Spectre
2015
***
Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes

Just as the British intelligence services are about to replace the field agents with global surveillance technology, 007 goes on a personal mission and discovers a sinister criminal organisation with far-reaching influence across the world. Sam Mendes, who directed Skyfall, possibly the most overrated movie in the series, returns to the director’s chair for Daniel Craig’s fourth and most likely final performance as James Bond. He kicks off the action with a brilliantly shot pre-credit scene in Mexico City, but it’s all slow downhill from there. The sketchy plot treads the same ground as Skyfall, the action set pieces are entertaining but mechanical, the Bond girl is charmless, and the main villain has too little screen time to make any real impact. All of this hardly warrants a 150-minute spectacle. The theme song Writing’s on the Wall by Sam Smith won an Academy Award.