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Reviews for No Time to Die ( 2021 )

Over-extended, mopey chad (IMDB: 5)

On: 1/21/2022 12:00:00 AM By: Red-Barracuda
When I go to see a Bond movie I'm looking for lush music, exotic locations, evil geniuses, fast cars and/or boats and a few gadgets that aren't invisible cars. I want Bond to be swedging with villains and interacting with hot babes on a regular basis. What I don't want is Bond rabbiting on about his feelings for nearly three hours. Now, you may think I am a philistine who can't appreciate believable drama with my thrills. But the thing is that all this naval gazing which is supposed to make the character so 'real' is still co-existing with totally unrealistic action and sci-fi super-weapons. It's a case of wanting your cake and eating it too. Over-the-top action and plots don't combine at all well with constant whining. The counter argument would be if when Ken Loach made his kitchen sink drama 'Up the Junction' he had decided to include exploding helicopters and robots. If that had happened, the critics would be up in arms, saying that, while they admired the gritty presentation of working class people's lives, they were disappointed with Loach's decision to include a robot laser battle at the conclusion. Well, those self-same critics are the ones who are applauding the idea that Bond can infiltrate an evil genius's secret base, while taking time out to mope around and feel a bit sad while doing it. I'm not having it. If you can't have cyborgs in a Ken Loach drama then you sure as hell can't have a Bond with mental health issues.

Despite reservations in the kitchen sink Bond angle, I have been more-or-less on board with the Daniel Craig era films up to this point, at least to a certain extent. While I do seriously doubt I would ever re-watch any of them again before Octopussy, I did nevertheless appreciate Craig playing the part like a cold killer with a personality disorder. But the attempts to humanize him make him by making him fall in love always seemed very forced and with this final film, they have definitely jumped the shark. This probably has to go down as the worst Bond in the entire franchise. At a near 3 hours, it is ludicrously over-long, with barely a memorable character. The early stages are admittedly fairly promising, with a good pre-credits section but as the movie progresses it loses steam rapidly. The reason that the Bond films have lasted so long is that they are essentially formula films and there is nothing wrong with that. But the Craig era has essentially thrown the formula book out the window and while it was an interesting experiment in some ways, you do have to wonder if there is anywhere the franchise can go after this.

the franchise should've ended decades ago (IMDB: 1)

On: 1/5/2022 12:00:00 AM By: lee_eisenberg
These new James Bond movies have no real connection to the original novels. Just like "Goldeneye", "Die Another Die" and "Casino Royale", "No Time to Die" is an excuse for nonstop gimmicks.

People will say that Daniel Craig's James Bond is more like how Ian Fleming envisioned the character, but seriously, hasn't the franchise overstayed its welcome mat? The original novels dealt with the Cold War, and the original movies maintained that (along with Sean Connery's coolness, of course). Never mind that the gender relations look particularly questionable in the MeToo era. But most importantly, having a license to kill amounts to executing people without trial.

My point is, stick with the Sean Connery movies and 1967's "Casino Royale".

More nonsensical than most 007 movies, but also less engaging (IMDB: 6)

On: 1/3/2022 12:00:00 AM By: siderite
My father was making up stories of 007 as I was falling asleep when I was a kid, so I am intimately used to the character. He is the smart and multitalented agent that saves the world from egomaniac bad guys using technology that hasn't been invented yet. He is the irresistible male who seduces any woman he wants using his charisma and physicality in exotic locations. He is the lone wolf who can move faster than the pack. Now, none of the stories in the films make much sense when you analyze them, and probably my father's stories didn't either, but No Time to Die is on a whole different level. Let's just say that from all I've said above, he only gets to save the world from technology that hasn't been invented yet.

In this film Bond is old, morose, unpleasant, haunted forever by the women he loved and lost and apparently also bulletproof and using cheat codes. His talents include having the clues come to him, him stumbling on them, killing everything he sees while being invulnerable like Jason Vorhees and, yes, controlling any device by blowing it up or pushing random buttons and then see it work. Most of the film felt like a poorly scripted video game with the load/save cycles edited out.

I have to admit that I am a bit tired of the entire franchise, but at least it kind of worked in the 80s, now it's just getting ludicrous. I don't mind that the next 007 is a black woman, but I do care about the essence of the character. You want to have 007 in current times, you have to change the formula a bit, you have to adapt things to reality, but you don't get to completely mangle the character and use plots that I would have laughed off if used as bedtime stories.

And why the hell didn't you have Ana de Armas in the film for more than 10 minutes? If I would be her, I would push for a new franchise with her working for the Spanish secret service as a superspy. I would watch 25 films with her until he gets old! In freaking Spanish. Surely they would be better than this!

Bottom line: an overly long and nonsensical blandness that ends in a "great emotional moment" that fails to work on all counts.

