Spectre may not be sailing to the same heights as its predecessor, 2012 release Skyfall. Nonetheless, the 24th entry in the James Bond franchise continues to reign the box office, at least until The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 comes around this weekend.
Despites its financial success, Daniel Craig's fourth film as the iconic spy has received decidedly mixed reviews from critics (read our review) and divided moviegoers with its ambitious effort to tie together the three films that came before it. Now a familiar face from the series' past has added his own thoughts to the discussion.
According to HitFix, Pierce Brosnan -- who played the part of Bond in the four films that preceded Craig's debut -- shared his reaction to Spectre as well as Craig's portrayal of the character in the film. Here's what the actor had to say:
"I was looking forward to [Spectre] enormously. I thought it was too long. The story was kind of weak — it could have been condensed. It kind of went on too long. It really did ... [Spectre] is neither fish nor fowl. It's neither Bond nor Bourne. Am I in a Bond movie? Not in a Bond movie? But Daniel, in the fourth go-round, has ownership of it. He had a nice looseness to him ... He's a mighty warrior, and I think he found a great sense of himself in this one with the one-liners and a nice playfulness there. Just get a tighter story, and he'll have another classic."
Brosnan's words echo a common criticism regarding Spectre -- which is the longest film in the franchise, albeit by just a few minutes -- in that the plot onscreen didn't necessarily justify such an epic-length runtime. Moreover, many other critics -- ours included -- have called out the inadequacy of the storytelling in the film and its attempts to retroactively unite all of Craig's adventures as the character into one grand design.
Still, as Brosnan points out, Craig is hardly to blame for the film's problems and continues to effortlessly embody the character. Despite Craig's initial negative comments about returning for a fifth film, Brosnan can relate to the exhaustion that accompanies such a production and predicts that the actor will be recharged and prepared to recommit to at least one more film -- reportedly, the last one Craig is contracted for -- after a well-deserved break:
"I think the guy was just fairly banjaxed by playing it. By the time you finish making a Bond movie, you don't want to hear the name, see the name or have anything to do with it because you just want to go to ground ... Give him another year off here, and he'll be ready to rock and roll for sure."
A number of fans no doubt feel that another film with Craig in the Bond role is something they want to see happen, either to redeem Spectre or to provide another solid installment. His run in the part has been the most successful to date, and with at least two runaway critical and financial smash hits under his belt with Casino Royale and Skyfall, there's little reason to think Craig can't deliver in a fifth film.
Do you agree with Brosnan's criticisms of Spectre, or is the former 007 way off-base? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Spectre is now playing in theaters.