No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★★½


His time as Bond will be remembered as a turning point in the franchise. It was a time when Bond got more personal, more emotional, and more in touch with the world it was in. This film is the culmination of his time as Bond, embodying modern fears, bearing his soul, while simultaneously being one of the most nostalgic Bonds of all time.

Bond is at his best when he gets emotional. When the stakes don't feel like they matter, I always become less engaged. Whether the stakes are global survival, or someone that is close to Bond, it matters to us because it matters to him. Fortunately this film has both.

Let's talk about the lair. Not enough people talk about the lair. The lair is important. While the evil lair doesn't show up in every Bond film, it is an unmistakable and essential part of the franchise. It must have imposing architecture, scientists in lab coats, throw in a couple hazmat suits, and your antagonist saying something on the intercom along the lines of "WE'VE BEEN EXPECTING YOU MR. BOND". We haven't had a proper lair since Tomorrow Never Dies, and yet this one was so well designed and incorporated into the story.

Plenty of easter eggs linking back to past films like You Only Live Twice, Casino Royale, and most unexpectedly, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. This one goes right in the romantic Bond trilogy with those latter
two. They may have learned from Marvel that you can keep the hardcore Bond fans happy without detracting from the casual fan's fun.

Stunning visuals, amazing set pieces, all the emotions, this is one for the books, and really everything I could have hoped for to close out this chapter of the franchise.

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