No Time To Die
by Hans A. Carpenter
Release Date: October 8
Director: Cary Johi Fukunaga
Starring: Daniel Craig,
Rami Malek, and Lea Seydoux
Mister Marquee Says:
Bond (Daniel Craig) sees his quiet romantic retirement with Madeline (Lea Seydoux) broken up by a betrayal. Now alone and out of the game, Bond is brought back into the fold when Safrin (Rami Malek) steals a deadly bio weapon.
Craig Bond films are alternatively excellent and awful. Luckily, the final note in this five-picture run ends on a bang harkening back to the glory days of Casino Royal and Skyfall. After the maddeningly underachieving SPECTRE. No Time To Die ends this installment of the franchise on an emotional note and a sense of closure and payoff you don’t normally get from the Bond films.
With action galore and an excellent performance by Craig, Bond has never been better. Fukunaga does a great job of humanizing 007 without stripping away the cool factor.
No Time to Die feels cohesive. The weaker entries in recent memory (Quantum of Solace and SPECTRE) both feel like disjointed events that are haphazardly glued together. Stuff happens because it needs to happen to set up another thingy. Like Casino Royale and Skyfall, No Time to Die has purpose. The extended run time doesn’t feel like a drag either.
Though Rami Malek is delightfully creepy, Safrin is the one knock on No Time to Die. His motivations fluctuate wildly and do a hard 180 in the final act. As a villain, there’s nothing to Safrin at all. He is a plot device to point the story where it needs to go. Since that direction is a satisfying character arc for Bond, I’ll forgive it. Malek is almost convincing enough to overcome an underwritten character.
This is how you end a series. I’m sure James Bond will ride again because of money, but at least Craig got a dignified send off. Just look at poor Pierce Brosnan’s last outing…