It's so close to being great that it's actually frustrating. (IMDB: 7)

On: 12/31/2021 12:00:00 AM By: Pjtaylor-96-138044
'No Time To Die (2021)' is annoying. It's annoying because, though it starts out a little shaky, it's generally an enjoyable in-the-moment experience that features several excellent action scenes and a surprisingly strong emotional core, but its narrative is also an absolute mess that almost totally falls apart in retrospect. It's so close to being great in so many ways that it's honestly frustrating. It falls just shy of the mark in pretty much every aspect, ending up as a very uneven affair that I have a distinctly love/hate relationship with. The opening hour is actually rather strong, as it sets up several enigmatic plot elements and even subverts some expectations. Sadly, it writes a cheque that the rest of the picture can't cash. The more generic plot that kicks into gear when Bond finds himself back on British shores is honestly rather boring. It doesn't mesh well with the far more successful emotional stakes that drive the core story. Neither does the tone, which fluctuates (albeit sometimes successfully) between the relatively serious vibes of 'Casino Royale (2006)' or 'Skyfall (2012)' and the nod-and-wink silliness of 'Spectre (2015)'. The villains, too, are terrible. Rami Malek gets very little to do as the constantly restrained Lyutsifer Safin. Not only is the character bland and uninteresting, he's also arguably unnecessary when it comes to the most important aspects of the plot (those that concern the actual character of Bond). His motivations aren't even remotely clear and his overall plan turns out to be insanely derivative. Blofeld isn't any better, either. Christoph Waltz is wasted in his one or two scenes as the character, who's somehow even less intimidating than he was in his last outing. He really should have been the main villain; he has a much stronger connection to Bond than Safin and would have made for a much more personal opponent. The movie's main henchman, who me and my brother call One-Eyed Willie (his actual name is apparently Primo), is straight-up boring and, even, slightly goofy. He isn't physically intimidating, he has no discernible personality and his 'tech eye' gimmick is nowhere near strong enough to make him interesting in and of itself. So, the baddies all suck. Thankfully, though, the heroes fare quite a bit better. M is initially afforded a distinct and interesting relationship with the film's main threat. Unfortunately, this element is eventually just dropped, as are many of the movie's most interesting aspects, and M fades back into the background alongside Tanner and Moneypenny (who are both as solid as ever, but don't exactly stand out). Q is a bit more memorable, primarily because he gets to have a bit of banter with Bond and displays some similar eccentricities to those that have kept the character interesting since the 1960s. Felix Leiter is enjoyable in his all-too-brief role, as is Madeleine Swann (who sadly gets reduced to a damsel in distress in the finale). The two new 'Bond girls' are both pretty great. Nomi, a capable double-oh with a chip on her shoulder and a halfway decent Jamaican accent, is an enjoyable character who works well opposite Bond. Paloma, portrayed brilliantly by a criminally underused Ana de Armas, is easily the best character in the entire affair, a nervous agent who ends up kicking ass on her first mission and enjoying it much more than you'd expect her to. The scene involving Paloma is quite possibly the film's highlight, tied only with a segment in the finale that sees Bond go full 'John Wick mode' on a staircase full of soldiers. Bond himself is the best he's been since 'Casino Royale (2006)', displaying far more emotion than usual but still being afforded the opportunity to suavely save the day. Though Craig's performance isn't perfect, it's arguably better than it needs to be and it adds a lot of credence to the flick's most emotional moments. The narrative is disappointing overall, but it's actually trying to do some truly interesting things. I actually don't mind most of the more controversial aspects of the piece; they set it apart from its peers and exude potential. I do mind the fact that these elements are often undercut or sandwiched between much less intriguing elements, though. I almost wish that the thing didn't come so close to being so great; it wouldn't be a disappointment if that were the case. However, I'm also thankful that it does at least aim for that level. When it works, it works really well. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, it's only in retrospect that the plot collapses as much as it does. The further away I get from it, the more inclined I am to forget (and forgive) its narrative misgivings and focus on the fact that it is genuinely entertaining in the moment. Its action is perhaps some of the best in the series. It's energetic, engaging and exciting. It's also surprisingly brutal, with some aggressive hand-to-hand combat and a far higher (albeit generally bloodless) body count than you may expect. Some of its characters do appear to be a bit indestructible, which certainly takes you out of the moment, and some of the gadgets are a bit too silly for the otherwise grounded tone of the piece. Of course, these issues are easier to overlook than the more glaring story problems. Other positives include its distinguished direction, crisp cinematography and solid, if derivative, soundtrack. In the end, this film is as frustrating as it is enjoyable. It's a good bit of fun until you realise how paper-thin much of its plot is. There are more negatives than positives, but I think that the positives ultimately outweigh the negatives. After all, an entertaining experience is worth celebrating, no matter how hollow it ultimately is. It isn't the best Bond, but it's far from the worst. 7/10.

