"No Time to Die" is a co-production between the United States of America and the United Kingdom from 2021 and this is of course the most recent James Bond film we have here. It is a definite contender for most awaited film of the decade because on the one hand the viewer numbers are self-explanatory and on the other hand this film has been delayed so many times because of the corona pandemic that it was truly high time for it to actually hit theaters everywhere. Which it did not too long ago. Being a a huge Bond fan myself, who has seen all the other films (no exceptions), I was curious enough to watch several hours of red-carpet broadcast from London a while ago when the film had its world premiere there and most key cast members showed up and the Royals were also there to check it out. It runs for over 2 hours and 40 minutes which makes it a truly long film and even if it is an hour or so longer than another Daniel Craig Bond movie, nobody can really be surprised. It was already an option that Craig could end his Bond career before this one here, but he returned again for a fifth and final 007 performance. Unfortunately, as you can see from the title of my review, I don't think this was as amazing as it could have been. I still think that Casino Royale and Skyfall are his two best movies and clearly ahead of the rest, even if it's not easy at all to pick the number one. But that is another story. Let's look at this one here now. Director is Cary Joji Fukunaga, who is mostly known for his work on True Detective, so the outcome here is surely his biggest big screen success as of now. He is also one of the writers and the other two are again Purvis and Wade who were already there during the Brosnan era. Enough said. They could very well also be there again when the next 007 takes over. Whoever it will be. I mean we already have a Black female 007 in this film, even if I doubt she will become the new lead to the franchise. But we will see.
As for the cast, there is nothing to say about Craig anymore. Some of the others are people who reprise their characters from previous movies. Especially the one before. Léa Seydoux is back playing Bond's one and only love interest in this film and it's very serious as we find out, not only because of the child that joins them, but also because of the long sequence early on, which is linked to Vesper Lynd again and her story of betrayal back in Craig's very first Bond movie, so it is a bit of a framework you could say. Is he betrayed again? This time by Madeleine? Christoph Waltz is in this film here too. No surprise obviously, but he does not have a lot of screen time unfortunately. He is an actor I like and I definitely think that there could have been much more to his Blofeld than there was in this film and the previous one. Let's be honest: With what they did with/to him here, it maybe would have been better if he had not been in the film at all. I think Fukunaga was basically only looking for a way to get him out of the picture somehow and put all his focus on the key antagonist in here. That would be the character played by Oscar winner Rami Malek. He is a new addition to the cast and (if we don't count the very first masked scene) it takes quite a while for him to finally join the action, namely when he sits there in Madeleine's presence, but once he is there, he is bound to stay. Great screen presence as always and his villain character is among the better aspects from this film, especially in that scene where he takes the girl from her with the aura of poison all around him. Another antagonist character is played by Dali Benssalah. Very easy to identify too with his physicality. Not just the eye, even if this eye, especially in the final fight scene, and how he/it is taken out is maybe the biggest cult moment from this film and I had to think of Oddjob's hat back in Goldfinger there. I could go on and on. Jeffrey Wright is there again, so is Ralph Fiennes. Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris. New faces with a decent amount of screen time include Lashana Lynch, David Dencik and Billy Magnussen. All no really big names, so they made sure nobody takes away too much attention from Craig's farewell performance.
