MartyK0015mp’s review published on Letterboxd:
James Bond. License to kill, history of violence….. I could be speaking to my own reflection.
First time watching.
‘No time to die’ is the latest and the 27th instalment of the long running James Bond franchise. This follows Daniel Craig in his last outing as the titled character who has left active service and living a more peaceful life in Jamaica when old friend Felix shows up asking for Bond’s help to track down a mysterious villain along with a scientist armed with dangerous technology.
The Daniel Craig era of Bond has definitely had its ups (‘Casino Royale’ & ‘Skyfall’) and downs (‘Quantum of solace’ & ‘Spectre’) so obviously this brand new entry had to deliver. And yeah it totally did in my eyes only. This is a MASSIVE jump in quality and entertainment compared to ‘Spectre’. We have reached the end of the journey that started back in 2006 and it left me satisfied. This is how you do a swan song right!!
Daniel Craig IS my Bond. I think that’s pretty obvious. There is no doubt that he delivers his best ever Bond performance in this film. He is on top form!! He showcases a whole range of emotions that we haven’t seen from any Bond maybe only from Lazenby. He brings laughter, happiness, anger, heartfelt moments, everything you expect. He has aged and looks beaten down. But this performance only works because of Craig himself. He seemed to love working on this film, it shows in his performance, whatever was lacking from him in ‘Spectre’ it’s here, don’t worry. I think since he knew this was going to be his last, he wanted to give 100% and more.
Craig’s chemistry with returning star French actress Léa Seydoux as Madeline has improved a lot. You could actually believe them. The moments they have in the proluge as a couple is sweet but short lived. Then it all about the fixing of the relationship which leads to some brilliant one on one conversations between the pair. She isn’t the typical Bond girl anymore. She has her own secrets that brings twist and turns for her and Bond’s relationship.
Two of the biggest on screen appearances (besides Craig) goes to Ana De Armas and Lashana Lynch. Maybe it’s too early to say but I absolutely L.O.V.E.D Ana De Armas’ performance more than Lashana Lynch’s, even though she has a very small screen time. She absolutely kills it. Her ‘Knives out’ chemistry with Craig is still there. We need more of Paloma in the future as she was underused!!!!! Did you hear that Bond producers???? While Lashana is introduced as the new 007 agent Nomi and she was very good. Wasn’t overpowering and doesn’t deserves the hate she got previously.
I think in terms of creepiest Bond villains, Rami Malek as Safin will definitely be up there. He brings a creepy and surprising atmosphere for his character. But Malek is underused giving his small screen time, but him using his skills as a actor makes him so intimidating and sinister to look at.
The music is fantastic. Hans Zimmer not only crafts his take on Bond, he using inspiration from the classic Bond films mainly from ‘On her majesty secret service’ and brings John Barry’s iconic score into the modern day. And Billie Eilish’s theme song is so powerful I do like this more than Sam Smith’s writing on the wall, which I like more than most people, and Zimmer’s use of the song throughout the film is good.
Director Cary Joji Fukunaga has done an amazing job to not only bring his own flavour to the Bond franchise but to tie all the previous DC Bond films for an satisfying conclusion. While coming in almost 3hrs, Fukunaga manages to balance the pacing, the action and the slower moments work. It never drag imo, slowing the story down wasn’t a bad decision it just helps the film to flow better. While the story follows the typical Bond story template: it can be over the top, it can be silly at times, the cliches are in the front window, the one liners are in full use (maybe bringing in Phoebe Waller-Bridge was to bring more comedic dialogue and to make the female characters actually have an personality) but what makes Fukunaga’s film an stand out is the action. He definitely has the goldeneye for the action sequences.
The first action sequence involves the classic Aston Martin DB5, an motorbike and the backdrop of Italy (and all of this happens before the opening credits). What isn’t there to love??. The action throughout is solid and Fukunaga’s directing is superb. No shakeycam use and the editing is very good we are able to see what happens in those sequences. There are also couple of long takes which is a genuine surprise.
‘No time to die’ is the epic conclusion for Daniel Craig that we have been waiting for over an year and a half now and it is worth the wait. Seeing it at the midnight screening here in the U.K. is a experience I will never forget. Fukunaga takes homage especially from ‘OHMSS’ to actually make a “final” Bond film for an actor which has a license to thrill, which is action packed, funny and emotional.
Thank you Daniel Craig for everything. My Bond ❤️