No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★

Recent research has found that people who are higher on the personality trait of conscientiousness tend to live longer. This comforts me no end, as there was a cocksnap that replied to the official twitter thread from Universal Pictures re No Time to Die (that I was tagged into) who spoiled the film. Universal blocked his reply quickly, but not fast enough for me to unsee it. So I hope that lack of conscientiousness comes back to haunt that individual at a cellular level.

But I digress before I've even begun. No Time to Die is a solid send-off to the Daniel Craig Bond era, which satisfactorily weaves together the themes and plot lines established in the previous films. It benefits most significantly from Bond himself being allowed to develop through the five films, rather than having most everything reset at the end of the previous films as per what occurred with the other Bonds. Daniel Craig here displays a vulnerability and rawness which has never been a trademark of the character, most of which comes from what he has lived through up until this film and the events of the first twenty or so minutes.

Said opening is straight up fantastic, as first time Bond director Cary Joji Fukunaga slides into the role with a flair and panache which was missing from the bitterly disappointing Spectre. By the time the Billie Eilish themed credits role, the tone for the film has been set and there won't be a Bond fan alive who won't be all in. From there, the film sets up its MacGuffin in another great sequence, with a retired Bond reluctantly returning to the fold in order to stop the latest threat to the world.

Said threat involves Rami Malek, who is one of the most disappointing elements of the film. His villain is seriously non-threatening and seems to pivot at one point in a direction which is odd at best, and purely plot-fueled at worst. The rest of the cast, however, is well familiar with their roles and fit seamlessly back in, with Q especially getting a welcome opportunity to do more this time around.

But it has to be said, No Time to Die is awfully long. The second act drags on particularly painfully, with certain scenes desperately requiring significant editing. This has a trickle on effect for the third act, which is nowhere near as thrilling or impressive as the opening action scene, nor the one involving a scene-stealing Ana de Armas in Cuba.

On the whole, No Time to Die achieves what it needs to in competent fashion. It never reaches the dizzying heights of Casino Royale or the surprisingly impressive Skyfall. But it is a far better and more satisfying film than the misstep that was Quantum of Solace and the misfire that was Spectre.

3 Weapons Gone Wrong for No Time to Die.

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