No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★★

Like the rest of the Craig era of Bond there are two stories that the filmmakers try to marry to each other: the story of Bond the person, and the story of Bond the spy. As far as the former goes, No Time to Die is probably the most effective. It's clear that the filmmakers are far more focused on who Craig's bond is and could be than it is on the standard world-threatening plot. As such, we get an emotional and character focused journey which forces Bond to face his past and his future.

The character focus is especially good because the spy plot of this film is on the weaker side. It's not bad per-se, it's just somewhat underdeveloped, serving mostly as a macguffin to allow for the character and action based scenes.

Cary Joji Fukunaga is mostly to thank for this film's success. The action is some of the best of the entire series. Fukunaga allows the action scenes to have some breathing room, and they all feel like they are pushing the story forward. There is an intensity to them that has been missing since Casino Royale, and Linus Sandgren's cinematography keeps them clear and visually interesting. Fukunaga's focus on Bond's emotions also comes through. This film is the fullest Bond has felt as a character, and the directing wisely makes that the focus more than the silly end of the world plot.

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