No Time to Die

No Time to Die is the final film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, a 5-film arc that has elevated the hero in popularity and audience reception and resonance. The movie is a solid theater experience and a strong conclusion to the character’s arc, though it doesn’t live up to Casino Royale and Skyfall, two perfect action movies in my books. The action is large, loud, and often exciting, though there isn’t a single set piece as memorable as the ones from the aforementioned films. Craig delivers his deepest performance in the series though, showing a Bond with a damaged past and an uncertain vulnerability in his character’s future. Another standout is Lashana Lynch as Nomi, the new 007 since Bond’s retirement who accompanies Bond on his missions in the film. She stands up to him in terms of competitiveness and heroism and their dynamic as well as her presence makes the film great. However, I wish she had been given more to do emotionally which could have elevated the film. Most of the emotional core comes from Craig’s romance with Lea Seydoux but it felt like they spent slightly too much time on it, though once you see the entire picture with what they were trying to convey, it makes sense. Ana de Armas, another badass who shares action scenes with Craig, is criminally underused which is surprising for an A-list, Golden Globe nominee who’s proven her talent in films like Blade Runner 2049 and Knives Out — I only wish the script utilized her enjoyable, vivacious character more. Rami Malek does a strong job acting evil and menacing but his motive feels incredibly insufficient, and he’s absent for long periods of the film which doesn’t help build up the stakes strongly. The movie uses some cliches like a deadly biological weapon and a genocidal villain, but the best villain of these films remains Silva from Skyfall, as he wasn’t only evil but had a serious vendetta and felt like a cautionary tale about what our hero could become. It’s problematic that although Malek’s character’s past is shown to be damaged, his motives to do harm on millions is basically unexplained and that he isn’t in the movie as much as one would do. Supporting players such as Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, and Jeffrey Wright do very well though, as well as Christoph Waltz reprising his role as Blofeld, the villain from the last movie Spectre. There’s also a lot of downtime in the second act without action that could’ve been shortened No Time to Die makes for a huge, theaters-worthy conclusion for Bond fans, action fans and Craig fans alike, it’s just that some of the character motives and plot points fall short and the story doesn’t overall constitute the best of the saga.

No Time to Die (2021) - IMDb

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