No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★½

Man where do I begin with this?

I binged all 23 James Bond movies in anticipation for this (loose use of the word binge since it took me 15 months to find the will to live and watch all of them). I think it's pretty clear to anyone that read my reviews on this year long journey that I wasn't the biggest fan of this franchise. I found James Bond to have too much plot armor, action seemed pretty similar every film, and his actions towards women always seemed to teeter on the line of sexism. I definitely had some favorite moments like Bond dressing as a clown, Goldfinger cheating at golf, and the final fight in The Man with the Golden Gun, but overall most of this franchise had the issue of me not caring. I don't care for Bond. He is a man's fantasy rather than a rootable hero.

Skyfall was the stand out for me as the one great Bond film after all these eras, I thought they struck gold(finger) once and that was it. I didn't hear much about this film besides it being a loving tribute to Daniel Craig and Bond as a whole... which didn't sound like something I would care about. However this film blew my expectations out of the water. This film doesn't come close to Skyfall but they did what I thought was impossible and they struck gold once again.

No Time To Die is actually brilliantly well made. With the second best cinematography out of any Bond film, Daniel Craig truly proves that he is the best Bond. One of the early action scenes was about 45 seconds of a one shot action scene and it was absolutely gripping, the film seemed to kick everything up a notch for their final film with Craig.

I think the films weakest part is how connected it is with Spectre. Connecting films is normally a good thing but that film was such garbage that I really wish I wasn't reminded of its existence. Award winner Rami Malek was also pretty generic and didn't add much to the film.

But the moment that made me fall in love with this movie was the ending. The final 20 minutes — time for me to say what everyone else has been saying — is a love letter to Daniel Craig's Bond and Bond as a whole. It is actually beautiful how they end the movie and extremely impactful. It's what I've been wanting them to do for decades with this character. Whether you love or hate Bond, I think the final moments of this movie can't help but make you respect this iconic film character and understand the love fans have for him.

I was extremely impressed with this film and this iteration of Bond really left with a bang.

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