No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★★

Messy, unhinged, and everything a Bond story should be. While it takes many cues from the classic era, rest assured, Craig's tenure goes out with an epic bang. I find myself harkened back to the Timothy Dalton films and how they were a mix of old while very much rooted in the new. For all the ups and downs of Craig's era as 007, you have to admit - the next actor to fill those shoes has a very hearty task. What an awesome swan-song to an impeccable fifteen-year run. Even as someone who hasn't been all-in on Bond until very recently, it is hard not to get emotional over Craig's exit here. And boy, does he act the hell out of this last ride - mixing the stoicism we all know with that aggression from his earlier films. You get the feeling that Craig, despite being vocal about how tired he was of the role, really wanted to make this special and memorable for everyone. Not to mention, the action is as grandiose as ever, and Hans Zimmer's bombastic score perfectly accentuates those classic themes. I can see how people might be disappointed; in some regards, this feels like a departure from the other films - putting Bond in a more familiar setting while deconstructing what it even means to carry the title of 007. The sense of scale does seem to outweigh the urgency of the plot and its new villain (especially in terms of that running time), but Fukanaga brings this arc to a grand close, and it's one that I cannot wait to revisit in the future.

Oh, and Ana de Armas? Dreadfully underused. She was so fun.

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