Epic! Everything you want in a James Bond movie!! Treat yourself to the premium format in your cinema for the final chapter in Daniel Craig’s Bond saga. With gripping action and ample espionage, No Time to Die is a wildly entertaining throwback in the vein of Golden Eye, but even better! Return to the Cold War era espionage in which the Russians are the baddies and operating out of secret bunkers, vodka martinis are shaken not stirred, the one-liners, and the Aston Martin has machine-gun headlights. Oh–yeah there is a song by Billie Eilish, but enough said about that. From sweeping establishing shots of exotic destinations far and wide to intimate character moments, the camera paints a beautiful portrait of Craig’s sendoff as our Bond for the last fifteen years.
Recruited to rescue a kidnapped scientist, globe-trotting spy James Bond finds himself hot on the trail of a mysterious villain, who’s armed with a dangerous new technology.
Is the plot melodramatic? Of course, but aren’t most of these movies??? Even though the plot is motivating the actions of the characters more than the internal needs and desires of the characters, there is a great relationship between the action plot and emotional drives. The film is larger than life, but never campy or goes to ridiculous proportions that take you out of the story. All the foundational elements that make a Bond movie a Bond movie are here, and will hook you from beginning to end. This final chapter in Craig’s journey as 007: James Bond is handled with immense care, and serves up all the touchstones that will tug at your emotions. Don’t wait for this to be on-demand, you want to see this on the biggest screen, in the best format possible in your area for the full cinematic experience. No Time to Die is a perfect blend of the best of the Connery, Brosnan, and Craig years, all wrapped up into one outstanding chapter in the franchise that has been entertaining us for over fifty years.
While I feel that Skyfall still has slightly more rewatchability and is the better film. No Time to Die is a close second to it, and was just as enjoyable as Golden Eye. Many consider Golden Eye to be among the best Bond films because of the classical approach to Bond it takes, yet delivers a story that is familiar and fresh simultaneously. Yes, the Brosnan Bonds go downhill from there (except Tomorrow Never Dies is a solid installment), but Golden Eye reintroduced a new generation to the character of 007: James Bond and everyone’s favorite Agent M, Dame Judi Dench (and she makes a cameo in this film–in the form of a portrait, but still). I appreciate when franchises retain the foundation of what made the original great, but build a new structure. And that is what we have here, hence why it checks all the boxes that you want in a 007 movie. These homages to classic Bond in no way feel campy, but rather feel like an old familiar blanket that you can wrap yourself in to feel comforted.
Of everything the film did incredibly well, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention that the plotting is a little on the weak side. Although you won’t feel lost, there are times that you will find yourself a little confused as to all the relationships between characters and how the sequence of events unfolds. We aren’t talking TENET confusing, but it is a little muddled in places where it feels like there was a transitional scene that got cut out as the theatrical release was being assembled.
Despite the mostly melodramatic plot, there are some great character moments that help to setup how a character may be used in the future or just a little more about their personal life that helps them to be more relatable and believable. While we do not know who our next James Bond will be, we may have been given a hint as to the characters that will be included in future installments. And for anyone that is worried that future 007 movies will not have James Bond, without detracting away from the present story, this film lays the groundwork that 007 is a designation and James Bond is the name of a real person. Furthermore, the studio is searching for the next James Bond next year, so James Bond isn’t going anywhere. That said, we do have a fantastic supporting character that will surely make a great spy for MI6 in the future, regardless of her designation. But I won’t get into details, because it is slightly spoiler-ish.
Do yourself a favor and watch 007: No Time to Die on the biggest screen and most premium format you can find in a cinema near you. It’s a BIG SCREEN adventure that deserves to be watched on the big screen.
Ryan teaches American and World Cinema at the University of Tampa. If you like this article, check out the others and FOLLOW this blog! Interested in Ryan making a guest appearance on your podcast or contributing to your website? Send him a DM on Twitter or email him at RLTerry1@gmail.com! If you’re ever in Tampa or Orlando, feel free to catch a movie with him.
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