NO TIME TO DIE | REVIEW

Few can disagree that Daniel Craig’s imprint on the James Bond franchise has been transformative fifteen years after Casino Royale.

It’s all back in the star’s latest and final film. There’s still time to make one last push forward.

In No Time to Die, a cast of awe-inspiring actors erupts with energy as they pour bombast and spectacle into a pot that’s already boiling over.

Even while it’s not quite as good as Skyfall in terms of Craig’s previous five films, it’s still a great flick.

It was not Covid-19 that delayed No Time to Die, Eon’s twenty-fifth take on Ian Fleming’s stories. However, it was Danny Boyle’s resignation even before the pandemic pushed out an April 2020 release date that shook things up the most. The Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire director would have made his own personality felt in a Bond picture more so than his replacement – Cary Joji Fukunaga – ever does in the franchise. Although there are many voices and ideas, Craig’s voice and vision take center stage. In spite of the fact that he had said that he preferred to commit suicide than continue as a Bond after Spectra, the actor’s admiration for Craig here speaks far louder. Nobody could have done it better when it came to signing himself out of the team.

NO TIME TO DI REVIEW

Unlike Specter, No Time to Die makes a better job of weaving together Craig’s five-film driving career than Sam Mendes’ previous catastrophe. Less retcon, more earned ebb. There are clear callbacks to the run and reprisals for characters long gone. Having an entertaining and consistent supporting cast has been one of the great delights of the Craig era Bond. While Naomi Harris, Ralph Fiennes, and Rory Kinnear are all welcome back, Ben Whipsaw’s Q will be greatly missed if the next step for the franchise is a complete revamp.

If this is the case, troupe newcomer Lashanda Lynch will be severely underwhelmed. And her audiences. Lynch is Nomi, a cool, aggressive, and understated figure. Unlike Ana de Aromas, whose goofy CIA jewel clearly benefited from co-writer Phoebe Waller-embellishments. Bridge’s

Rami Malek’s disfigured Lyutsifer Safin joins the fray. He’s a nasty megalomaniac too familiar and half-baked to truly inspire terror. Where is the threat? The film’s introduction introduces Safin’s wrath and his connection to Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux), but it takes a while to get to his later obsessive and anal desire to wipe away millions without a trace.

NO TIME TO DIE

No Time to Die‘s advance movements are accompanied by a significant, if enjoyable, reversal. Clearly, Fukunaga doesn’t want realism to stand in the way of entertainment. Pure cinematic fireworks. A glittering fantasy with fake toughness. Yes, if you want to be swept along. After ten minutes of amazing Italian road racing, a Havana-based shootout. Even with machine guns. Not Hans Zimmer’s, but The Damme d’s quick and funky music. Some don’t.

Nobody knows where the franchise will go next. It is rather a question of Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli’s bravery in abandoning the mound. This song’s title may not be bold, but the way it’s executed makes it clear. Craig leaves on a positive note. He’s rarely been better or owned his own show like this. Craig exiled his critics in 2006. It’s hard to believe such critiques existed 15 years ago.

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