No Time To Die Review: Latest Chapter in Iconic Series comes to A Memorable End!
When it comes to movie franchises, none have endured more than that of James Bond. The stories by Ian Fleming transcended the realm of literature and have been a major player in pop culture particularly in world of cinema as with over 24 movies to its name. In 2006 the series went into a new direction with Casino Royale. The movie served as a reboot and centered on Bond’s start as a 00 agent; and it was a much-needed restart as, in my opinion, Casino Royale is among the best in the franchise. Since then, Bond has been several adventures each with their own sense of excitement. However, all good things must come to an end and after much of debate this chapter in 007 finally culminates in the 25th installment: No Time to Die.
The new movie deals with James (Daniel Craig) who comes out of retirement to stop the mysterious Safin (Rami Malek) who, along with having a connection to his beloved Madeline (Lea Seydoux), plans to bring the world to its knees with a deadly weapon. The new movie is directed by Cary Joji Fukanaga who takes the helm from Sam Mendes-who directed the previous two entries. Like many movies this year, No Time to Die suffered from many delays as the movie was intended to hit theaters last spring only to jump to two different seasons until finally making its way to theaters this fall. The big question going into this movie was weather or not No Time to Die would serve as a fitting end for the James Bond we come to know for over a decade; and the answer was a resounding yes.
One of the strongest elements in these past Bond films has been the storytelling and how each film connects in some fashion. So, trying to conclude a decade long story would be no easy feat, but No Time to Die did its best. The biggest issue this plot had was balancing Bond’s story with the overall conflict. The conflict itself was investing but lacked a connection with other plotlines. However, when it came Bond’s arc the plot was a stellar tale by bringing several elements to a complete circle. Despite these conflicting concepts, the plot was undoubtedly exciting as its structure was thrilling from beginning to end; and along with a few surprises, the plot to No Time to Die was a fitting tale for the 007 series.
Since taking up the role in Casino Royale, Daniel Craig certainly made an impression as Bond. Between his engaging sense of humanity and Craig’s natural charisma, the latest Bond can consider him among the best; and it was no different in this latest installment. This movie puts the final touches to James’ development and Craig certainly brings his A game in his last film; and it was enough, in my opinion, to solidify Craig as arguably the best actor to don the 007 title. Along with Bond was a strong supporting cast that proved to be as vital as the lead character. The likes of Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), Q (Ben Whishaw) and M (Ralph Fiennes) again were enjoyable while Madeline received some decent development. When it came to new cast members, characters like Nomi (Lashana Lynch) and Paloma (Ana de Armas) were surprising additions bringing much more to movie than I expected. However, a Bond film is only as good as its villains and in this case Safin did alright. The character had a mystique to him, and Malek provided a fine performance, but his presence was limited which hurt his impact on the overall film. Along with appearances from Felix Lighter (Jeffery Wright) and Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) the cast had plenty of character and proved to be a strong ensemble to complete this mission.
It would not be a James Bond film without a little action. Unlike some of its predecessors, No Time to Die was not as action packed as you would expect-but in this case, it was quality over quantity. The action was as exciting as it has ever been with each sequence standing out in their own way. One sequence during in the film’s climax was particularly impressive as it captured the aspects and tropes of the series in a unique manner. Aiding in the action was the cinematography and camerawork which gave the film keen look and brought much nuance to the action scenes. Along with the exhilarating action and look was the music by acclaimed composer Hans Zimmer. While the soundtrack featured Zimmer’s signature style, there was no denying that this score was fitting for 007 with its bombastic compositions feeling right at home with the rest of the action series.
No Time to Die was much a satisfying conclusion as it was a homage to the series. While some its storytelling could have been stronger, it made up for its issues with its captivating structure. Along with being an exciting experience, the movie featured a stellar cast and cunning action that was fitting for its respected series. There is no telling when we will see Bond again and in what form, but regardless No Time to Die brought this chapter to a fitting end by being not just one of the strongest films in the franchise but one of the best films of the year.