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[Movie] No Time to Die

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James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

Saw this in IMAX on Saturday with kuhla.  It felt a bit odd and poetic that this was one of the first films that was heavily delayed due to the pandemic, and nearly 2 years later, it was the first film I saw in theaters since the pandemic started. 
The IMAX experience was solid, the audio was very well done, including some cool positional audio tricks and at least one major sequence filmed in full 4:3 aspect ratio - it was also loud as fuck, the gunshots actually sounded like gunshots, but then again, I haven't been in a theater in... quite some time. 

The movie itself is good, I'd even say great.  They do a very strong job of not only dealing with this being Daniel Craig's last film, but tying together almost all Daniel Craig bond films (at least Spectre) into this film, without it feeling overly burdensome.  The action sequences are solid, a mix of traditional James Bond with gadgets, cool cars and chase sequences; another sequence that was borderline John Wick and another that showed more of Bond's resourcefulness and tactics.  The villain's plot is the weakest part of the story - Rami Malek does a fine job as an almost understated villain, but his motivation is practically mustache twirlingly evil and he almost feels out of place in the final act.  There are other plot points but it devolves into spoilers.  The visuals are strong, with a couple very cool scenes that live up to the bond quality level.  I'd certainly recommend watching the film, if you feel comfortable going to the theaters, it's certainly worth watching on the big screen or IMAX if it's available. 


So they give Craig's bond a truly final sendoff, when he dies at the end of the film - I personally am both surprised and impressed they were willing to have the film end on a such a melancholic note, I was getting Rogue One flashbacks (which is high praise).  I guess some people were a bit mad that they made Nomi the new 007, but it's flat out addressed in the film, with Bond himself quipping about how "it's just a number."  I didn't find any issue with the idea of another agent using the 007 moniker.  I'd even like to see more references to other 00 agents similar to Sean Bean playing 006 in Goldeneye.  I do admit I'd prefer there to be a new James Bond when they eventually decide to make another film instead of having Nomi take over the role (I doubt they're going to do that).  But I would be totally open to a film about another 00 agent played by someone other than bond, or potentially having a spinoff series with bond making only brief cameos.  That being said, I'd prefer for writers/directors to come up with more original material than simply gender swapping bond - see Atomic Blonde as a great original example on a female led spy movie.
I also like the Billie Eilish theme, it's much slower and more haunting than some of the other more powerful bond themes, but it fits the film and they managed to work in a refrain from the song into some of the more emotional beats of the film. 
There's a sort of callback/reference to On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the twist being instead of Bond's wife who dies, he sacrifices himself to save his girlfriend and daughter - I actually liked that as a sort of callback and unique take on it. 

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I felt that this was good, maybe even great, for a James Bond film.

There were plenty of things to groan at but they are all parts of the usual James Bond style-action catalog and you should already be expecting that going into it. Beautiful women. One-liner quotes. Gun fights that seem a little silly. Flashy cars. Big stunts. Gorgeous scenery.

For the Daniel Craig series of Bonds films I actually rank this one right behind Casino Royale (which I and many other people seemingly consider the best one). There was just a bit more "heart" in this movie as they tried to give Bond just a little more motivation than "save the world/UK/western civilization". I also felt like they gave Daniel Craig a little more room to act, more than the usual James Bond, and he pulled it off because he is a capable actor.

If you like James Bond at all I think this is easy to recommend.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/25/2021 at 3:36 PM, Jedi2155 said:

I just realized I have not watched a single Daniel Craig James Bond. Then again plain action/drama films aren't my particular cup of tea unless someone else pushes me to them.

I think Casino Royale received universal praise, most people still rank it the best Danial Craig Bond film.  I'd give that a try even if you're not particularly interested in James Bond. 

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