This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Claire Richards’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Finally four years later it's the return of the Bond-a-thon! I hope all of you are doing well :) I've been itching to write another case file review, so here we go!
Case File 25:
007, your mission is to stop a plot to infect the world's population with nanobots designed to kill based on DNA. And also to see a therapist about your relationship trust issues. With a creepy lair and an over-the-top plan to kill millions of people, this is the most Bond-ish mission Daniel Craig has ever received!
- Matera, Italy (LOVE! But why is Vesper buried in a random town in Southern Italy?)
- An island somewhere in the Sea of Japan
The Bad Guys:
- Lyutsifer Safin: Rami Malek exceeded my expectations in terms of acting, but his villain suffers extremely from lack of screen time, unclear motives, and a confusing background.
- Ernst Stavro Blofeld: The main issue from Spectre returns here - Christoph Waltz's engaging presence is again wasted by writers who don't know what to do with him.
- Logan Ash: bland and blonde.
- Valdo Obruchev: I didn't understand this character one bit
- Primo: whatever, but cool death!
- Madeleine Swann: the stark age difference between Craig and Léa Seydoux is a bit off-putting - and their chemistry never reaches the level of Eva Green's - but I do like them! I think Seydoux did the best with what she was given.
- Paloma: Ana de Armas is absolutely delightful - if only we saw her for more than 10 minutes!
- Felix Leiter: I don't smoke, but if I did I'd have a cigar for you!
- Nomi: Lashana Lynch did an amazing job, but once again was limited by what the writers gave her. Can I have that monochrome orange look she wore?
- True Blood: makes its return!
- Technology-exploding watch: let's give Bond some cooler gadgets in the next one, shall we?
- No Time to Die: every theme since Skyfall has been a derivative of Adele's, but I do like what Billie Eilish has done here
- I don't remember much about it and I can't rewatch it on YouTube, but good?
Witty One-Liner of the Day:
- "Well, that's not the first thing I thought you'd take off."
- Bond is next to a LOT of exploding bombs in this movie - how is he not deaf yet?
- Q = canonically LGBT, love!
- Can we discuss why every movie in the Daniel Craig era insists on having the villains disfigured in some way? 😬🥴
- Lot of great action sequences here: the Matera car chase, the Ana de Armas shootout, and the foggy Norwegian escape really stand out.
- My biggest gripe with this movie: the lack of screen time and characterization of Safin - a lot of what happened in the final act just was not making sense.
- My 2nd biggest gripe = the complete reversal of M's characterization from the previous two movies. How did he go from a calm, cool, and collected opponent of an overreaching British government to illicitly sponsoring a bioweapon program? Rather disappointing, and spoils this era's success in making M/Q/Moneypenny full characters in their own right.
Finally... what we're really here to talk about...
BOND HAS A DAUGHTER AND HE DIED HOLDING HER LITTLE STUFFED ANIMAL!!!!!!!!
Extremely curious to hear all your thoughts on No Time to Die's ending! Was it a fitting way to end Daniel Craig's five-film run? Or was it totally unfaithful to the myth we know as James Bond? Maybe both?
My take: I think it works for Daniel Craig's era. It's not very James Bond-ish to die, but it's also not very James Bond-ish to live happily ever after with a family. The version of James Bond that hit our screens in 2006 has gone through more personal development and challenges than any before. I've seen reviews criticizing this idea of an ending tribute as putting Daniel Craig the actor above James Bond the character, but I don't agree. This James Bond is one we have gotten to see fall in love and break his heart twice, deal with the loss of the people closest to him, and face villains with more personal motivations than ever before. For better or for worse, 007 became more than just a blockbuster spy over the last 15 years, and he deserved a more serious send-off. Do I wish he could live the rest of his life peacefully in the south of France and raise his daughter with Madeleine? I sure do! But these most recent movies haven't been about giving us a happy ending, and all I know is I walked out of the theater with tears running down my cheeks and forever thankful for these movies and all they have given me to laugh, cry, and write overly long Letterboxd reviews for.