I’m sure I posted my opinion of it a couple of years back, but basically it felt like a rejection of everything they tried doing in the prior Craig-era Bond movies. Casino Royale was clearly an attempt to modernise and revitalise a franchise that had been lagging for years. And while Quantum of Solace didn’t live up to that ideal and wasn’t that great, it kept with the idiom established in Casino Royale. And while Skyfall was a better movie, some of the old Bond elements started to seep back in, most notably the Aston Martin showing up in the final act, and giving us a more classic take on Bond’s relationship with his support apparatus by giving us a new, male M, and reintroducing Q and Moneypenny.
So Spectre winds up as this awkward half and half thing. Craig is still the Craig Bond, closer to the literary version, but in a framework that had been used for decades. And we get a gadgetcar chase, and a more traditional Bond plot structure, and it’s a mess. I’ve likened this progression to Marvel in the 90s through to the late 2000s. Like Marvel, MGM went bankrupt and were desperate to stay intact, and so they took risks - Marvel hired Garth Ennis, Brian Michael Bendis, Grant Morrison and some other Scottish guy with a proviso that they could take risks. But when Marvel got back on their feet, they slowly phased this out and we wind up with a landscape now that’s closer to their 90s output. Just like Spectre is closer to the platonic ideal of Bond than the risk-taking movies that saved the franchise and MGM.