'No Time To Die' Review
What there isn't time for anymore is reprising your role, as is the case for Daniel Craig in his fifth and last outing as ''Bond, James Bond'' a.k.a agent 007 in No Time To Die, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga who also co-wrote the script with Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. After the events of 'Spectre', Bond and girlfriend Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) are enjoying the scenery of Italy before he is attacked, leading him to suspect that she has outed him. Years later, now alone Bond gets approached by a familiar face to stop recently emerged criminal Safin (Rami Malek) and his underlings, Safin also having a past with Swann. In order to complete the mission, Bond comes back to MI6 for one last ride where he is joined once again by Q (Ben Whishaw) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and also another 007, Nomi (Lashana Lynch), while getting some international backup from agent Paloma (Ana de Armas).
As you may have got used to in Craig's era, the opening sequence is quite a shining star this time too as it intertwines a key flashback to Bond and Swann's present-day connection, giving real emotional resonance to the film's ending. That closure for mainly Bond but also other characters is a direct result from that which is why it's rewarding, leaving you feel a bit somber but calm. When looking at the time spent between the opening and ending sequences however, there's fair amount of filler there; Fukunaga and the stunt team rely a bit too much on gun fights on this one (there are six proper at least) which aren't anywhere near the level of the film's budget and they also have never been the most exciting part of Bond movies so it really begs few questions in regards of their urgency.
Beyond those, all the other action sequences (notably car chases which no other franchise is doing better) feel vital because in scenes where the story must move, Craig and most of the supporting cast are doing world class acting which is something that many series don't do in their fifth movie. Whishaw, Harris, Lynch and Ralph Fiennes (as M) all get couple individual moments while de Armas balances Craig in the best way, especially refreshing because Craig delivers his best work during that ending and much of it is rather solemn. What would make those middle parts work better in addition to varied action would be if any of the film's villains were anything better than mundane and average; Malek is too one-note, Christopher Waltz's Blofeld is the exact same as previously, main assassin has nothing unique to them and one surprise villain just doesn't seem like a threat. Good choice from the writers to not have any of them ruin the finale which considers Craig and Bond to be more than just an agent number.
Smileys: Ending, Daniel Craig
Frowneys: Some issues with characterisation and stunt choreography
Time to make a Swann Bond instead of Swan Lake.