As I’m sure you all know, Bond is back and, again as I’m sure you all know, it is Daniel Craig’s final hurrah as the licence to kill 007 main man.
In many ways, handing James Bond over to an American director, Cary Joji Fukunaga (“True Detective (TV)”, “Beasts of No Nation”), was probably an inspired move.
Especially as Fukunaga also worked on the screenplay, alongside long-time Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Killing Eve (TV)”, “Fleabag (TV )”) also famously adding to it.
What they’ve given us is almost a hark back to the Bond of yore. No Time To Die is full of gadgets, classic Aston Martin’s, classic Martini’s, dispatched henchmen, with one who takes a bit more to kill, scarred bad-guy, a love interest, a race against time and so much more.
There’s gun battles, explosions, car chases, motorbike chases, even a few cheesy one-liners, it’s all the stuff that you feel like someone else might have been put-off from putting in the movie, given all the question marks floating around about the franchise these days.
But, I’m beside myself with glee that Fukunaga, Purvis, Wade and Waller-Bridge kept them all in. No Time To Die is truly a delight to watch. Don’t be put-off by the long running time, you’ll barely notice it, the movie zips by at a pace and you’ve seen quite a few of the scenes from the copious amounts of clips that have been released owing to the delay.
What I’m not so pleased about is Fukunaga’s choice of going for hand-held, close-up shots for some of the fight scenes. It’s disappointing and, as per, you miss a lot of what’s occurring, but otherwise he does well. The stunts are magnificent and scenery beautiful.
The story is one of a megalomaniac villain, Lyutsifer Safin, the excellent Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Mr. Robot (TV)”), who steals a nanobot weapon that will kill only those whose DNA it’s been programmed to target. Otherwise it will move from host-to-host until it finds its prey.
Spectre are involved and so we get to see Blofeld, Christoph Waltz (“Alita: Battle Angel”, “Downsizing”), again. But these nanobots haven’t been developed by some made up country, or the Russians, things happened a little closer to home this time round.
As for the love interest for Mr. Bond well Lea Seydoux is back after her exploits in Spectre and she holds more than a love interest for the story.
We also meet Nomi, Lashana Lynch (“Captain Marvel”, “Bulletproof (TV)”), the new 007 since Bond’s retirement. There’s some nice back and forth between the two, work-placed banter if you will.
Alongside there’s the usual gang: M, Ralph Fiennes (“The LEGO Movie 2”, “Holmes & Watson”), Q, Ben Whishaw (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”, “Paddington 2”), Moneypenny, Naomie Harris (“Rampage”, “Moonlight”), Tanner, Rory Kinnear (“Years and Years (TV)”, “The Imitation Game”), even Felix Leiter, Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld (TV )”, “Green Eggs and Ham (TV)”).
Bond and co must race from country to country to find their men, stop the main man and do it all before the world ends. It’s classic stuff but, you know what they say: if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.
1st October 2021
Cary Joji Fukunaga
THE QUICK SELL
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.
CAST & CREW
Ben Whishaw, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Christoph Waltz, Daniel Craig, Jeffrey Wright, Lashana Lynch, Léa Seydoux, Naomie Harris, Neal Purvis, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ralph Fiennes, Rami Malek, Robert Wade, Rory Kinnear