“No Time To Die” Review, Thrilling & Emotional
Metro Goldwyn-Mayer and the producers of “No Time to Die” were right to hold this blockbuster film until it could be seen by audiences in theaters and on a big screen. The 25th installment of the 007 series, starring Daniel Craig in his final appearance as James Bond, couldn’t provide the same thrills or evoke the same emotions on a smaller screen.
“No Time to Die” also features Linus Sandren’s dazzling cinematography in such exotic locales as Cuba, Jamaica, Italy, Norway, and the U.K. that wouldn’t be nearly as picturesque on a smaller screen. The cast, directed by Cary Jojo Fukunago, brings back a number of familiar faces, while the opening prologue introduces crazed new villain Safin (Rami Malek).
Longtime Bond colleagues like Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), Q (Ben Whishaw), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), M (Ralph Fiennes), and Tanner (Rory Kinnear) are all back. His Spectre sweetheart Madeline Swann (Lea Seydoux) is also back with Bond; at least, until their combined past catches up with them.
Imprisoned Spectre Chief Klaus Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) is locked away in a secure facility, but somehow orchestrates several attempts on Bond’s life. Daniel Craig handles his final appearance as James Bond with the same astonishing abilities and cool aplomb shown in his four preceding films. While still performing super-human feats, this time he seems more vulnerable—and more human–than before.
After dispatching a number of would-be Spectre assassins in Italy, Bond sends Madeline away and out of his life, believing she may have betrayed him. Since then, he’s lived a peaceful but lonely retirement in a remote Jamaican village. When his CIA colleague Felix seeks him out to ask for help, Bond accompanies him and Ash (Billy Magnuson) to Cuba. The mission leads them to a convention of high-ranking Spectre members from around the globe.
A Female 007
We’re introduced to several new faces in Cuba, including the new, female 007 who inherited Bond’s number when he retired. Nomi (Lashana Lynch) is terrific as the new 007, and CIA agent Paloma (Ana de Armas) also demonstrates grace and skill in her too-brief appearance. It’s refreshing to see that Bond Girls have been allowed out of the bedroom and given a chance to shine alongside the male action heroes.
As an evil villain who wants to destroy most of the human race, Malek’s Safin is not very terrifying. But Heracles, a technology invented by a rogue Russian scientist (David Dencic), is a truly terrifying weapon of mass destruction that could wipe out most of the human race. Lucky for us, James Bond (with help from Madeline plus the new 007, M and the gang at HQ, and Q’s gadgets) once again saves the world. Only this time, it’s with great sacrifice.
No Time to Die
“No Time to Die” bids goodbye to Craig as James Bond in a surprising departure from the previous 24 films based on Ian Fleming’s beloved MI-6 agent. I was more emotionally involved than expected, and found myself choked up at the ending–not my usual response to an action adventure.
My husband and I were fortunate to see “No Time to Die” at a lightly attended daytime screening at Angelika Film Center in Dallas. Although it was opening day for the year’s most anticipated film, we were right to assume (and hope) most 007 fans were still at their day jobs.
A Film Made For The Big Screen
It had been over a year since the two of us attended an indoors movie, and we realized how much we’d missed that experience. Watching a good action film from comfortable seats on a giant screen in a dark theater is a treat I’ll never take for granted again.
We’d been warned that “No Time to Die,” was really long (2 hours and 43 minutes), and planned our bathroom breaks carefully. It didn’t seem overly long to us, though. Once the action starts, you’ll be glued to your seats, as everyone in the world seems to be out to get Bond.
“No Time to Die” is distributed by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, and opened wide Oct. 8. The thrilling action adventure is rated PG-13 (Sequences of Violence & Action; |Brief Strong Language; Some Disturbing Images; |Some Suggestive Material). Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, and produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The script was written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Scott Z. Burns.