This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
DiveandDiscuss’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
No Time to Die was a great send off to Daniel Craig's Bond. I had pretty high expectations for this movie and it delivered for me. Out of all the Bond movies I've seen, this is probably the most emotional out of all of them. Daniel Craig gives one of his best performances as Bond in this movie. You really do feel how all of the events that have happened in the previous movies have really taken a toll on him. He feels broken down. He just wants to retire and live a peaceful life, but he is unable to let go of the events from his past that still haunt him. The character journey he goes on was very powerful and super satisfying for his last movie. But it is not just him that makes this movie work so well, because all of the rest of the cast gives it their all as well. I really loved almost all the other characters in this movie. If you recall in my Spectre review, I said that I wasn't the biggest fan of Madeleine and her relationship with Bond in that movie. But this movie made me like her character so much more. They add a lot more layers to her character that make you really feel for her and through that you really do begin to understand why she loves Bond so much. Their relationship was one of the strongest points of the movie imo. I also really enjoyed the character of Nomi in this movie. Her dynamic with Bond was very entertaining as she became the new 007 after Bond left. Ana De Armas' character was also a really enjoyable presence as well. She isn't really in the movie that much, but she was very entertaining when she was. I honestly wish we could've gotten more of her. But I do understand why we didn't, so this isn't really an issue I have with the film. Another thing to praise is of course the action, as this film definitely has some of the best in the series. The chase sequence in the opening was super fun and intense. As well as the car chase in the back half and the sequence with Ana De Armas. The one take fight on the stairwell near the end was also really good too. Also, I'm just gonna go ahead and say that this movie is almost on par with Skyfall as the best looking James Bond movie, because I was very impressed with the cinematography in this film. Hans Zimmer also killed it with the music in this film. The ending track especially really added so much more emotion to what was happening. And I'll talk more on that ending in a second. Another thing I will say is that for a movie that was 2 hours and 43 minutes long, I honestly thought that runtime was pretty well earned. It probably could've been a little shorter, particularly in the middle where there was a decent amount of exposition, but for the most part, I thought the film was very well paced and the runtime wasn't a huge issue for me. Finally, I do want to talk about the ending. I can understand why some people may not like it, but for me, I thought it was great. It was certainly a bold move to kill off this version of Bond, but I think it was very well earned within the story. And my God were the emotions coming during that scene. It was so well directed and Craig and Seydoux gave it their all for that scene. Just beautiful. Although I did love so much about this movie, I did have one issue with it. And that issue was the villain. Rami Malek as Safin I thought could have been handled a lot better than he was. He had a pretty similar issue to Blofeld in Spectre in that he just wasn't in the movie enough and felt underutilized. He wasn't terrible and Malek was good in the role, but that is definitely the one thing in the film that felt a bit lacking for me. But aside from that one issue, I really loved No Time to Die. It isn't the best of Craig's movies, but as a conclusion to his run as the character, this was just about everything I wanted. And boy do I wish we could see more of him as Bond. But all good things must come to an end after all.
Final ranking of Craig's Bond movies:
2. Casino Royale
3. No Time to Die
5. Quantum of Solace