“No Time To Die” Movie Review

Story posted October 18, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Jack Freiser

After 15 years of playing iconic character James Bond, Daniel Craig has finally retired the gun and martini. “No Time To Die” is the final James Bond film starring Craig. It concludes Bond’s five film arc beginning with “Casino Royale” in 2006.

This film fell victim to the COVID-19 release-date shift and ended up getting pushed back two-years, which made Bond fans eager to finish Craig’s saga. Luckily it is a very satisfying conclusion to Craig’s James Bond.

Although not as good as “Casino Royale” or “Skyfall,” “No Time To Die” is significantly better than its predecessors “Quantum of Solace” and “Spectre.”

Craig is an incredible James Bond. His portrayal of the iconic character is the most realistic and gritty of all the various iterations of the character.

Craig continues to play Bond perfectly. He has perfect emotional depth and also amazing action skills. Of the five films, this may be Craig’s best performance.

Craig delivers a very emotional performance. His Bond is filled with anger, sorrow and longing and Craig delivers all of these emotions perfectly. His performance of the character is very raw and passionate.

His iteration is flawed, which adds an interesting depth to the character. He makes mistakes and these mistakes make his journey even more intriguing.

This film is very emotional and feels like the end of an era. It perfectly concludes many storylines from characters introduced as far back as “Casino Royale.”

This does, however, mean that this movie is not for everyone. The film constantly references dead characters and past storylines making it integral that the audience watch the prior four films.

The movie sometimes relies too much on audience memory and expects the viewer to remember many tiny subplots from the other films. Die-hard fans of the character will feel rewarded by all the nods and mentions of beloved characters.

Daniel Craig isn’t the only person to deliver an incredible performance. In fact, pretty much every actor gives a great performance. The two standouts were Ana de Armas and Lashana Lynch.

de Armas is only in one scene yet she is a clear standout. Her 15-minute scene is filled with action, humor and intensity which makes the scene so exciting. Her character has a lot of heart and although she doesn’t get much development, she is absolutely incredible to watch.

Similar to her character, de Armas had three weeks of training before shooting, which isn’t a lot since she had a ton of incredible stunts throughout.

She is a star and with just 15 minutes of screen time she proves that she is one of the great action stars in Hollywood right now. Her movement is effortless and she brought a well needed life to the film.

Lynch does a fantastic job playing the new 007. She has the right amount of sass and confidence to be a compelling character. And although she has a tough exterior, it is apparent that she has a ton of heart and cares about the well-being of Bond. This is one of the first large roles Lynch has gotten and she makes the most out of the opportunity.

She is great in the action sequences she’s featured in, and also is able to deliver during the more serious scenes. Her acting is impressive and her fresh character brings a needed element to the film.

While de Armas and Lynch shined, Rami Malek was hiding in the shadows. Malek’s performance was not good at all. He was way too over the top for a character that was supposed to be sympathetic. Malek uses an accent that makes it almost impossible to hear all of his important monologues.

Although the makeup looks great, his acting did not deliver. He seems out of place in the movie, and was an underwhelming final villain for Bond to face off against.

Another outstanding aspect of this film was the action set pieces. There was a ton of action throughout the movie, and all of the scenes work incredibly well. The action is intense, intricate, and very impressive.

The choreography is sensational especially for Armas’ scene. Craig also does an amazing job with his stunts and action sequences. He may be old, but all the action is believable and he is still very entertaining to watch.

The writers did a great job with the more serious aspects of the script; however, the writing is a bit clunky and tonally off at times. There were four different writers, and at many times that is obvious.

The tone of this movie switches very rapidly, with random moments of humor during serious scenes. There are also many long emotional scenes which appear right before a light hearted scene. The quick switches do not work and come off as insincere.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is one of the writers, and although she is a brilliant writer and comedian, her famous tone does not land during most scenes. This is especially clear with Malek’s character. His villain is very intimidating, but then makes various decisions played for laughs which makes him less of a threat in the eyes of the audience.

Overall, this was a very satisfying conclusion to Craig’s Bond arc.

There are many incredible action-set pieces with nail-biting action, terrific new characters introduced and there are a ton of impactful, emotional moments. While the writing may lack at points and not all performances landed, this is a great movie and well worth the two-year delay.

This was a great film to end the Daniel Craig saga. Fans all over are excited to find out who the new Bond is, but it is clear to say that Craig will be missed.

Rating: 4/5

 

Jack Freiser is a second-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jef5614@psu.edu.