Spectre Parent Review

Tthis is exactly the sort of rollercoaster ride fans of the martini-drinking hero have come to expect.

Overall C+

SPECTRE is a newly discovered secret organization threatening world peace. James Bond (Daniel Craig) is just the spy to reveal its players and put an end to their game – even if he doesn’t have the blessing of the head office to do so.

Violence C
Sexual Content B-
Profanity C
Substance Use C

Spectre is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language.

Movie Review

Daniel Craig takes the James Bond character for another spin as he tracks down a mysterious organization called SPECTRE. Unfortunately, this time he does not have authorization from MI6 for his endeavors. Instead his boss, the recently appointed M (Ralph Fiennes), wants him grounded because the seasoned spy’s extra curricular activities are only adding fuel to the fire of political powers anxious to slash and burn the Double O program that they view as antiquated.

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Battling bureaucracy, M attempts to defend the relevancy of their “boots on the ground” approach to intelligence gathering to the new director of the Centre of National Security. Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), also called C, is a firm believer in electronic surveillance gathering and is finding ample support, from both the government and private benefactors, to replace people with technology. Their opposing viewpoints act as a metaphor for the movie’s story.

Harking back to past Bond scripts and including snippets of plot points from Craig’s legacy to the franchise, the screenplay has the defiant covert operative resorting to his infamous tricks of seducing beautiful women (passionate kissing and undressing implies further sexual activity), engaging in car chases with decked out vehicles (in this case a Aston Martin DB10 designed especially for the movie) and fighting a crime empire with an infinitely wealthy, villainous kingpin who commands an army of minions. This time though, Q (Ben Whishaw) supplies Bond with almost no handy gadgets.

Of course all the usual damsels in distress and on-going peril are here too, like a scene where a helicopter defies the laws of physics, and an airplane ends up sledding down a ski slope. Other action features hand-to-hand struggles with bone breaking tackles and strangulating chokeholds, countless gunshots and onscreen killings, explosions, a suicide, some torture and endless property damage. Also predictable is an invincible bad guy who just can’t be killed—he does suffer some ugly injuries though.

Yet this is exactly the sort of rollercoaster ride fans of the martini-drinking hero have come to expect. While it doesn’t wander far off the beaten track, those who resent the global proliferation of computers and our increased dependency on machines will likely applauded the portrayal of old school tactics eventually trumping this new world order. Now that wasn’t a spoiler, was it?

Directed by Sam Mendes. Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Dave Bautista. Running time: 148 minutes. Theatrical release November 6, 2015. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Spectre here.

Spectre Parents Guide

Learn more about the Aston Martin DB10 car that co-stars with Daniel Craig in this Bond film.

When M is attempting to defend the need for human judgments in the field, he talks about the responsibility of not just being “licensed to kill”, but also being licensed not to kill. What does he mean? Could data and/or intelligence gathering help in the making of those kinds of decisions? Why or why not? Despite this bold statement, how much restraint and calculated choices do you see Bond exercising when he uses his gun?

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