We are less than eight weeks away from the release of Spectre, the latest James Bond movie. With a new film every two or three years on average since Dr. No in 1962 there is nothing unusual about a new Bond film, but the big budget Spy Genre is looking more crowded than when Skyfall came out three years ago. So far this year we have had the following movies (budgets in brackets are estimates from variouse sources) The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ($75million), Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($150million), Kingsman: The Secret Service ($81million), the genre also merged with comedy: Spy ($65million), Mortdecai ($60million) and American Ultra ($30million). Spectre has probably cost around $200million to make (Skyfall is estimated at $150-$200) and will be expected to make over $1billion(as Skyfall did). But with all the other spy movies will our apatite have begun to fade by the time it hits our screens? Unlikely!
Kingsman: The Secret Service – Kingsman is an absolute blast, it works as both a homage to and a parody of the genre while managing to be its own thing too. It is totally unflinching in its violence and it does often push the bounds of taste and decency. One particular scene has earned some criticism (I think unfairly) for its treatment of female characters. I’m sure Colin Firth has never been considered to play Bond, but after Kingsman, I wonder why?
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – The fifth instalment of the franchise takes elements from the previous movies in the franchise and as such finds an identity for the franchise. Unlike the previous films that took the identity of their larger than life directors, this is a pure Mission Impossible movie. Tom Cruise returns with even more outrageous stunts than before. The plot is a little flimsy but all this is forgotten as the film is such fun.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – Like Mission Impossible, U.N.C.L.E. is a modern take on an old TV show, but there are two vital differences. Firstly this is the first of a possible franchise. Secondly, the filmmakers have taken the decision to set the series in the 1960’s where it belongs, and not update it to the modern day. Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer have great chemistry with each other and co-star Alicia Vikander but all three pale against the real star of the film, the 60’s setting. This is captured by perfect costumes, sets and photography. It makes me want a 60’s set Bond reboot more than ever.
I didn’t see Spy or Mortdecai, find out what I thought of American Ultra in my movie of the month post in a couple of weeks. I don’t see spy movies overtaking comic book movies at the box office but I do expect to see more of them in the next few years and would like to see more from Kingsman, Mission Impossible and UNCLE, but Bond is the big one and Spectre is my most anticipated movie for the rest of this year.