End of an Era...Bond & Craig...Film Feminized Beyond Concept (IMDB: 7)

On: 12/14/2021 12:00:00 AM By: LeonLouisRicci
The Written Page is a Static Affair. There for almost Eternity to Ogle, Feel the Texture, and as Far as Fictional (Super) Heroes Go are...

ETERNAL...THEY LIVE ON WITH LITTLE OR NO CHANGE

The Best Mythologies, say Batman and Sherlock Holmes Risk Great Damage if "Tinkered" with. Should be Resisted at all Cost.

Speaking of Cost. This is the Most $$$$ Budget at $250+Promotion, no Light Figure agt 66 Mil.

But the Gaudiest, Inexplicable, Change Not Demanded to Inflation, is that the Next James Bond might be a Woman. The Brain Boggles.

Not Only a Woman but a Black Woman.

Of Course Time Changes Things. Things but Not THE Thing.

The Thing is...James Bond,. When Ian Fleming sat at the Type-Writer, Secret Agents were 99 44/100% Male. White Macho-Men When the Phrase "Adrenaline Junkies" was Not a Thing.

The Heart and Soul of the Myth, if Drastically Change, is No Longer the Myth. It Becomes a Hybridized Other Thing. Not The Thing.

It Seems that the James Bond Folks in Charge want to be this NEW Thing. Poof James Bond. Poor Ian Fleming.

Pity the Die-Hard James Bond Fans. The Fans of the Myth. The NeverSay Die Foundation for Bond's Existence.

There are Plenty of Heavy Hearts after this, some say Final Chapter in the "Life" that Fleming Breathed Into those Decades Ago.

Could it Be that James Bond No Longer Lives in the Matrix of Mythos.

Most Probably.

A stunning conclusion (IMDB: 8)

On: 10/31/2021 12:00:00 AM By: Mr-Fusion
Much has been made about No Time To Die bringing the Daniel Craig era to completion, so I'll skip past this. No, this is a perfect dose of escapism; intense, emotional and brimming with action. It picks up the best hanging threads from Casino Royale and Skyfall, throws in some callbacks to classic Bond movies and allows Craig to leave an immense mark on this franchise. I'm thankful that he didn't walk away after Spectre, and really delivered something to savor here. Given the runtime, this could've been a last gasp - but far from it. This is a joyride well worth taking.

... And lest I forget, the most brilliant use of an f-bomb I've heard in a very long time. Ralph Fiennes is a treasure.

Final Ascent (IMDB: 10)

On: 10/22/2021 12:00:00 AM By: ThomasDrufke
There's never been a more emotionally impactful Bond film and likely, there never will be again. No Time to Die doesn't have the best villain of the series, nor the best "Bond girl", nor the best action set piece, but it DOES have the most emotionally resonant story. This film does things with the Bond lore that I never thought would be tackled and it was beyond thrilling. Daniel Craig deserved one final bow as James Bond and he got that and more. I can't believe I'm saying this but after a few weeks of sitting on it, No Time to Die is my favorite Bond film of all time, and it's undeniably one of the best.

10/10.

more of the same, but longer and slower (IMDB: 4)

On: 10/20/2021 12:00:00 AM By: FeastMode
I'm not a big fan of the daniel craig james bond series (ratings in order, 5, 5, 7, 5). But i love action movies. This is more of the same, but longer and slower. It tested my patience. It's generally well made with some good action but not a single scene i will remember in a week. And by the end, during the climax, i just wanted it to be over so i could leave.

Also, i was excited to see what rami malek could do with the villain role. He was the first name in the credits (other than daniel craig). "starring rami malek." yet he was in the movie for about 11 minutes. The movie is 2 hours and 43 minutes long. How does he have zero character development and unclear motivations? The villain character (not the actor) added nothing to this movie

Caveat: i didn't revisit the previous movies so i wasn't able to follow some of the references to previous movies. (1 viewing, 10/19/2021)

Going out with a bang! (IMDB: 9)

On: 10/15/2021 12:00:00 AM By: MOscarbradley
They tried to tell us it's too long and at 163 minutes "No Time to Die" is indeed the longest of the Bond movies but don't let that colour your judgement; this is still one hell of a rollercoaster ride and if Daniel Craig, in his final appearance as Commander Bond, is looking his age, remember he's now 'retired' and probably closer in demeanour to a middle-aged spy than at any time in the franchise. You must also remember that the Craig Bond's, unlike those of his predecessors, have followed a trajectory from "Casino Royale", (the first of the Ian Fleming novels), right through to the present, each one a kind of sequel to the one before and while Craig may not be everyone's favourite Bond he is, at least, unique in that respect. You might even say the entire Bond saga belongs to him.

