No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★½

The most subdued a Bond movie has ever been. It's such a vulnerable film, in a way that feels almost post-Bond. Here is a man who is done, and he's just that: a man, and nothing more. A man who finally wants to just live a real life and put human effort into a real love. This possibility is dangled in front of him, but the consequences of the lifestyle he is trying to leave behind rips it away. He is James Bond the myth the legend, and so can never be the man.

But given this empathetic, subduded tone the franchise wants to send Daniel Craig's eponymous hero off on, the fact that so much of the movie is focused on stopping the ever-disappointing Rami Malek and his over-the-top plan for world destruction that is so obviously a throwback to a sillier era of Bond clashes hard. The potential greatness of the movie is in the whole post-Bond aspect, and the Rami Malek stuff is pure camp. This unevenness really muddles the experience, so that even with the fantastic conclusion and beautiful, tragic sendoff for the character, it is ultimately a fairly average movie overall.

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