time around. In the second feature trailer for Sam Mendes’ 007 follow-up, cinematographer Hoytema starts with a chase scene set during Mexico’s Dia de Los Muertos, where classic Bond-espionage has Ian Fleming’s original character undercover with a mask, running on rooftops, and shooting into a building as it explodes (in a sequence that reportedly occurs during the course of a high-octane destruction sequence). The framing is exciting (keeping up with the Skyfall aesthetic of classy but still totally kick-ass), and an ominous presence is felt amid glimpses of Christoph Waltz as big bad Franz Oberhauser, and his mysterious cabinet of henchman (including Mr. White from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace). Things seem to be shaping up pretty well, even though the I-need-to-get-off-the-grid plot has been done in every one of the Daniel Craig Bond movies so far, becoming the tired cliche that you can come to expect in a franchise 24 movies deep.I can’t help but worry over the line Franz Oberhauser intones: “It was me, James. The author of all your pain.” It looks like they’re connecting the villain to every instance of suffering the hero has ever experienced, teasing a type of story that always works out well for our hero, right? Wrong.
However, it would be remiss to fail to mention that during the Sony leaks of last year certain information regarding the development of the upcoming Bond movie, including some of the not-so-good story concepts initially considered in early drafts of the film’s script, were revealed. While the trailer itself does a good job of selling the movie, I’m still not sure if they ever actually pinned down the problem with the original ending, but I do know that the movie is going to have major issues if they didn’t clear up another attempt at trying to make Spectre feel like a more personal Bond movie that sounded a tad boring on paper.
I’ve been a fan of the Daniel Craig Bond movies from the get-go (even Quantum of Solace is better than half of the entirety of the franchise). Yet like almost every other Bond before him, Craig’s 007 might stray too far into its own idiosyncrasies to realize he is becoming that which he sought to destroy. The recent string of films based on the novels by English author Ian Fleming purport a classier, more grounded, and realistic Bond to match the grit of the more contemporary secret agent, action hero Jason Bourne. But that self-same, straight laced stare into seriousness is becoming a bit goofy (not to mention how inherently silly some of the concepts have become), and in attempting to ground Bond in a version of that Bourne-esque reality, director Sam Mendes may fall victim to tonal clashes and a thematic disconnection with the film’s audience.
Or maybe I’m wrong and Spectre is set to be the best Bond movie ever. You can tell me whether I’m right or wrong when James Bond struts back into theaters on November 6th, 2015.