Here we are, the final Daniel Craig James Bond film. What’s the verdict? Slow down, junior! You just can’t whip your dick out when you go to pick her up at her house for the first date. Let’s get re-establish a base theory: Every other Bond film is good for the last 25 years: Goldeneye, good. Tomorrow Never Dies, meh. The World is Not Enough, bad. Die Another Day, bad. Casino Royale, great. Quantum of Solace, bad. Skyfall, great. Spectre, awful. So the law (specifically Craig) dictates this one would be a good one. But to be honest, the previews didn’t excite me as they looked just standard and felt this would be mailed in for Craig’s final appearance. Mix that in with the rumors of this being a “woke” Bond film and I was really, really worried. So let’s start off with this: let’s give kudos to MGM studios. I can’t remember the last time a marketing department didn’t vomit the best lines/action scenes in a trailer. Because there is a TON of stuff that they kept under wraps, specifically characters and a couple story arcs. Usually, a studio would drop a MAJOR twist in the story (unless it was THE twist) in the trailer but thankfully, not in this case. Bond is retired and of course, gets roped back in to help stop a terrorist from releasing a targeted biochemical weapon. We’ve seen this before how many times but not in this fashion. Again, no spoilers.
First off, this has to be the most layered Bond film ever. There is a TON (in a good way) of character relationship and intertwining of past story lines that make you say, “oh shit!” Usually, we get the, “bad guy/girl gets a hold of a weapon and Bond has sex with a few ladies that may or may not help in stopping said terrorist while drinking a martini/Heineken and spouting off a few pithy quips.” We get that in this installment but again, they go much deeper with the story and it WORKS. And the opening action scene that leads into the film theme song, a Bond staple. No Time to Die has the longest opening action sequence of any Bond film and holy shit, it’s solid. You also get a major reveal in the first 5-10 minutes so just like a porno, you’re off the the races without the bullshit “can you help me get my titty out of the faucet?” Just mainlined action right to your neural synapses.
Rami Mallek (Freddie Mercury without the awful dentures) plays a solid villain. Not as great as Skyfall and Casino Royale’s villains but solid nonetheless. He’s the son of a murdered father who seeks revenge but this played out angle played great in this film. And wow, do they make some BALLSY choices in this film. The good news: those choices worked for me. The action is fantastic and maintains at a high pace throughout. But here’s a problem I had which may cause you to say, “Dude, that’s EVERY Bond film.” In this film, Bond has a bomb blow up 3 feet in front of him. And he’s dirtied up but not dead. Later on, he has a bunch of grenades dropped down a stairwell less than an arms length away from him. Minor damage. The aim of the bad guys in this film is worse than any Storm Trooper or soldier in Commando. I know, suspend disbelief but after awhile, it really smashes you in the face.
Let’s address the woke rumor now. There’s a scene where Bond is changing into a tux and Ana De Armas (Knives Out and former Ben Affleck fuck buddy) is transfixed with Bond as she’s a brand new agent. He asks her to turn around while he changes. People are saying, “old James Bond would’ve banged her and/or dropped a cutesy poo line, this is bullshit.” I would’ve agreed with you but when you see this in the context of the scene (they’re going to an enemy gathering so time is of the essence) and as the great Short Round from Temple of Doom would’ve said, “No time for love!” Other than that, no woke stuff here that I picked up on.
Obviously, they begin to integrate the new 007 throughout the film (remember, Bond retired) and the verdict is she’s….fine. She has some decent action scenes, doesn’t try too hard, and plays it well. Will I go see a Bond movie starring her? I don’t know, I’ll need to see a trailer or 2. But it’s going to take a LOT for me to make the shift from an iconic franchise character over 60 years old.
This film is LONG for a Bond film, 2 hrs and 40 minutes. It does drag a bit at the end, they could’ve shaved 10-15 minutes off this puppy. But the action and storyline make this film MOVE for the first 2 hrs plus, really top notch storyline and twists. I just saw a review that said this film is too much James Bond. Well you dumb dildo, it’s a JAMES BOND FILM. Did this queefy bag of wind see an Indiana Jones film and said, “you know…too much Indy for my taste, thumbs down.” Here’s why you should never stop hating these blowhard critics. And it’s Craig’s last film, for Chrissakes! OF COURSE HE’S GOING TO GET MORE SCREENTIME THAN ANYONE ELSE. And Craig brings it in the action department as well as sides you rarely saw out of his Bond: pathos, attachment, and regret. And this film gets you with a ton of different emotions but the ones that hit me the hardest: awe for what a great job Craig did as Bond and sadness as this is the end of his Bond. NTTD FIRMLY entrenches Craig as the 2nd best Bond of all time, Connery obviously #1. This film is amazing and you better see it before the key spoilers get into the ether. This ranks in my top 10 Bond films, list below:
Top 10 Bond films for KG (in no order)
- 1. Thunderball
- 2. Dr. No
- 3. Goldfinger
- 4. Casino Royale
- 5. Skyfall
- 6. No Time to Die
- 7. Goldeneye
- 8. From Russia with Love
- 9. The Man with the Golden Gun
- 10. Her Majesty’s Secret Service