No Time To Die – Movie review!

Released on the 30th September 2021.

The newest and longest James Bond movie has finally arrived into UK cinemas.

I am a big James Bond fan, and have been since I was a young child. I know every film inside out. After Spectre I was excited to see Daniel Craig in his last James Bond movie. What can I say? The last 5 movies of his have been enjoyable. Starting strong with unforgettable Casino Royale, before moving onto Quantum of Solace, then Skyfall, to Spectre before reaching No time to die.

Where to start. The runtime is mega, making this is the longest Bond movie at 2:43. Originally, George Lazenby starred in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which until Casino Royale was the longest running at 2:22. Why do I need to mention George’s Bond movie? Well…

No Time To Die tips its hat at Lazenby’s Bond movie. We get to here that song, all the time in the world, and certain plot points are rather similar, although it has been twisted. I also found references to other Bond movies. I guess this was how it used to be in the previous films, but more so in this and I put it down to being Craigs last movie, in which they wanted nostalgia to triumph over story. There is an annoying point to get across early on, I did feel as if there was a lot of advertising in this movie, and at one point I felt like the movie was nothing but an advertisement. It saddened me, Bond was never about product placement or trying to sell something. It was about a secret agent. This does detract from the movie for me, and I encourage the next director or film crew to forget about it… Bond has made enough dollar that you don’t need product placement.

Another huge familiarity is to the first ever James Bond movie. Yes. Dr No (1962) is elegantly seen in the new plot and movie. As you recall, Dr No in the original first ever Bond was a nuclear scientist working for Spectre. I see big similarities between Dr No and new and improve villain, played extremely well by Rami Malek, enemy Safin. Even though Blofeld is back in this movie, he is not actually in it very much. To get this out there, he and Safin are not working together. I want to point that out, so you don’t go thinking the new world domination goal is spectre… no, they’re just in the background and to be honest, aren’t really serving much of a purpose. Bond finds himself in Cuba, in a busy club full of spectre agents… he does not get killed even when Blofeld exposes him… at this point it’s safe to say spectre posed absolutely no threat whatsoever in the movie. But that particular scene, in the rich, elite club, does highlight some very disturbing things:

  • Some guests wear some variety of mask – almost venetian
  • Some guests wear animal masks, now that is extremely unnecessary in a Bond movie. Who ever thought that a good idea should think long and hard about why they would need to do that.
  • The entire scene stinks of something, and it doesn’t smell like Spectre.
  • It detracts entirely from the movie, and yet adds absolutely nothing of value

Now, without trying to spoil anything, let’s move onto the good points. There are some strong scenes, and the villain is one of the more frightening in a Bond movie. He’s into some strange hobbies, like keeping and maintaining particular types of plants. He wants to kill everyone on the planet.

Gadgets are minimal again which is something that has let the last 5 movies down. Gadgets were and should be a big part of a spy movie, especially something this recognised. I think bringing James Bond back from the dead – retirement – was a good way to start the story. This movie did have a more well developed storyline and it actually allowed us to see things through.

We get the return of familiar faces and Felix Lighter is finally back. We also have some great action scenes and amazing set design and explosions. Bond suffers a lot at the hands of explosions in this movie and I wonder whether the stunt man made it. Going back to the Cuba scenes, we get introduced to the famous face of black woman Lashana Lynch. She will divide fans, because of what the writers have done around her character. But, she is a good ally and edition and there is no talk of her taking over which is what divided fans after seeing the trailer and listening to interviews prior to the movies release. Daniel Craig is also getting old, and it’s time he moved on, so bringing some young women in was essential. Talking women, this is the only Bond film I think ever where he doesn’t sleep with more than 1 woman… he’s in love with Madeleine Swann (played well by Lea Seydoux, French actress), daughter of former Quantum of Solace and Spectre agent Mr. White (originally in Casino Royale). This is an important point in the movie. Her ties with Spectre are somewhat of a brick in the head for Bond!

I can’t say much other than watching in IMAX is how it is supposed to be viewed. Whatever. Watch it how you want. I’m upset and disappointed by the ending of the movie. I could forget and put aside some of the other extremely questionable writing decisions, but the ending is pretty unforgivable and it has reduced the movie by 1 star. I still think the movie is a good addition and worth watching, and it did bring back some of that witty humour we’ve been missing for years, and vodka martinis and fight scenes. Bond is all over the globe again, great!

No Time To Die – no time to forget that movie. Perhaps we will see nothing of Bond again.

Overall rating: comprised multiple ratings:

Action and adventure –

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Acting and characters –

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bond theme –

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Story and development –

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ending –

Rating: 3 out of 5.

7 thoughts on “No Time To Die – Movie review!

  1. A great review. I want to see this movie, and now I’m even more intrigued. So glad they brought Felix back, as he’s been missing for some time. I think he was last seen in Licence to Kill, looking very cheerful after his wife had been murdered and he had lost a leg…. Looking forward to reading more of your reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

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