After operating without orders to thwart a terrorist plot in Mexico City, a lead from his most recently dispatched target leads 007 to the shadowy titular organization that has dogged his entire career, all without the cover of MI6, who are facing disbandment resulting from a global surveillance alternative to their secret agent outfit. With a hand to hand combat sequence on a moving train, a high speed chase through the hills of a chalet, and a major revelation on Bonds' #1 nemesis (among other elements) Spectre, Daniel Craig's purported final outing as the archetypal British agent and director Sam Mendes' second go round following the dazzling Skyfall, tries too hard to recapture specific Bond moments effectively setting the series back, all of which is further inflamed by overplotting, overlength, about four endings too many, and an incredibly stupid screenplay. That being said, the film is expectedly punctuated by moments of intensity, excitement, and dazzling set pieces. Christoph Waltz makes a terrific foil and the film contains surprisingly spectacular camerawork, particularly in an opening tracking sequence and in several magnificent vistas. When considered on a whole, it all results in the kind of entertaining mixed bag popcorn you'd thought the series had grown out of or were possibly banking on.
** 1/2 out of ****