After years of rewrites, stalling and delays, Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond has arrived.
No Time To Die follows Bond (obviously) on one final mission after being forced out of a self-imposed retirement in Jamaica. An old friend in the CIA asks him for help, which sends Bond on a rescue mission that pits him against a powerfully armed foe.
Cary Joji Fukunaga, of True Detective fame, brings a clear and confident sense of direction for the film, doing well to appease fans of the spy-thriller genre.
No Time To Die is let down considerably by its lack of warrant. After the disappointment of the previous film, Spectre (which arguably gave Bond a better send-off than this film), No Time To Die struggles to give the audience a reason this film was made.
Most of the returning cast, including Craig, seem to lack passion for the project and are sleepwalking their way through the various spy jargon and action scenes. It once again wastes the brilliant talents of Naomie Harris.
Rami Malek, as Lyutsifer Safin, fails to reach the heights of Craig’s previous villains, with Mads Mikkelsen and Javier Bardem having set the bar too high.
Malek, who spouted ridiculous dialogue while looking uninterested throughout, might have fared better as a more humour-based character, given his comedic timing and slightly eccentric appearance. He just doesn’t bring the menacing gravitas previously seen in Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre and Bardem’s Silva, who both also had the luxury of much more screen time.
The film is undeniably stylish, but while Fukunaga’s direction and Linus Sandgren’s impeccable cinematography is enjoyable to look at, it fails to be exciting and thrilling. Even Hans Zimmer’s solid score can’t inject any life into the set pieces.
One should also mention the shocking sound mixing during the first half of the film, where music and sound design cloud many lines of dialogue. The Cuba sequence is the most obvious offender, with the characters often communicating through an earpiece which is muddled during the firefight, causing an alarming amount of the dialogue to be incomprehensible.
Aside from the various plot holes and story-related questions the film creates, No Time To Die is a lacklustre and lifeless action film that gives Daniel Craig a final outing that only proves the necessity for an update to the Bond franchise.