No Time To Die
James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
As someone born in the mid-80s, I’ve only had (technically) three James Bonds in my lifetime: Timothy Dalton (whose Bond films I’ve yet to watch), Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. Out of these three, Daniel Craig has been my favorite because he seems to encompass the majority of the Bond traits we love very well, especially the action sequences (sorry, Pierce). With No Time To Die being Craig’s finale to his five-film career as the 007 agent, I can say that this was a fitting and heartbreaking end in saying goodbye.
To start, if you are planning to watch this movie, I’d highly suggest rewatching the previous movie, Spectre. I did this just in case the movie is directly tied into it, especially since we saw the return of Oberhauser/Blofeld in the trailer, and I am glad I did. The movie picks up from where it left off, and Spectre is alive and well for this film. If you don’t watch it, you can probably still follow along, but you may be left trying to figure out a few things while you’re watching the film.
The story itself follows the typical Bond-style screenplay writing: Bond is either on a mission or is attacked at the beginning, setting up the stage for the rest of the movie, then as he continues to move forward on his mission he reveals a larger, ominous villain or villainous group in play that he has to bring down and destroy or else the world will be in ruins. So there’s nothing new with this storyline that you haven’t picked up from the other movies, which may be somewhat unsurprising or uninteresting for some, but I think for most it’ll be more like a “comfort watch”. But even though the overall structure of the writing is the same, that doesn’t mean the story is boring. New details, trying to figure out the mystery, all of those usual elements still pulls us into the story and following along at the edge of our seats.
That doesn’t mean the story has its faults though. There were a few times that left me wondering why the story writers included certain characters. For example, we get Ana de Armas (Knives Out) as an agent named Paloma. She did a fantastic job as this character and was definitely one of the highlights of the film. But her character, though served her purpose, was only in one sequence of the film, which left me wanting more of the character but also asking why even have such a great character in the film at all when her role could have literally been served by anyone else (or maybe I missed it while watching the film, which is entirely possible). In addition, I generally find following along a James Bond film rather difficult because there is so much happening and as someone with hearing loss, it’s hard for me to decipher what everyone is saying with accents. Even so, that doesn’t typically ruin the movie for me. Plus, being a finale film, there are some great callbacks in this movie to the previous films that leave the die-hard fans happy with those easter eggs.
The production and post-production work here is fantastic. There was a lot of variety with scenery, cinematography, and action sequences that was just fantastic to watch, that is definitely on par (if not higher) with the typical quality of these Bond films. Although I could go on about all of the elements of the film, I have to say that I was very impressed with the audio design of the film. There are a few scenes where the audience got to experience the audio and sounds that the main characters were hearing from their point of view, and I thought it was a fantastic way to subtle invite the audience to be not just an observer but feel as though they are part of the movie. Really, kudos to the sound department on this film!
And as always, the acting is fantastic here. All of the cast did a fantastic job with their roles, especially Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig. They all had a great blend of drama, action, comedic, and emotional scenes that gave it a great range as a movie. And even though it is the final film for Craig, it still gives us a couple of surprises in the movie that takes it up a level above all Bond films that we haven’t seen before. I won’t share what they are to keep this spoiler-free, but the film does a great job of pleasantly surprising you and giving you a chance to say goodbye to Craig in his final performance of James Bond.
Overall, this film is top-notch, in line with the superb quality of Bond films but has that special touch of bringing closure to Craig’s final performance as 007. Whether you are a die-hard or casual fan of James Bond, this Bond film will be the one that you’ll remember the most.
No Time To Die: A Legacy To Remember
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Acting - 10/1010/10
Music - 10/1010/10
Production - 10/1010/10
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