Film: No Time To Die (12A)
- Credit: Nicola Dove
The ever retreating release date of Craig's final Bond is symptomatic of his time in the role. His fifteen years as 007 is longer than Connery or Moore, yet he's only managed one more film than Piers Brosnan did in half the time.
He started with the begin again Casino Royale, his Bond new to the Double O section. Now he's retired from it. Again.
It's been a hit and miss period and the films were always worse when they were sequels. Previous low point Quantum of Solace was a direct follow up to Casino and this picks up from Spectre with Bond on holiday with the apparent love of his life, pouty Madeleine (Seydoux.)
Ah but there are secrets between them, trust issues, so Bond is sent off to visit the grave of Vespa Lynd, an odd move that reminds viewers how much more interesting a Bond girl Eva Green was.
Before the film reviewers were asked to avoid spoilers, but in the coming days I imagine there will be much furore and debate about the choices that have been made and I just hope it doesn't get overlooked that it is just not a very good Bond film.
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The action sequences are unremarkable, the humour falls flat (so much for Phoebe Waller Bridge's script polish), it's too damn long and they've put a kid in it. Supposedly the greatest film composer of the 21st century and Christopher Nolan's right arm Hans Zimmer composed the music score, but there's little evidence of it. The only memorable music is taken from John Barry's On Her Majesty's Secret Service score, which are a kind of a spoiler.
As we all know Lashana Lynch is the new 007 and supposedly in the original scri
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pt there was a nice scene where M calls Moneypenny to send in 007 and she comes through the door. Now they have her seek out Bond and taunt him with it, which makes her character look a bit petty. Ana De Armas is a good addition as a more traditional Bond girl but she only gets one sequence because the film wants to get back to Madame Pouty. The air went out of Spectre as soon as she turned up and once again here she's the wet blanket, spoiling our fun.
I like the new gang that's grown around him – Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw but this Bond has become a bit of a drag. As the gaps between films got ever longer it seems that they've been overthinking it. Perhaps it was a sense of dissatisfaction with Spectre that persuaded Craig to come back for one last go. 2/5 stars.
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Starring Daniel Craig, Ana De Armas, Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, Lashana Lynch and Lea Seydoux. Running time: 163 mins.