RELEASED: September 30th 2021
DISTRIBUTED BY: Universal Pictures
DIRECTED BY: Cary Joji Fukunaga
WRITTEN BY: Cary Joji Fukunaga, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & Phoebe Waller-Bridge
PRODUCED BY: Barbara Broccoli & Michael G. Wilson
MUSIC BY: Hans Zimmer
STARRING: Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ana de Armas, Billy Magnussen, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz & Ralph Fiennes
REVIEW: After what seems like forever, the final film of Daniel Craig’s James Bond tenure finally shoots into cinemas. And thankfully, it’s a return to form after the blandness of the last movie.
Following the events of Spectre, James Bond has (once again) retired from service at MI6. But when dangerous enemies from his and his lover Madeline’s past rear their heads, Bond must reunite with his former allies at MI6 and the CIA, as well as his replacement, new 007 Nomi, to put a halt to a plot that could end in the death of millions around the globe.
Despite being the longest film in the Bond saga at two hours and forty minutes long, No Time To Die is so packed with content that it never feels like a drag. Filled to the brim with references, new and returning characters, and bombastic action sequences, the film often functions as a rather exhilarating tale that ties up Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond quite nicely.
At times, it does feel like the general plot points could have used a bit more work, especially in the second half, no doubt due to the various rewrites the film has undergone, but for the most part, it’s script remains entertaining, and even, surprisingly, rather emotional.
The direction from Cary Joji Fukunaga is top notch, as in spite of the film’s occasionally messy story, the film flows well, and looks excellent while doing so. The action sequences are varied and thrilling, and the quieter moments similarly beautiful.
Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack is also, unsurprisingly, excellent. A beautiful mix of bombastic scores, callbacks to older films, and lighter, more emotional pieces that really elevate the movie.
The actors all give good turns as their respective characters. Craig shines as a more weary, reflective Bond, while Lashana Lynch is a welcome presence as the new 007, and her interplay with Craig makes for some very amusing scenes. Ana de Amas brings a real fun factor to the film during her rather limited screen time, and Rami Malek presents as a suitably mysterious villain, although he too feels a bit lacking in terms of screen time.
That last point, in a way, ties in with the aforementioned writing issues. At times, it did seem like some character motivations – Malek’s Safin, in particular – were a bit weak or unclear. This becomes more evident in the second half of the film, where Safin is more prevalent, as the writers try to juggle everything they’ve set up both in this film and the film’s that preceded it, and aren’t always completely successful in doing so.
But with so much going on in No Time To Die, it’s easy to look past those problems, and enjoy this film for what it really is… A heartfelt and exciting goodbye to Bond star Daniel Craig.
And for that, I give it:
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