Review: No Time to Die
The new, but COVID-19 delayed, James Bond flick, No Time to Die, is finally out on the big screen, but during a pandemic where a trip to movies could mean a death sentence, I’m not sure how I feel about that title. I guess once Billie Eilish wins a Grammy Award for the titular song you’re kind of stuck with it.
By the numbers, this is the 27th film in the James Bond franchise, the 25th from Eon Productions/United Artists, and the fifth (and final) time that Daniel Craig is playing the secret agent, 007. (Ed.: Never say never …) The new movie is the longest of all the Bond films, clocking in at 2 hours and 43 minutes, although, for the most part, it goes by pretty quickly.
No Time to Die begins as one of the best, most exciting and more original of the 007 movies, but at about the mid-way point it resorts to the more stereotypical Bond shenanigans, and the narrative eventually resorts to some pretty gimmicky plot twists… that I can’t get into, but that I’m not particularly pleased with. Let’s just say they are out of place for this hero.
That said, I mostly enjoyed this movie and it delivers on the stuff that 007 fans keep coming back for, like groovy gadgets and cool cars, femme fatales and deceitful dames, awesome action and vicious villains, bold boozing and gratuitous guns, and the macho man himself, Bond, James Bond.
Of particular amusement was a sequence where Craig’s co-star from 2019’s Knives Out, Ana de Armas, steals the show as Bond’s Cuban counter-part, Paloma. The cast also includes Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Jeffrey Wright as Bond’s pal, Felix, Léa Seydoux as Bond’s new love interest, Rami Malek as the bad guy, and Lashana Lynch as a competing Double-O agent (you might recognize her as Maria Rambeau from Captain Marvel.)
Fortunately, this movie is more fun than it is unforgivable (for the unmentionables I didn’t mention.) And if you are going to risk your life going to a movie theater this fall, No Time to Die is as good of a choice as any and a more ironic choice than most. Besides, if there is one thing we’ve learned from Bond it’s that living dangerously can be very gratifying. Right?