Everything is really engaging in this film until the third act inevitable war between SPECTRE and the Japanese Secret Service, which becomes a shooting gallery with no story left to tell. Looking back at the Connery films reminds me of the kind of energy Sam Mendes is bringing back to the Bond series, a relief from the over adrenaline filled Quantum of Solace and blatant silliness of Die Another Day. These movies took their time, settled Bond into situations, got him familiar with the bad guys before going to war, had him living a little bit of life in the cultures he explored (i.e. sumo wrestling, saki, and Japanese baths). The scenery is often breathtaking, the action is fun, the women are beautiful, and the situations are interesting with high stakes. Banking on the tension of the paranoid Cold War, Bond films used the conflict as a backdrop to play on the audience concerns of the time, only to cleverly reveal its villains lie in a privatized war between them. In this film, the US and Russia are engaged in a space race, sending vessels beyond the atmosphere to explore outer regions, while SPECTRE captures them and frames each respective country, their leaders believing the other nation is responsible. Only Bond and the Secret Service can look through official information and uncover conspiracies within. Makes one hope Bond is out there now looking between the cracks of the US government and Al Quadea!