As far as movie franchises go, there is one thing about a 007 movie that remains constant. It is highly anticipated, hugely hyped and speculated upon until it finally reaches its’ intended audience. With consideration to the last 18 months of the Covid-19 Pandemic throughout the world, the arrival of No Time To Die in cinemas in the UK this week and in North America next week, has been a shining light at the end if a long dark tunnel, for movie goers anxious to return to cinemas. Think about this…after almost 2 years in the can..and after almost 60 years of film history…the 25TH James Bond Film has landed with everything you could ever ask for.
It may be fair to say that No Time To Die is possibly Daniel Craig’s best outing as 007 even eclipsing the 00 origin story of Casino Royale. What struck me most about it was the vignette like assembly of the various stages of the film, almost like a series of 10 min trailers, melded together in a sweeping montage over the course of 2 and a half hours. It didn’t seem that long sitting in the cinema..Tempis Fugid.
This film is an epic tribute to Craig’s final outing as 007 and it does not disappoint. The Hans Zimmer score seems to mesmerize the viewer like a snake charmer in complete control of the cobra in the basket. The film is visually stunning from beginning to end. The Teaser sequence in Matera gives you action, intirgue, suspense and foreboding of the joyride you’re about to embark on. The cold and barren landscape of Norway set the tone for a clinical, sterile villan’s lair reminiscent of Bond films from the 60’s.
The scenes seem to flow together seamlessly and somehow are jarring and disturbing at the same time. The scenes in Jamaica are visceral and real. You can almost smell the mangroves and feel the mosquitoes. It draws you in with a realism not seen in the past Craig films.
The action sequences are positively earth shattering and spellbinding. They start with a slow burn that leads to a climax you’re often not prepared for. Interwoven is a mysterious and intricate plot..driven by the stellar performance of the ensemble cast. Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes ,Ana De Armas, Rory Kinnear and Christoph Waltz all have wonderful screen time that allows the film to move at a natural pace and doesn’t always focus on James bond. It allows you time to reflect and imagine what might happen next.
The standout roles however must be awarded to a Rami Malek as the sinister yet elegant villain Safin and Lea Seydoux as Madelaine Swann. Safin’s disturbing calmness and ruthless intentions seem to permeate right through your skin. Seydoux brings a softness to the often rough edges of Bond and the story develops into a two-sided dynamic with love on one side and power on the other. It is absolutely fascinating to behold the dichotomy of both story arcs as they play out together. And best of all?? There are wonderful Bond Easter strewn throughout for the dyed in the wool Bond fans, with nods to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball and Doctor No.
It may be quite some time before the next Bond movie hits the big screen. Daniel Craig’s final outing is everything it’s supposed to be. It closes the door and opens the window. There’s just No Time To Wait…get to the theater…No Time To Die gets a 9/10 from James Bond Canada.