No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★★½

Beautiful.
 
Not the first word that comes to mind when I think of Daniel Craig’s 007 films.
 
Yes, the word can be used for Bond’s tailored suits and impressive cars; for the list of ethereal women of the franchise; for the iconic opening sequences and theme songs, and that one time Roger Deakins helped lead the charge.
 
But Cary Joji Fukunaga injects a kind of life I never expected to see in the universe of our British secret agent.
 
You thought you saw a blockbuster in Skyfall and Spectre? It’s cranked to new heights here. What’s astounding is while it gets exhilarating and loud and violent, it all remains artful; Fukunaga’s masterful balancing act caters to both our popcorn munching, action-hungry selves, and the side of us that craves the beautiful and meticulously planned.
 
The colours and music tell a story for each setting; the composition of every scene is so cleverly mapped out, generously feeding your awestruck gaze and sending tingles to different corners of your brain. 
 
Above all: the story is beautiful.
 
Not the good guy tries to stop bad guy before time runs out part.
 
That’s just a side dish to the stories and themes surrounding it now; themes of forgiveness, letting go, trying to keep up with a world that’s moved on without you.
 
And love.
 
There’s so much love intertwined in the film and its number of narratives. It surprised me, but it shouldn’t—this is the end, isn’t it?

So don’t hold your breath and count to ten for No Time to Die to let up; it’s a sprint from the get-go, and everyone—in front of and behind the camera—very clearly gives it their all.
 
Perfect finale, perfect sendoff.
 
You’ve spoiled us rotten the past few years, Mr. Craig and crew. Thank you.

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