Whilst it’s not a masterpiece, ‘Spectre‘ (2015) still does a good job of entertaining. The pre-title scenes in Mexico City are spectacular but it fails to stay as tense and exciting after that and I really wasn’t so keen on the whole storyline about Blofeld being the king of all previous villains in ‘Skyfall‘ (2012), ‘Quantum Of Solace‘ (2008) and ‘Casino Royale‘ (2006).
As is so often the case Bond is summoned to London for a word with M (Ralph Fiennes) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) chases after him on 18 minutes in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Courtyard (below) on King Charles Street in Westminster. The circular courtyard of the government office is that of the Treasury Building on Great George Street, off Whitehall.
Moneypenny takes the remains of previous M’s destroyed office to Bond’s apartment (below) on 21 minutes which is at 1 Stanley Gardens in Notting Hill not so far from the famous Portobello Road market.
After being blown up in ‘Skyfall‘ (2012), the MI6 HQ at Vauxhall Cross (below) is still derelict as Bond and Tanner (Rory Kinnear), the MI6 Chief of Staff, cruise past it on their boat journey up the River Thames to MI6’s new basement bunker on 22 minutes.
The next location is something of a mysterious one as I’m told that the water tunnel entrance they take to see Q (Ben Whishaw) is Camden Lock on Regent’s Canal which is right in the heart of the trendy Camden Town. The two pictures below really don’t look too similar at all so one has to assume CGI has been used. Or that it’s complete nonsense! What do you think?
There was a brief glimpse of the Centre for National Security earlier in the film and on 57 minutes the snazzy glass building is seen a bit more. It’s all CGI though but the interior is real. London City Hall on the South Bank alongside Tower Bridge is used for those scenes.
London’s oldest restaurant is the location on 87 minutes for a scene where Moneypenny and Q find M feeling down in the dumps having started to be frozen out from official business. This Edwardian place, specialising in traditional British food, is Rules Restaurant (34-35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden) which was established in 1798.
After some exotic scenes in Morocco it’s back to London once again for the remainder of the film. The ‘Hildebrand’ safe house (below) on Spring Gardens is squeezed into a little side street just a stones throw from Trafalgar Square and The Mall.
Blofeld’s helicopter is shot down by Bond and crashes onto Westminster Bridge on 131 minutes. Blofeld manages to crawl away from the wreckage but is confronted by Bond who leaves him to be arrested by M rather than kill him.
The film’s very final scenes on 135 minutes are from the following morning with a few establishing shots of Whitehall.
One of those shots is on Horse Guards Avenue with the Spencer Compton 8th Duke of Devonshire statue (below) in the foreground.
Bond borrows the classically repaired Aston Martin DB5 from Q and drives away with love interest Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) as the end credits finally roll.
Bonus: The other filming locations included Mexico City, Morocco, Austria and Italy. As it’s a Bond film he just has to drive past a sight and so the Colosseum (below) in Rome is seen on 28 minutes.
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