No Time to Die Review

by Joe Joe

No Time to Die Review

An overall predictable mess.

No Time to Die Review

An overall predictable mess.

Daniel Craig’s final outing of what will be his most famous role. Bond, James Bond, is over for now, and judging by the quality of this one, I hope we don’t get him back for a while. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie. There are aspects I love, like, and hate. Which means it’s overall meh. An overall predictable mess.

Let’s start with Craig. Amazing. He is giving it his all, and it’s clear that he is not tired of this role. Modern politics of any kind do not betray the character of James Bond, thank god. It’s 100% 007. I will say that his one-liners aren’t that good, and the humor of this movie comes off pretty flat. The attitude is there, but the humor is lazy.

No Time To Die is perfectly cast, but several characters don’t get used well. Felix makes a return, as does Blofeld, but they are both wasted. Moneypenny is strictly a secretary this time despite her usefulness in the past. The exquisitely dressed Ana De Armas named Paloma in the film is also wasted. Paloma is one of the best aspects of this movie, and it’s a shame it doesn’t know this since she’s only in it for five minutes. Give me a spinoff with her. I would say there is a good time for M, Q, and Lea Seydoux’s returning character Madeleine from Spectre. Bond is retired, so Lashana Lynch plays a new 007, but she offers nothing. She’s generic 007. Then we have Rami Malek as the villain named Safin.

He has the good old villain plot of spreading a lethal killing virus. They made the movie before covid, and right now, it does feel very timely. It’s not a complaint but an observation. Rami Malek is a good actor, but this is one of the worst Bond villains because he isn’t in it that much. He’s also not intimidating or memorable in any way. I would say he’s on the same level as the villain from Quantum of Solace. There is also a very annoying scientist villain in the movie that I think was supposed to be like Alan Cumming’s much better character from Goldeneye. He wasn’t funny no matter how much the writers wanted him to be. I hated him. I couldn’t wait for him to die.

What was shocking to me was how unsatisfying the movie was. Cary Fukunaga directs the film perfectly. The action is excellent, and it looks real, unlike recent action movies like Fast 9. The problem is essentially the lousy script and how predictable it all is. It’s two hours and forty-five minutes, and yet the story feels very rushed. It starts very strong, but I know exactly when I started turning on the movie and won’t spoil it here. The relationship between Bond and Madeleine wasn’t engaging to me. She’s no Vesper. I wonder what Danny Boyle’s version was going to be before he quit the production. He might’ve had a much better script.

Since I saw The Living Daylights, I’ve been a James Bond fan, which is appropriate for my generation. Timothy Dalton was excellent, and he brought the seriousness back. It’s a shame he only did two, but then Pierce Brosnan came along and made it even better. The problem with the later Brosnan movies was that the tone was becoming more like Roger Moore. At least the Craig movies had essentially the same kind of dark tone throughout his era except for Spectre, which mainly felt like a Connery Bond.

No Time to Die is the 25th Bond movie, so there are several references to previous Bond movies, which is nice. It overuses On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but having the Aston Martin from The Living Daylights is a positive. The music is fantastic. Hans Zimmer did an excellent job with this one. And the Billie Eilish title song is good, but the credits sequence after an impressive opening sequence is pretty lacking.

Casino Royale is still the best Craig Bond and might be my favorite Bond movie of all time. Quantum of Solace wasn’t that great, and I would say this new one is pretty much on the same level. Maybe even a little less. The best Craig Bond movies are the entirely stand-alone ones, like Casino Royale and Skyfall. Quantum, Spectre, and No Time To Die are entirely reliant on each other, hurting the overall franchise. It hasn’t been this connected since the Connery Bonds but all of his felt like they could stand independently.

I think future Bond movies should go back to the past. Go back to the Cold War, make them period movies, and especially keep them separate from each other. With today’s technology, you could make an exciting style that would feel old school but new. Let’s bring back fun cause there was zero fun in this installment. Sad, very sad.

Would I watch this again? Only if it was part of a marathon. I probably wouldn’t watch it on its own. I think if I did, I would probably tune it out and think of much better previous Bond movies. Daniel Craig is a perfect James Bond, and I would say that Casino Royale and Skyfall were the highlights. You could watch those two and call it a night. Goodbye, Mr. Bond.

Subscribe to The American Zero Podcast with the Links Below.

6
OK

Good

  • Daniel Craig
  • Action

Bad

  • Wasted Characters
  • Bad Villain
  • Bad Humor
Bond
6
OK

Good

  • Daniel Craig
  • Action

Bad

  • Wasted Characters
  • Bad Villain
  • Bad Humor
Bond
6
OK

Good

  • Daniel Craig
  • Action

Bad

  • Wasted Characters
  • Bad Villain
  • Bad Humor