Welcome back to the show.
James Bond is as infamous as the shaken-not-stirred martini itself, for who else can embody the swagger, suave, reckless, but over everything, masterful ploy of both action and love. After nearly six full years, Mr. Bond returns to theaters in Daniel Craig’s final run as the MI6 super agent.
The wait was worth it.
Starring Craig and the previous ensemble of Bond-favorites such as Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris, “No Time to Die” marks a triumphant return to series for both Craig and company, as well as director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Set against the looming presence of a new villain — devilishly played by Rami Malek — who beholds a new bio-chemical weapon, “No Time to Die” is an enduring thrill.
For a film that runs itself around the context of Mr. Bond and his daily activities, the runtime of almost two hours and 43 minutes is no fret for hardcore fans. But after some time, it can become quite the eyesore. A mass of characters who either appear for several minutes or appear and disappear don’t complement the prolonged action either, as Ana de Armas’ character Paloma proves quite well as an irrelevant Cuban operative who graces the screen for what seems to be several minutes. However, “No Time to Die” is at the same time able to take its depth and engross the viewer based on classic Bond-ish criteria — like guns, chases, smooth-talking and a whole lot of Aston Martins.
A plot revolving around the intricate development of a new biological weapon draws viewers into the rather perplexing idea of global chemical warfare, possibly paralleling current events. With the charisma of both Craig and Malek together, the intricacy becomes diluted by the brilliant screenwriting handled by Funkunga and his three co-writers Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Perhaps the funniest of the Bond films — a thing that I quite frankly never thought could be true — “No Time to Die” emerges upon the larger scale of what a Bond film does best: to entertain.
Entertainment is plentiful here on the big screen, as it should be. Unfortunately, the filmmakers’ possible prioritizing of the need to entertain is apparent. Chase sequences and fights sometimes appear out of the blue in situations where everything seemed perfectly set.
Action incites emotion; moreso, a film incites audience emotion. On that note, no Bond film could incite such grand emotion as “No Time to Die” has. The film doesn’t incite any negative emotions, only the simple thrill and allure apparent through the constant running of one task after the other. Characters are built upon these tasks, each one proving their worth almost through completion or separate task, yet all come together to deliver upon their shared interest: saving the world.
On this note, a serialized arc always seems to be the blueprint of a good old-fashioned action film — especially a Bond film. This film is no exception, though it does so with quite profound attention to detail. Such detail draws the viewer in as the film itself can be understood from an escapist point of view for not just the average filmgoer, but for Mr. Bond himself as he tries to escape his reality.
A never-ending joy of the classic Bond experience — mixed well with performances from Craig and Malek — the latest Bond film shines on its exterior but contains several flaws under its skin.