Daniel Craig returns for his fourth outing as James Bond this November in Spectre, re-teaming with his Skyfall director Sam Mendes for 007’s 24th onscreen adventure. According to many of the film’s early reviews, Mendes and Craig deliver on all of the expected action and spectacle beats while providing a series of nostalgic callbacks to previous Bond films, but never quite reach the acclaimed heights of 2012’s Skyfall.
Spectre adds some new faces to the franchise in the form of villains played by Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) and Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), as well as central roles for Monica Bellucci and Léa Seydoux. The core Bond characters introduced in Skyfall return as well, including Q (Ben Whishaw), M (Ralph Fiennes) and Moneypenny (Naomi Harris). Ahead of the film’s release in the U.K., we have nine new Spectre clips, starting with the first one above, which takes us into Q’s lab.
For many fans, a James Bond movie is only as good as its villains. Daniel Craig’s Bond has faced off against the nasty likes of Casino Royale‘s Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) and Skyfall‘s Silva (Javier Bardem), but appears to be physically outmatched by Spectre‘s Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista). Check out the two of them destroying a train car in high style:
And speaking of style, here we have Hinx pursuing Bond as he evades gunfire and “exits” a palazzo in his Aston Martin DB10. Hinx follows in what appears to be a Jaguar C-X75:
This next clip slows things down with an exchange between Bond and Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), whose role in the film remains mysterious. She questions Bond’s lifestyle and receives a typically evasive answer:
Seydoux won’t call herself a “Bond girl,” and indeed the women surrounding Daniel Craig’s Bond have often proven themselves less damsels in distress and more often equals. Where does that leave Monica Belluci’s character? In this next clip, she appears to be succumbing to 007’s charms, giving us a look at how Spectre utilizes Bond’s famous introductory line:
Meanwhile, Ralph Fiennes’ M joins another new addition to the cast, Andrew Scott (Sherlock) in a contest of steely British glares as Scott’s bureaucrat Max Denbigh informs M that the Double-O program will soon be shuttered:
No James Bond film is complete without a verbal showdown between 007 and the main villain. Skyfall‘s introduction of Javier Bardem’s Silva was one of the movie’s high points and set up the movie’s final scene between he and Bond. Now, we meet Christoph Waltz’s Oberhauser, who engages in a similar verbal sparring match, albeit with much more on-the-nose dialogue:
Next up is a scene between Bond and Eve Moneypenny, a character from Bond canon who was a welcome addition in Skyfall, even if her role was underwritten. Here Moneypenny sets up what appears to be one of Spectre‘s early and pivotal plot points, questioning Bond about his actions and how they may have led to the closing of the Double-O program:
Finally, a scene from what may be the film’s final act finds Bond and Madeleine having grown significantly closer as 007 – who may have again gone rogue and off the grid – prepares what sounds like a suicide mission:
Taken out of context, these clips showcase bite-sized pieces of Spectre which tease the broad strokes of the overall plot. We can assume that the meat of the film has not been revealed yet, but if we can believe any of the spoilers released in last year’s notorious Sony hack, the third act may have been extensively re-tooled. Skyfall‘s critical acclaim (some rank it among the very best Bond films of all time) and billion-dollar international box office haul have set our expectations high enough that any perceived shortcomings could define the movie as a failure.
Daniel Craig’s often surprisingly blunt interview answers have led to the observation that he may actually hate playing James Bond, which colors Spectre in a somewhat nasty light. We’ll find out soon enough if Spectre can live up to the promise of Skyfall or prove another forgettable outing for Craig’s modern 007 (in the vein of Quantum of Solace).
Spectre opens in U.S. theaters on November 6th, 2015.