No Time To Die
    review by Bobby Blakey

The James Bond franchise is one that has done something that no other film series has been able to do and stay relevant and successful while constantly changing up the lead star. In 2006 Daniel Craig took on the famed spy in Casino Royale to much success. Now after three sequels, Quantum of Solace, Spectre and Skyfall the final chapter in the Craig Bond arc is here with No Time Do Tie co-starring Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Rory Kinnear, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, Billy Magnussenand and Ralph Fiennes as "M". Will this final chapter deliver on Craig’s Bond legacy or will it fail to complete its mission?

 

No Time To Die follows Bond who has left active service. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology. I love all things Bond and have especially loved this era of the franchise so sad to see it coming to an end, but was crossing my fingers that it was going to go out strong. Thankfully despite a few issues it managed to do just that and bring it all to a perfect end.

 

This is an excellent entry into the series offering up one of the better as a whole, but does run a bit too long at two hours and forty three minutes. The middle section could have been trimmed down a bit and there are some elements that could have been left out to tighten it up because the pacing is pretty slow at times, but never boring. Outside of this my only real issue comes in the form of how little come characters are utilized because they are so good.

 

Craig dives right back into the role that he has effortlessly embodied all these years despite constantly saying he was leaving. This is in fact his final outing with a firm ending to the long running story arc which is yet another reason I loved this one so much. Each film in the series has not only led to a bigger story, but constantly harkens back to the other moments and 

 

characters with this one being no different. There are elements with the one liners and gadgets that felt more like the older Bond films that made for some fun additions.

The rest of the cast are great with Malek the most essentric of the villains to date which was surprising given Javier Bardem’s performance in Skyfall. To my surprise Malek is under used, but by design to keep his time on screen mean something and he is pretty creepy. The biggest treat for me was the always great Ana de Armas who steals the show with an all too brief appearance, but one that offers some laughs and showcases her skills to be an action star.

 

The real depth and strength to this movie is Craig and Seydoux rekindling some of their chemistry from the previous film. The new developments and direction gives them time to dive more into their true history and direction making more of an overall impact. The usual end of the world aspect is here with it being a virus, which comes off even more creepy given the pandemic, but could have been a bit generic had they not offered up Bond more personal stakes and of course all the build up from previous films.

 

As previously mention there is a lot of down time here, but have no fear there is still plenty of action and it is as good as ever. The opening action sequence is badass offering up car chases, gun fights and more. The film is capped off with more of the vintage well executed action complete with a great use of the iconic Bond gun shooting you see in the opening credits of all the films.

 

Sad to see this is the end of the Craig era, but happy with the way it played out and how they wrapped things up. It will be interesting to see who and where they take the franchise next, but there is not denying they have big shoes to fill.

 

 In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including a retrospect of the entire Bond franchise as well as numerous featurettes that take you behind bringing this final chapter of the Craig era Bond to life. Grab your copy of No Time To Die when it hits 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on December 21st from Universal and MGM.

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