Spectre definitely feels like a proper Bond movie.
Although, having said that, I didn't have the same enthusiastic response to this movie that I had to Skyfall.
But a Bond movie has a number of elements where it lives or dies (no pun intended)...
The pre-credit sequence... while it starts slow, it's the kind of big set piece you expect in a Bond movie.
The credits and theme song... these credit are definitely ones that you will get more out of the second time around... there's a lot going on... and they feature Bond in a way I haven't seen before. The song however... sorry Sam Smith, but no, just no. It's basically just screechy noise most of the time.
The villain... for the first time in the Daniel Craig movies, it feels like we have a proper bad guy. But that is because they've gone back to the original... Ernst Stavro Blofeld, played appropriately evilly by Christoph Waltz. And he has a proper lair and a proper henchman... things that I felt were missing from Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.
The women... Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci, although Bellucci is definitely of the "blink and you'll miss her" variety. Seydoux is very believable as a strong, capable woman who isn't so much a match for Bond as an appropriate counterpoint.
The action... of which there's actually not a giant amount... there's a couple of interesting car chases, although I did feel more like one of them was more about Bond and the car than it was about the chaser. And there's a fight scene that's part From Russia With Love, part Live and Let Die and more than a little Kill Bill 2. But other than that it's more cat and mouse or small beats of action rather than full sequences.
There were also a number of small nods to previous Bond movies... not too often that it got self referential, but there were things here and there.
Having said all of that, which was mostly positive... I will say that at 148 minutes, it was maybe about half an hour too long. Yes, I know that Skyfall was only 5 minutes shorter, but it never felt like it was that long, whereas this one did tend to drag at times.
There was also more involvement with M, Q, Moneypenny and the old M's right hand man, Tanner this time around... which did at one point feel like it was an audition for an English spy TV show. But I do really like the interactions between Bond and both Q and Moneypenny.
So overall, good but not great... but it did feel more like the older Bond movies than they have up until now... which I suppose is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you feel about the older movies.
yani's rating: 4 helicopters out of 5