No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★★★

2021 Ranked

Fortunately, to my utmost delight, far closer to the grittiness/dirtiness and emotional profundity of CASINO ROYALE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE than the overly sleek yet thoroughly vapid Sam Mendes films. In spite of all the bumps throughout the production, on top of unfortunately having to follow up the dire SPECTRE, co-writer/director Cary Fukunaga, along with co-writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, has created not just a deeply melancholic swan song for Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond, but a genuinely wonderful action tentpole in itself, in part thanks to immensely exciting, impressively staged Martin Campbell-influenced set-pieces, stellar photography by Linus Sandgren, top notch sound design, brisk yet faultless editing by Tom Cross & Elliot Graham, and an exceptional score by Hans Zimmer.

But most of all, No Time to Die is as exciting and emotionally resonant as it is largely due to Craig’s performance as Bond, delivering what is not only his best Bond performance, but the best performance of his career period, and possibly the best performance I’ve seen by a male actor this year; he’s absolutely phenomenal here in portraying Bond at the most emotionally and physically vulnerable he’s ever been on screen. And that’s not even to dismiss the rest of the cast — particularly exceptional turns from Léa Seydoux and Lashana Lynch in supporting roles — either, as there’s not a false note present (even Rami Malek leaves an impression, further proving that he should only be cast as awkward, creepy, or weird dudes), but this is Craig’s film first and foremost, and to say he delivered on his final outing is quite an understatement, as he has only further cemented himself as, for me, the best Bond we’ve ever had to date, and whoever ends up being cast in that role next will have enormous shoes to fill.

Utterly sublime. Both one of the strongest offerings in the 007 canon and Fukunaga’s best film since SIN NOMBRE. Strongly recommend seeing this on the biggest screen possible ASAP.

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