James Bond is one of the most iconic character in cinema history and while he was always portrayed by different actors he always stayed the coolest, most favorite secret agent with a license to kill.
Over the last years there have been many successful and rather disappointing entries in the franchise. And while I am not a fan of Daniel Craig’s Bond he did portray the character rather well. The new and innovative about those Craig Bond movies is, that they are all connected and every foe is part of a bigger conspiracy. The last movie finally introduced us to the man behind the menace, Ernst Stravo Blofeld. A villain Bond fans have known for many decades. For those who don’t remember James captures Blofeld in the end of Spectre and he is imprisoned. So “No time to Die” begins with Bond in retirement living in Italy with Madeleine Swan. Bond is haunted by his demons and to let go of the past he visits the grave of Vesper (played by Eva Green in “Casino Royal). As he pays his respects, the grave explodes and a gunfight and car chase ensues.
After escaping Bond flees to Cuba where he meets his old pal Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright). Leiter tells Bond about a new super weapon and after initial hesitation James agrees to help. This is where the actual story starts.
“No time to Die” has a difficult feat. It has to incorporate the characters we know with a new story and at the same time finish what it build up to into the previous entries to give the viewers a satisfying conclusion to this chapter of the character. Alas, it struggles to achieve most of these points.
The movies set-up takes about an hour of the three hour runtime and establishes very little of the story and the villain Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) is one of the worst of the recent years. Malek is a great actor but he doesn’t seem to really know hat to do with the role here. Furthermore there are so many actors wasted in the movie. Ana de Armas is brilliant her role but only stays wit his for about ten minutes and Christoph Waltz has the same problem. The whole movie feels a little shambolic at times, trying to tie up loose ends and still establish enough momentum to keep going with the weak plot.
For all the things going wrong I can at least say that Craig gives his best performance as Bond yet. It feels a little like old time with some recycled quotes and witty new ones that made the Bond character so compelling.
There are very many great locations and the drone shots of Italian and English country sites are beautiful. The score holds up but the thing that will most likely split audience is the movie’s ending.
I am not going to give anything away but for all the movies flaws the ending completes the story in a majestic fashion.
Now, Craig had his ups and downs as Bond and I was nota fan of the weak Bond in Skyfall and him falling love but Craig delivers in this last entry.
We don’t know who the the next Bond will be but all I can hope for is that we finally get a gentleman again, like it was the case with Pierce Brosnan’s Bond.
If you are a fan of the franchise and have see the previous Craig movies, you must go and see this one, if not for the story then just to see how this era of Bond ends.