I think it’s fair to say that in 2015 there are two Movie franchises that deserve the phrase ‘long-awaited sequel’. One of them is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, released in December, and the other is the 24th James Bond outing SPECTRE.

There is something comforting about these films. We know the background history of the main characters, we know that the format will be somewhat similar to the previous films in the back catalogue…and we don’t care.  If anything we expect it and we would be disappointed if the structure deviated from the familiar action on the screen.

The movie opens in Mexico City, where the streets are heaving with the local population enjoying a spooky carnival atmosphere wearing fantastic skeleton and zombie costumes celebrating in the Day of the Dead parade.
Your Local Guardian: Day of the Dead Parade

Bond (Daniel Craig) is on a personal mission to eliminate terrorist Marco Sciarra, following a message from the grave by his former boss. The scene appears to be filmed in one take, as we follow 007 into a hotel and out onto the Mexican roof tops as he strides dangerously close to the edge of the building towards his prey.

The scene looks as though it is a routine 007 assassination but turns into an unexpected life threatening ‘bricks and mortar’ action packed moment which sets the pace for the rest of the two and a half hours, which actually flies past.

Your Local Guardian: A quiet moment for Mr Bond and Friend

From this point the action takes Bond from Mexico through to London, Rome, Austria, Tangier and Marrakesh.

The new ‘M’ (Ralph Fiennes) is forced into revoking all ‘00’ licence to kill agents on the orders of a new surveillance and security director Denbigh, code name ‘C’ (can you guess what it stands for?) played by Andrew Scott (Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock).

Your Local Guardian: Bond doing what he does best!

So our intrepid hero James Bond is out on his own trying to infiltrate a secret terrorist society called SPECTRE, which is helmed by the mysterious Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz). Bond calls in some favours unofficially, from ‘Q’ (Ben Whishaw AKA Paddington Bear) who looks like a duck out of water when forced to do some work out in the field. And the recently appointed Miss Money Penny (Naomie Harris).

Your Local Guardian: Bond with ex Nemisis Mr White
Bond also has some additional assistance from Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux, Blue is the Warmest Colour 2013 and Inglourious Basterds 2009) the daughter of an old nemesis Mr White.

Director Sam Mendes films the whole adventure with some wonderful atmospheric dusty and rustic looking interiors mixed with some fabulous vistas of Rome and the Austrian Alps.
Your Local Guardian: 007 in Austria

Christoph Waltz is a great choice for the dangerous head of SPECTRE and the man who was in charge of the previous megalomaniacs who Bond disposed of in the last three movies. Waltz plays the role a quiet and slow paced manner but has an underlying menace.

Your Local Guardian: Head of SPECTRE Frans Oberhauser

We are also introduced to a new Bond villain in the form of the man mountain Mr Hinx, wonderfully played by ex-wrestler David Bautista, last seen in Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 as Drax and soon to be seen in Heist 2015 as Cox (does he only play characters whose name ends in X?).

Look out for another great fight scene on a train. There’s always one in every Bond film.

Your Local Guardian: Bond and ticket collector

I’m starting to think that Daniel Craig may well be the best Bond we have had on screen to date.

Although he is starting to look a bit craggy it only adds to his character and you can truly believe that this is a man who has suffered years of beatings, cuts and bruises and loneliness serving his Queen and Country.
Your Local Guardian: 007 and Madeleine making a getaway

Let’s hope that he straps on the holster of his Walther PPK for one last time.

Your Local Guardian: