No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★½

A solid first hour before it dives back into the Spectre of it all. Bringing back Jeffrey Wright’s Felix was a blessing, and Ana de Armas crushes her ten minutes. Once they leave the picture and we return to Spectre land, with a Rami Malek villain to boot? That’s where it loses me.

As much as I’ve always liked Quantum of Solace, the biggest mistake of the Craig movies has been this need to remove itself from the patented Bond formula of resetting with each movie in favor of needing to have a continuity throughout the films. That worked (for me) with Quantum because the emotions of Casino Royale were so strong. However, now we reach the trouble with this kind of formula.

No Time to Die needs you to be so invested in the events of Spectre in order for it to work, and for that reason it simply doesn’t. Particularly when you open the movie by recalling the memory of Vesper (the best Bond girl, bar none), the relationship between Seydoux and Craig is so flat that I couldn’t care less about how much this movie wants me to have some emotional attachment to them. Let’s not even get started on Rami Malek’s charisma void of a performance with his dreadfully bland villain. One of people’s biggest issues with Quantum was Mathieu Amalric’s evil plan, but so many are totally fine with this ridiculous nanobots nonsense? Interesting.

It feels like the appreciation for Craig and what he’s done for Bond does a lot of heavy lifting to try and paper over the cracks that this movie has. Which I get. He’s far and away my favorite Bond. Casino Royale is the perfect Bond movie. I really dig Quantum of Solace and Skyfall as well, despite their issues.

I do think that, with the strictures placed on them, No Time to Die does a competent job of wrapping up Craig’s five-film run in the role. Comparing it to a film like Rise of Skywalker, which tries to do a similar thing to absolutely catastrophic results, this is a masterpiece. On its own, though, as a film that’s supposed to make me feel… anything… it didn’t work for me. I can all but guarantee I won’t remember a thing about this movie in a month’s time.

Also please stop casting Billy Magnussen in things.

Mitchell liked this review