Comedy is once again nothing you find too frequently in here. There was some banter here and there between Bond and the new 007 about who is allowed to carry this number. There was this eye scene linked to the gadget, the one I just mentioned. Oh and maybe for my comedic highlight of it all I must mention Ben Whishaw. His talk about the guest he was about to have was more of a politically correct failure piece of comedy, maybe also linked to the actor's own sexuality, but when he tried to pretend in front of M that he had not seen Bond before this encounter, it was pretty funny. I give them/him that. Big smile there. As for the more dramatic moments, of course the one that stands out the very most is the exact ending. Bond has never died before in these films, so they were taking completely new directions here. I am not sure if I like it though. Big challenge and they probably could not have depicted it any better, but Bond always had this unkillable aura and maybe they should have stayed with it. Like breaking an unwritten rule. Oh well, this was not the first time Blofeld died either and they killed Leiter in the process of it too, but they will all be back sooner or later. In any case, these rockets hitting the island were pretty spectacular. Also bittersweet that they came from his side and 007 ordered them to be fired and you could say that M or MI6 messed up themselves by the fact that they lost this Heracles, this priceless killing program, to the bad side. So his own folks' shortcomings result in Bond's death in this movie. But he still makes sure that evil is buried with him and this gigantic factory of villainy goes down as well. The island between Russia and Asia here I liked the way it was depicted. The isolation of it all, but also these water areas (or liquid areas) in which people were working in thick riot gears. Not sure this is the right word.
As for the Bond song by Billie Eilish, I remember not liking it too much when I heard it first. Then it grew a bit on me over the months in the process of looking forward to this film perhaps. Now, as I heard it connected to the movie, I again am not too big on it. Also felt to me as if it was not used on many other occasions except the opening sequence where they always use the Bond song. So yeah, this will surely be one of the more forgettable Bond song and I am pretty sure that it will not repeat the awards success that Adele and Sam Smith had with their previous Bond songs. But we will see. An Oscar nomination seems like a big success already from my perspective. The win is not an option as of now the way I see it. I should probably also mention Finneas as he is co-writer, but I just don't really understand the Eilish hype at all. The music that stands out way more here is certainly Louis Armstrong's "We Have All the Time in the World", a timeless classic that you will hear with the closing credits and you also hear the name of this song being referenced on several occasions during this movie, key occasions really. The timelessness of this piece is something Eilish and her brother can only dream of. And it's also a beautiful jump back in time because this was used back in the day during the early 007 movie days already. For Dr. No if I am not mistaken. So yeah, the film had something to offer on the music front as well, not only with Hans Zimmer's soundtrack. The technicality we don't need to criticize. Costumes, sets, makeup, cinematography, sound effects etc. All this is in competent hands here and could not have been much better. But story is key and this is the reason why I don't give a truly high rating. By the way, I thought on some occasion that Madeleine's father here could be Blofeld. I mean we hear about him being a killer, a doctor which he is in the old film, always carries the title Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld and here in the previous film he even went with Mr. Bleuchamp, so a French connection was also there. So when we know that Bond can kill Blofeld with his hands because of the virus, I thought that he would kill Madeleine too, but they touched and kissed and she did not die, so we did not find out about her real father.
As for Malek's character, he is of course also a tragic figure with what happened to his family earlier and his revenge idea in terms of killing the killer's family can be related to somehow, but what he turns into is definitely insane. I mean this was a touch of Thanos already I felt. Killing millions of people and causing some kind of natural selection this way. While with Thanos we were getting this idea of a relentless god, I still felt that they could have elaborated a bit more there on Safin's approach. Not the tennis player. Sorry, I just had to. Overall, this is of course unsurprisingly another Bond film that people who like the franchise should not miss out on and it is also definitely a better watch in movie theaters. Go see it on the big screen and preferrably do so now while it is still on because I have made the experience that at least here they do not really show past Bond films in movie theaters. The old ones. Maybe because they are all on television still from time to time and actually several times each year. I am not sure what you will like most about this movie, but I think there is enough to pick from and there are definitely more positive moments to the outcome here than negative moments. Actually, almost no negative moments. Ana de Armas could have been given better material. I mean she is second-cast on imdb because of her name, but barely a factor. Oh well, maybe we will see more from her character in the next movie. It's still also never really a great film unfortunately. I feel like Fukunaga was playing it safe overall, which hurt the film. (tt2382320)
No Time to Die
Action / Adventure / Thriller
No Time to Die
Action / Adventure / Thriller
Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology. —Universal Pictures
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 09, 2021 at 04:36 PM