The last time seeing Daniel Craig helm the Bond moniker and a nice send-off for this era of Bond. Admittedly, the Craig portrayal is one of my least favorite of the Bond actors, mainly due to the eccentricities of the other Bond’s, but he’s suave with far more intensity than say Pierce Brosnan. That said, the self-serious tone of these films is a major turnoff for me personally, as I watch Bond films for the zany villains with overstuffed evil lairs and laser weapons. The Craig era leans into the more cerebral style of storytelling, and while it worked for most, it loses all the charm it once held. It’s the same reason I’ll defend Tim Burton Batman films from the likes of all you slimy hooligans who think perpetually angry Batman is the only way to do it. Bond doesn’t need to be embroiled in some crisis at all times, and even if his womanizer status is here, it takes a back seat to generic plotting. All it requires is for him to be the most competent and handsome mother fucker in the room at all times and Craig era *mostly* accomplishes that. But then it moves away from that and becomes Jason Bourne rather than James Bond.
As for No Time to Die, I was left with my jaw on the floor with the stunt team on this film. The commitment to practical stunts makes for such better action sequences and those moments are directed and acted flawlessly. It’s the plot and character details that lose me and feigning interest in the overloaded script. It also doesn’t help that the villain is such a forgettable aspect and despite an intriguing and menacing character design, his motivations and decisions are lackluster.
Thankfully, the film had talented people working in different departments making not one singular problem curtailing the experience. For one, the Billie Eilish theme is fantastic and easily the best of the Craig era. I love the opening credits with the gorgeous animation and the theme playing over the image. Furthermore, the Linus Sandgren cinematography is excellent, too. It’s not Roger Deakins great but approaches that level of technical mastery. Unfortunately, the editing isn’t as competent and bloated with unnecessary story.
Lastly, the breathtaking Ana De Armas is in the film for an incredibly short amount of time based on: A. How sensational she looks in that blue dress and, B. being one of the few intriguing characters in the script. She’s used in every piece of marketing material but we’re only afforded a handful of scenes.
★★½/ Out of 5★s (66)