No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★★½

Initiate Mis

"Danny Boyle's exit from James Bond throws franchise into chaos"

Initiate Mission. Code

"No Time to Die postponed"

Initiate Mission. Code name: No

"Release of James Bond film No Time To Die delayed - again"

Initiate Mission. Code name: No Time to

"James Bond film No Time To Die delayed for third time"

Okay fuck this. It just won't work. I'm out.

...

...

iniate mission. code name: no time to... die?

TYDYDYDYYN TYDYDYDYYN TYDYDYDYYDY

BOND-A-THON IS BACK AND YOU CAN'T STOP ME ANYMORE!

FOX... DIE

I remember writing about Spectre while on my way to Helsinki Film Festival. My last Bond-a-thon review. That was more than four years ago; it was released on the 15th of September, 2017. Time really flies, huh, and so on.

But one thing always seems to remain – Bond, James Bond. We've been waiting for this moment for four years and at last, the reward lies right in front of us. The reign of Daniel Craig meets its end, the longest one for any Bond in the longest Bond film ever.

Now, this could be a scary thing: if you've read my reviews you already know that despite my endless love for 007, I can always find room for complaints about length. Yes, the mammoth Bond No Time to Die is too long, but it also delivers almost as massive amount of fresh kino.

Casino Royale gave us a new, vulnerable Bond. Quantum of Solace presented an even rougher and violent Bond, following the steps of Timothy Dalton. Skyfall wondered whether the world needs Bond anymore. Spectre wanted us to meet Mario and Wario.

It wouldn't be quite right to write that No Time to Die downright reinvents things. You could say that every Craig film has at least tried to give another, changing version of Bond. Spectre failed tragically: Mendes wanted to turn 007 into a Craig-Moore hybrid vehicle, an adventurous but still serious change for the franchise after the sky fell. But, as we know, the screenplay and the pacing stumbled. That mix didn't work.

No Time to Die prevails. That Roger sense of wonder and true adventure returns for the first time in decades. Fun meets melancholy, heavy emotions meet globe-travelling action thrills, romance meets departure. The film has some of the most actively funny Bond scenes in ages, in a story not only filled with those classic dry quips.

This mix works. Is it a coincidence that the writer team Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, in addition to various Bonds, also worked on Johnny English? I channeled that energy back... but I also think that Phoebe Waller-Bridge helped.

Craig's final odyssey is also a Bond that subverts expectations – not in a The Last Jedi way ultimately leading to a massive Skywalker cockup, but in a way that cleans up the shit stains left by Spectre. For the first time a Bond bullet can do anything and everything, for this is the end. No one needs to think about what happens after. The film uses the weight of the past correctly with the future's freedom and manages to redeem those close-to-fatal misteps of Mendes. Thank god there's so little of Waltz's Clownfeld in this part!

I don't really care about the villain – which might feed the theme of real enemies being invisible or more complex – and I'm mostly fine with that. The film gets a little too Skyfall sooner than I would have perhaps hoped as well, forgetting our more carefree fun but still keeping the thrills. Craig would have deserved a bigger amount of those comedic moments – and not only for the sake of last hurrahs or glory laps, but simply because of his astonishing timing with comedy.

And yet, No Time to Die is nothing but a triumph for the legacy of 007 kinema. Cary Joji Fukunaga directs more than a few absolutely banging moments, praise also to his cinematographer Linus Sandgren. Craig throws all in and gives an all-timer performance – perhaps his best as Bond? – showing the strength of his disdain for the role (lmao). And holy shit, Hans Zimmer goddamn FUCKS with a wonderful score, good motifs and a stunning track to rival the timeless intensity of Time. Bravo!

The reign of Daniel Craig meets its end. On the Secret Service of the Spy Who Loved Me. Craig has been Bond as long as I can remember; I've grown up while loyally following his journey on the silver screen. And this is the end, a glorious and well-deserved one, leaving its mark with a loud and deep TYDYDYDYYN.

For once, James deserves a happy ending. Thank you for your service... and goodbye, Mr. Bond. For now. The world still needs you.

And to any agent who still does or doesn't use this cursed site/app/torture machine: I hope you're all doing well. ❤️

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