What is there to say about Spectre, except that it is a typical Bond movie?
See: a ridiculously over-the-top evil mastermind (complete with a white Persian cat!), evil villains meeting in every definition of a lair, killing each other over internal squabbles, a beefcake henchman nearly overpowering Bond only to lose in a spectacular fashion, Bond seducing women, damsels-in-distress who weren’t in distress through most of the movie until near the end where she predictably gets caught by the villain. (The moment she decided to go separate ways from Bond just before he leaves for the final showdown, I knew she was going to get caught. Either that, or she would turn out to be a mole; but they already did the mole thing in Casino Royale, so it would likely be the former.) Shall we also talk about damsels who go to sleep wearing a dress and wake up in a negligee???
But hey, there were some thrilling car chases in Rome, daring helicopter maneuvers in Mexico City, and that long tracking shot at the very beginning of the movie was cool. Also, Ralph Fiennes is awesome as the new M (though Judi Dench is missed); Andrew Scott plays his antagonist with the same moral apathy as he does Moriarty in Sherlock; and Q is a really cute geek. I wish more of the movie was devoted to M, Q, Moneypenny and whoever Rory Kinnear plays. (Apparently he was in the previous movie too, but I don’t remember his character.)
It’s not as stylish as Skyfall was. But precisely because it is less stylish, and more typical of a spy movie than Skyfall was — read: the villain doesn’t get his way, nobody important to Bond dies, everything is resolved, no distractions in the form of certain scenes being staged in front of monochromatic backgrounds for so-deliberate-it-seems-phony artistry — I wouldn’t mind re-watching it again.
In short: Spectre is absolutely riddled with cliches, but it worked, because I was entertained.