Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Screenplay) Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga (Story)
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas
Plot: 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.
Runtime: 2 Hours 43 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: No Time to Die starts as James Bond (Craig) living the retired life with his new girlfriend Madeleine Swann (Seydoux), this will see his past start to catch up with him, with James needing to move away from people once again.
5-years later James gets a chance to get back at his nemesis Spectre, when CIA agent Felix Leiter (Wright) offers him a new mission, one which will see him meet the new 007 Nomi (Lynch), as they need to work together to stop criminal mastermind Lyutsifer Safin (Malek).
Thoughts on No Time to Die
Characters & Performances – James Bond is the man we know, from the franchise, he has however moved away from the agent life, trying to stay off the radar, but his past will draw him back once more, now just a spy, working with British Intelligence, to get back at Spectre, only for everything to hit a new personal approach for him. Daniel Craig does get to give his version of Bond a nice send off, he gets some cheeky humour, which will be one of the few things to get your attention in this film. Madeleine Swann is the woman that James wants to spend his life with, she does have a connection to his past, one that will leave a level of uncertainty about where her she stands in his eyes. She comes back into his life, with her connection to an old enemy, one that will make her a threat for everyone. Lea Seydoux does everything she needs to in this film, she brings the bigger emotional stakes to the movie. Lyutsifer Safin is the villain, he has planned everything and has a bigger idea, but my god, he is one of the most forgettable villains I have ever seen in a Bond movie, I can barely remember anything he said or did. Rami Malek really does struggle to make this character make an impact, it does feel like the weakly written character over the bad performance. Nomi is the new 007, she does create a good banter in style with James, with her looking to learn from his rule breaking ways. Lashana Lynch does do well in this role, we get enough to not get too much, and enough to want to see more from the character. We do get a lot of returning characters, who are interesting, but the star of the performances is Ana de Armas, because what she brings to the table is the most entertaining part of the film.
Story – The story continues to follow James Bond, as he looks to escape the world of spies, only to find himself getting drawn back in, when he gets a chance to face Spectre once again, which will see him meet a new threat. When it comes to the overall story in this James Bond film, we must look at the fact the villain is one of the most forgettable factors in the film, which is sad, because without a good villain, we get left with a weak story. The story tends to put more focus on the emotional impact away from the agent world, much like Mission Impossible 3 did, only that film handled everything much better. The idea of bringing in a new 007, does work well, it is interesting to see the dynamic between the two, but it does end up falling into James Bond is better than you will ever be factor. This story also seems to have poor dialogue, with how certain moments, just feel like quotes, rather than natural conversations.
Themes – No Time to Die does have a mix of action, with one brilliant single take, Paloma’s action sequence and the car chase, which is by far the only entertainment factors we get in this film. The mix of sound depending on explosions, works well, but the idea of the voices in the head, but not showing the character, does feel clunky. The locations are beautiful, this can’t be denied, something the franchise will always be known for.
Final Thoughts – No Time to Die is a long movie that has plenty of pacing problems, with the action being the highlight of a bland Bond movie.