Spectre ★★½

This definitely feels like a movie that can't seem to do the legwork to make things work.

It wants to connect the villains of previous films, but can't create a connection more interesting than the backstories that already existed for those characters.
It wants to have its own villain serve as the ultimate rival for Bond, to clash with him on such a personal level, but can't create something that doesn't feel cheesy and tacked on.
It wants to have the Bond girl create an actual connection, to further serve as a personal motivator, but can't deliver the same writing and chemistry that Eva Green's Vesper had.
It wants to have both the gritty-ness and human emotion of the previous Craig films, while also channeling a bit more of the supervillain feel of the original installments, but can't commit strongly to either.

Ultimately, Spectre is confused in the direction it wants to take Bond. In Skyfall, we had a small peppering of classic Bond aesthetic near the end, to much admiration. But what has really made the James Blonde era work is Craig's intense, emotional presence. He still has classic Bond charm, but also has a vulnerability and passion that separates him from the cartoon character of previous iterations.

I'm okay with evolving this version of the character. I'm not saying we can't give it a goofy tone. I'm not saying we need to see Bond's balls mutilated in order for us to take this seriously. Personally, Craig is my favorite Bond, but I'm okay with seeing change. This just isn't change I can get behind, because the film can't seem to fully get behind it itself.