Spectre that echoes outward - I could imagine Sam Mendes arguing it's intentional, that it externalizes Mr. Bond's ruined interior, carved out by so much loss, but it reads more as laziness. This movie feels like a paycheck, or perhaps if I want to be kinder than that, and I do, a victory lap after the outstanding success of Skyfall. I don't want to be unkind - there are actions scenes here that will grab you by the cliche and make you hold your breath til you're blue in the body parts. The skittering of computer-generated crowds of people have never been used to smarter effect than during the helicopter scene, for example.
The nefarious revelations of dun-dun-dunnnn interconnectedness - tentacles upon tentacles! - are half-hearted at best, and weaksauce at worst; Christoph Waltz has been called upon to project sinister depth onto a lot of ridiculousness in his career but the word "cuckoo" seems one step too far, for him and for me. (And did he wander the hallways pinning up those photographs with yarn himself? The high-concept villain equivalent of scrap-booking?) And don't get me started on the way Andrew Scott's character is botched, nothing more than a sniveling afterthought as if they didn't decide until the editing process which way he was going, so he's left sighing and half-sneering in one glass corridor after another glass corridor after another glass corridor...