No Time to Die: Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga
SYNOPSIS: Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
Take a bow Daniel Craig. 15 years as the iconic character of James Bond, all leading to this fiery finale. You felt that here. The best part about this film is the fact that it knows what it is and what it is is the wholehearted final ride for Daniel Craig. The arc of Bond is so perfectly written in this film with just the right amount of action, emotion and most importantly the stakes. Bond has always been seen as a man who can never die and always has a solution to everything. Here, not so much.
At the core, this film explores the humanity of Bond. Something that I don’t think has been done to this extent in a Bond film. He’s an old man, who has aspirations for more, but is constantly tied to the thrill of being on the job. He can never really run away and he can never really rest. This arc has shades of that of Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame. Both characters have been in this job for a long time and want to settle down and finally rest, but as long as they are capable, they will never truly be able to rest. It is subtle but beautiful and resounds as the main conflict of the entire film.
The action is stellar, each sequence choreographed, composed and captured extremely well. I personally love the first two major sequences, the chase sequence that begins the movie and the sequence at the Spectre party with Craig and Ana De Armas. Both extremely effective in their own ways and accomplishing different things. The technical aspects of the film besides just the action are great. The directing, cinematography and score all have their own shining moments.
There is so much good in this film but that does not come without the bad. The biggest form of criticism from this film has been the villain Safin played by Rami Malek. I would not necessarily blame his lackluster villain on the performance, but on the writing of his character. He is the definition of a generic Bond villain that doesn’t bring anything to the plot other than being the driving force to lead our characters to the final battle. The threat, while seemingly large, doesn’t feel that way with another generic plot device designed to get us to the endgame. The writing, while extremely strong when it comes to honoring Craig and his legacy, is really lackluster overall.
FINAL: No Time to Die is the perfect send off for the 15 year run of Daniel Craig. The Bond arc is incredible, the emotion packs a major punch and the action is top tier and classic to the franchise. The study of Bond’s humanity is the most compelling part of the writing that is otherwise very lackluster and formulaic. The finale, while sad, is extremely fitting for a character that has been through hell and back for over 15 years. Take a bow Daniel Craig, you deserve all of the credit in the world.
15 for Entertainment 14
15 for Performances 15
15 for Writing 13
10 for Direction 10
10 for Emotions 10
10 for Cinematography 8
5 for Sound 4
5 for Score 5
5 for Pacing 3
5 for Rewatchability 5
5 pts Automatic 5
No Time to Die: 92/100
Jack Lautaret is a film critic and the founder of the FinaticFilms YouTube Channel. He is a member of the Online Film and Television Association. Twitter: @JackLautaret