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No Time to Die (2021)

If you saw my Jaws mug post yesterday you’ll know I spent a couple of hours of my afternoon watching Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond in:

No Time to Die (2021)

I did pretty well avoiding spoilers with this film. Although I’m not a huge Bond fan like some, I wouldn’t have wanted to know anything about it before watching it for myself. That said, based on a few things I did hear, I had an idea about where the film was headed.

There may be some mild spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen this movie you might want to come back when you have.

The film stars Daniel Craig (Knives Out), Léa Seydoux (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) and Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List) among others.

This is what it’s about according to the internet:

James Bond is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica after leaving active service. However, his peace is short-lived as his old CIA friend, Felix Leiter, shows up and asks for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond on the trail of a mysterious villain who's armed with a dangerous new technology.

As I mentioned above I’m not a big Bond fan. That’s not to say I don’t like the films, they’re all pretty entertaining but I can usually just take or leave them. Other than Live and Let Die (1973) I don’t think I could tell you what any of the villains were trying to achieve, or recall any specific scenes short of the odd car/ski chase, tame sex scene or narrow escape from death scenario. They all just kind of blend into one for me.

Having said that, this one and Skyfall stand out to me as being something a bit different.

I really enjoyed this movie. I know everyone has their favourite Bond just like a lot of us have our favourite Batman. I also know that Daniel Craig gets a lot of hate for his “dull” portrayal of the character and personally I don’t get it. I think he’s really good.

What I like about his films is that they feel slightly more realistic. Sure he’s still got all the gadgets and always manages to foil the dastardly villain’s fiendish plan (whatever it may be), but he does it in a more rugged and gritty manner. He also gets roughed up himself a fair bit in the process which is refreshing to see.

This latest instalment has a good story and an interesting new villain who has a “reasonable” and personal motive for his plan. It references and revisits old characters from some of the previous films which ties them all together nicely I thought.

As you’d expect from a Bond film it has some excellent action scenes (my favourite being the car chase to the woods and everything that happens there) and some superb cinematography with some beautiful locations chosen. The opening scene of Rami Malec’s character, Safin walking through the snow towards an isolated house grabbed my attention right from the start.

The music by Hans Zimmer is possibly my favourite of any Bond film to date. Although I’m not a huge fan of Billie Eilish, the film uses an instrumental theme of her song “No Time to Die” throughout the movie and it’s brilliant! This is also done with Louis Armstrong’s timeless classic, “We Have All the Time in the World” which is not only one of my all time favourite songs, but kind of cool considering it was also used in another Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).

Performance-wise I couldn’t really fault it. Rami Malec plays the movie’s villain well and it was good to see the brilliant Christoph Waltz back as Blofeld.

The addition of Lashana Lynch’s character Nomi as the new 007 proved for some entertaining moments between her and Daniel Craig, but the stand out for me was the gorgeous Léa Seydoux who I thought was utterly convincing, particularly during her emotional scenes.

All in all this was an enjoyable watch and I’m not ashamed to admit that I felt quite emotional at the end.

It’ll be interesting to see where they take the franchise next. Personally I’ve enjoyed watching Daniel Craig play Bond. Each actor has done their own thing with the character and for me, Craig’s films are slightly more up my street than any of the others in terms of gritty realism. I’ll miss him in the role but I’m keen to see who they’ll choose to replace him and how they’ll go about it taking into account the events of this film.

Still here? Thanks for sticking with it. Seen it? Let me know your thoughts.


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