Here we go again, another James Bond film that everyone loves and dazzles at the box office, but is this another classic in the franchise or another shitty Spectre?
My relationship with James Bond is that of someone who enjoys the concept of fun action, spy games, and super hot women in beautiful locations but admittedly 007’s movies can be very hit and miss. For every Goldeneye there’s a Die Another Day, and for every Casino Royale there’s a Spectre (can you tell I hated Spectre yet?). So I was skeptical about No Time to Die. The trailers were underwhelming, the new song is a boring dirge, and Daniel Craig gives the impression of an incredibly bored man in interviews.
The basic plot of No Time to Die is Bond on a mission to stop a crazy man from stealing a biological weapon that can target specific dna. Along the way the film ties up loose ends from Spectre including where Blofeld ended up and how James and Madeleine (Léa Seydoux) are living after the events of the previous film.
The good news is that No Time to Die is loads of fun. It sits in that sweet spot of being serious enough that you feel a sense of danger for the characters but silly enough that Bond’s hi-tech watch can make a man’s eyeball explode. This is an action film through and through with lots of car chases, shootouts (including an awesome extended one shot sequence), and explosions but also with a lot of charm.
The charm mainly comes from the varied cast of characters. There’s James of course who yet again is retired and is pulled back into the world of espionage. Seriously though Daniel Craig’s Bond has retired at the end of nearly all his films, not sure if this is some kind of meta commentary on Craig always claiming the next one will be his last. New to the cast is Lashana Lynch as the new 007 who works well against Bond as a younger more driven agent always reminding James that he’s too old for this shit.
There’s also Craig’s Knives Out co-star and everyone’s fantasy woman Ana De Armas as CIA operative Paloma. She brings so much charm and energy to her role that it’s incredibly disappointing when she leaves the film so quickly. I would watch a whole film of her murdering nameless terrorists.
This leaves the villain role to Rami Malek, who gives a spirited performance to what is sadly a pretty one note character. Yet again we have a bad guy who’s motivation is revenge. Only Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace break this trend leaving three of Craig’s films with the same basic plot. Thankfully its a very silly plot and harkens back to the classic Bond tales of megomaniacal weirdos with hidden enemy bases full of nameless henchmen and scientists.
No Time to Die isn’t the greatest James Bond film ever but it’s a very solid and well directed interpretation of the usual blueprint. Great action scenes and dependable performances make up for a dull script and lazy story but overall this is a fitting send-off for Daniel Craig.
Still, it’s better than f**kin Spectre
What did you think of No Time to Die? Did it live up to expectations? And what’s your favourite Bond film? Let me know in the comments below!
Screenkicker Quality Index (SQI)