No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★½

Solid closer to the Daniel Craig era of James Bond. Loved all the action sequences and everything in Havana (Ana de Armas is terrific! And her dress!) Didn't love much else. Cary Joji Fukunaga's direction is visually uninspired whenever the scene calls for people talking to each other in a room which is too bad because the action shots are much more dynamic and fun.

The story gets too obsessed with the Craig-Bond mythology to be truly enjoyable. Rami Malek is saddled with a blandly written villain, but he doesn't really do anything with the role either. It's the workmanlike Hollywood scriptwriting that keeps everything moving along; the long runtime is fairly breezy until the last 45 minutes or so.

My wishlist for the next Bond era: the films existing as more standalone pieces (probably not happening given the current obsession with serialized franchise building) and a lighter tone (also probably not happening)

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