BrayMitch01’s review published on Letterboxd:
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No Time to Die is such an engaging movie. Back when Wonder Woman 1984 came out on Christmas weekend in 2020 after a number of delays due to a certain pandemic I realized I had lost the excitement I once had for it and just wanted it to be released for the sake of finally coming out. This same situation continued to happen as big blockbusters that experienced the disappointing event of being delayed would come out. Sometimes this dilemma would effect my general anticipation for the film right down until the day it’s released, like with WW84, but most of the times I would gain back my excitement weeks before the release day and enjoy the film. Since this film was the first big one to ever get delayed and by the time of it’s release would have been in the pool of delays for a little over eighteen months I expected none of the anticipation I once had for it to come back but fortunately I was wrong. It wasn’t until I finally watched Skyfall earlier this week, along with an array of TV spots, that the eagerness for the next grand Bond outing rushed back to me. This film seriously surpassed my expectations in so many ways and seeing it on the big screen had to be one of my favorite theater experiences of the year so far. There’s an abundance of aspects to be impressed with and that will certainly be remembered amongst fans of the action genre as some of the best of recent years.
The plot is great it’s a very entertaining and thrilling story. The story consists of an excellent mix of extraordinarily exciting moments of action and quieter times of intimate brokenness that makes it constantly compelling. Every plot point in a subtle or strong way acts as a sign to an outcome that would wrap up Craig’s time as Bond. I didn’t expect the final journey to the end to be so emotionally profound though. There’s these consistent themes of running out of time and deciding what to do with the time you have that add to the payoff of the finale too.
Also despite how heavy and thrilling the story can get this comedic undertone is kept up in the British fashion and never felt forced. There is a couple of flaws with the story the biggest one being that the villain, in my opinion, was pretty lackluster and had predictable reasoning for his scheme to destroy the world. Malek does good in the role but the villain was simply disappointing and took the place of another villain that could have been on par with the awesomeness of the rest of the story. The pacing is great this film is long and definitely feels long but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely engaged with the story for the entire almost three hour runtime.
The acting is fantastic Daniel Craig gives a fantastic performance. He makes the character he’ll forever be know for reinventing the most humanized, vulnerable, and loveable he’s ever been in his sixty years of existence. Craig delivers the most unforgettable James Bond performance yet and the best of his increasingly impressive career. Lea Seydoux gives a great performance. I haven’t seen Spectre yet so I can’t say anything about her character’s significant change (for the good) but I can confidently say she nailed the character of Madeleine Swan. She had some great chemistry with Craig too.
Rami Malek gives a good performance as the villain, he has the type of channel of certain mannerisms and voice to pull off a creepy bad guy easily. Ana De Armas brings so much bounce and fun with her instantly loveable character but I really wished she would have had more than just a few scenes in the film. She’s quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses in the business and I can’t wait until she gets a ton of praise, and a foreseeable love at the next award season, for her portrayal of Marylin Monroe in next year’s Blonde. Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffery Wright, and Christoph Waltz give great supporting performances as well.
The direction is fantastic from Cary Joji Fukunaga, he had some large shoes to fill but measured up to the likes of Mendes and Campbell by making some bold directional choices that he carefully pulls off. The script is great it’s a balanced and memorable script that embodies what a quality action screenplay should be like. The cinematography is fantastic this film is full of beautiful shots that manage to capture and work with the tones very well. The whole third act on the island features some of the best shot scenes of the entire year. The score is top notch but it’s done by Hans Zimmer so it doesn’t come as a surprise, he can do no wrong or even mediocre. The sound is absolutely phenomenal and made the theater experience all the more immersive. The visual effects are great too. The action sequences are all equally exciting and tightly crafted, my favorite being the shootout at the Cuban club. This film truly has some of the most riveting slices of action I’ve seen from a new release in a while. In terms of the Oscars this film most likely has a Best Original Song and Best Sound nomination in the bag. I could see myself rooting for it to win for the sound because that aspect really was off the charts. The ending is an excellent ending that wraps up everything incredibly well and brought me to tears. Overall No Time to Die is an emotional, action packed, and satisfyingly enthralling finale that has basically everything you could want from a large scale blockbuster.