Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Starring: Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Rory Kinnear and Ralph Fiennes
Was No Time To Die worth the wait in the end – the extra eighteen months suspended release, amid rumours of an apparently cursed production?
(Yeah, that is not at all accurate.)
No Time To Die, the final film starring Daniel Craig, was finally released this month at long last.
It’s certainly one of the longer Bond films – but is it worth sitting through with cinema snacks aplenty?
Also, if you want the best possible experience of watching No Time To Die, then you have to watch it in IMAX.
Just be warned – there are significant spoilers beyond this point.
We also recommend watching all the Craig era Bond films first prior to seeing No Time To Die, too.
We Need To Talk About No Time To Die’s Opening Sequence – Especially For The ‘Jump’ Factor
The 007 franchise is not from the Horror genre; it’s not spooky or scary.
It is also not a quest, and is not a mystery.
Arguably such an iconic franchise is genre-less as it covers so many different facets to create its own blend, its very own genre.
If you have a nervous disposition, watch with caution; the opening sequence is a jump fest that can be incredibly unnerving.
Be it the deeply unsettling masked villain or a present-day shootout at the behest of Spectre, there will very likely be hands-over-the-eyes viewing for at least some of this sequence.
It’s not as iconic in the sense of previous instalments of the 007 franchise – but it’s certainly a memorable start to No Time To Die.
It’s Niche In Wrapping Up Loose Ends – But Worth It For The Die-Hard Fans
To understand the full plot, you will need to at least have some grounding in previous ‘Craig’ 007 films – such as with Spectre, or who on Earth Mr White is, and why that is especially relevant when it comes to Madeline Swann.
There is a lot of niche detail packed into the three hours and a bit flick – enough so that there are mentions of Vesper, and so much more.
There are a lot of loose ends that are wrapped up in this dramatic, epic finale – including the end of poor Felix, a character from previous films.
(More on him in a minute – and why we were robbed of a great ending.)
There are a lot of symbols and cryptic hints that litter No Time To Die that die-hard analytical fans will love – enough to the point that this film has come full circle, with homages to most of the previous films since Quantum Of Solace.
It’s worth it for the die-hard fans, but may be a little bit niche if you just want to watch ‘because it’s there’.
No Time To Die Needs A Better Villain And A Better Send-Off For Felix
We need to talk about dear Felix, the other agent and friend connect to 007 – though his allegiances are placed elsewhere.
We have seen him pop up in some of the previous films, too.
His death was just…. Unexpected, in the sense that it lacked poetic justice.
Death by accident through hand to hand combat seems poorly executed and lacking in a way to send off such a character.
Felix has been around for a long time, and the character deserved something more heroic rather than tragic – to die this way in a boat that is going under while on fire.
It’s not exactly a deserved bow out with fireworks!
Rami Malek is polarising as this film’s villain.
While he was publicised and praised for not playing into terror-based stereotypes, this seems somewhat disingenuous given the use of facial disfigurement.
Right now there is a social media campaign going around that should not be ignored because this highlights a form of tokenism, as well as lacking diversity in the franchise.
(More on why No time To Die is problematic in a minute.)
The accent was… clunky, and he lacked the memorability such as from Skyfall (who can forget that casual eroticism?) And Spectre (the general creepiness.)
Tokenism? Plenty – But Getting There, Eventually
Media has a problem with diversity, and therefore tokenism.
The 007 franchise is not exempt from this – and there are some things that could have been carried out a little bit better.
For example: the stereotypes of facial disfigurements could have been left behind.
To be diverse and therefore a bit more modern, you need to be inclusive of all – and not just have someone included so you can say you have ticked that particular box.
The new 007 character is utterly brilliant; she brings a sartorial flair, some peacocking between the old and new generations.
We also see her get her own back on a racist rather spectacularly; though an important conversation, it felt a little bit too pointed and clumsy in terms of scripting.
For any femeninists reading: the next 007 has not been appointed – so calm down with your ill-placed indignance!
The direction is right, but not all steps have been fully taken – and that’s okay for now. It’s a transition.
Hugh Dennis? Seriously?
Why has Hugh Dennis been given a cameo role in No Time To Die? Just, why?
Outnumbered has been touted so often as a cult classic BBC programme – but the content has not aged well in some respects, as well as just being generally unfunny.
Hugh Dennis sticks out too much – and while there are concerns about diversity throughout Hollywood and other facets of popular culture, this cameo could have been given to someone contributing more to on-screen diversity.
The Influence Of Fleabag – And The Problem Of Snappy Dialogue
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (known for Fleabag) was brought on board No Time To Die, and it would be interesting to know what parts of the script she was responsible for.
There is a degree of Fleabag humour that give way to flashes of Roger Moore’s 007 – which may not be to everyone’s taste.
It works well in the sense of character development – 007 is more rounded out than being his former flashy, pretentious self.
The finale? Grand, poetic, done right, weepy, brilliant, humble. See this masterpiece ASAP.
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