No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★★

consider me shocked.

not because cary joji fukunaga couldn’t handle a bond film, his filmography has lead me to believe that he’s not only a fantastic director but someone who truly knows how to make a story sing. no, i’m just a little shocked that he and his team managed to salvage the narrative mess that was spectre into something both thrilling, absolutely fun (an entire sequence in cuba with ana de armes had me smiling from secret earpiece to secret earpiece - it’s incredibly charming and dark all at once), and surprisingly it’s very emotional. 

entire storylines from spectre that i completely took for granted and might’ve been a little bored with achieve much greater depth with no time to die. i still find that previous film somewhat entertaining, but ultimately: a well-made belly flop, but i digress.

do, i think this is a better movie than skyfall? 
probably not. malek is actually alluring as the main villain here (the opening sequence inside a norwegian home belonging to a certain bad guy and a frozen lake is genuinely menacing and creepy) but i couldn’t quite wrap my head around his final plan. perhaps that was intentional. it’s a silly storyline born in the mind of q-anon supporter who’s hot and heavy whole warning his family members about 23andme. and yet, in this day and age of novel corona viruses it doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch either. malek is just missing something that bardem brought to the table that i found really magnetic. and maybe nothing stunned me quite like the shadow and light fight in shanghai. but, this is damn good. one action beat in particular in a fog filled forest is simply beautiful. 

lashana lynch as a rival 00agent is a stunning human to watch on screen but doesn’t have much of a character here, though adding anymore scenes to this story probably would’ve split it up into another film and i’m just glad they didn’t. at 163 minutes this film might test the patience of those who are not that invested in this bond universe.

oh, and this is most likely a franchise best for craig. he’s simply excellent here. regardless of whether you disliked the route this version of the 007 franchise took you cannot deny he simply owned this part and made it his own. i’m not sure i still ultimately care about craig and seydoux’s love affair but i wasn’t completely blasé about it either.

so, yeah. can’t say more without spoiling some plot details in this overlong james bond movie. in my (dead) eyes this is the perfect send off for this five film series of mr. bond. not a perfect throughline, but it’s risks and highlights truly set this bond apart from the rest. when it comes to big studio franchises this bond cinematic universe has been rocky but also an absolute class act.

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