The next point to consider, of course, is is it any good or rather is it as good as the others and the answers to both questions is a resounding yes. This is an action flic of the first order, exciting, funny and, for the most part, intelligent. It's also surprisingly old-fashioned. Here is a Bond movie that goes back to the roots of the franchise, all the way to "Dr. No" in fact. The gadgets are still there and used to good effect but this is a much more character driven piece and in Rami Malek it has one of the great Bond villains, (could Malek become the first Bond villain to pick up an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor?).

Admittedly the plot is quite far-fetched. We may not be in "Moonraker" territory but you may still have to see the film twice just to figure out what's going on. Also in keeping with previous Craig Bond's it's not afraid to introduce plot twists that should have a lasting impact on the series, presuming, of course, that the producers wish audiences to take any forthcoming films seriously. In what we now know will be his last appearance in the role it would be nice to say that this is Craig's film and while he certainly brings gravitas to the part it is Malek who steals the movie and if the film itself isn't quite the best of the series it's certainly up there. If this doesn't bring the punters in, nothing will.

A more than satisfying swansong for Daniel Craig as Bond (IMDB: 9)

On: 10/14/2021 12:00:00 AM By: wellthatswhatithinkanyway
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

James Bond (Daniel Craig) has retired from active service, and is now living in Jamaica, with Madeleine (Lea Seydoux), the girl from his last encounter with SPECTRE. All seems well, until a series of attempts on his life leads him to think she might be behind it. Meanwhile, in London, an armed break in at a chemical laboratory results in the apparent kidnapping of Dr. Obruchev (David Denicik.) It all leads to the path of incarcerated criminal Lyetsifer Safin (Rami Malek), setting a course for Bond and Madeleine's paths to intersect once again.

It has felt like a lifetime ago now that the massive hype and eager anticipation for Daniel Craig's final Bond film was first about, before the unthinkable global pandemic struck, and the release date got set all the way back to the present day, where it has absolutely smashed global box office records. At five films, Craig has lasted the course as long as the original greats Connery and Moore, his image now as personified in the character as those whose shoes he had to fill.

With that in mind, it's ironic that director Cary Joui Fukanaga pays such an homage to the Bond film starring George Lazenby, who played him only once, in the shape of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, with Louis Armstrong's melodic theme song We Have All the Time in the World playing over the soundtrack at various points, as well as the downbeat fatalism that defined that Bond outing from all the others. Craig's Bond has been a grittier, more hard edged Bond in general, and in its bowing out here, Fukanaga goes Hell for leather, cranking the brutal intensity of Craig's last four Bond entries all together, and giving it everything with a film running over two and a half hours, with some light humour awkwardly inserted in.

It's the final part of what defines Craig's Bond, and in that it's everything you expect it to be, ur it's also a love song to the Bond franchise in general, from the more modern, unflinching stuff, right through to the 'secret organisation' stuff when it began in the 60's nearly sixty years ago, that everyone won't be able to help loving. ****

I still feel like Spectre would have been a fitting farewell for Daniel Craig (IMDB: 7)

On: 10/13/2021 12:00:00 AM By: cricketbat
For the most part, I liked No Time to Die. However, I feel like it tried to do too much. They could have shaved 30 minutes off and its aim would have been more precise. I absolutely loved Ana de Armas as Paloma, though, and wish we could have seen more of her character. Without getting into spoilers, there's a finality to this film that feels somewhat out of place in the Bond franchise, but I understand why the filmmakers did it. I still feel like Spectre would have been a fitting farewell for Daniel Craig.

That remains a James Bond movie for me, more than Skyfall (IMDB: 7)

On: 10/11/2021 12:00:00 AM By: searchanddestroy-1
Of course the James Bond spirit is not exactly the same as the other films over decades. It is more gloomy, darker, with a total different face of our hero. You have in this movie many unexpected things, but the overall scheme remains à James Bond movie, maybe more than SKYFALL, which was far far more a crime thriller than an OO7 feature. Watch it again and compare. In a way, SKYFALL announced this one, with SPECTRE in the middle. Not the best Bond ever, but not the worst either.

A fittingly mediocre conclusion of Craig's custodianship. (IMDB: 6)

On: 10/5/2021 12:00:00 AM By: CinemaSerf
I saw this with a friend who watched the original "Dr. No" (1962) at the time, and who proclaimed at the end of this 2? hour marathon that this just isn't "James Bond". My first "Bond" film was some fifteen years later but i was forced to agree with him. This isn't. I have never been the biggest fan of Daniel Craig - he completely lacks charisma on screen. There is no glint in his eye! Add to that the grim determination of the producers to rob the character of his flaws and foibles; to politically correct every aspect of the storylines and to generally sterilise what was always, essentially, a charming tale of light weight male chauvinism with espionage, shameless patriotism, gadgets, double entendre and a damn good theme tune. Here, Craig has precious little chemistry with either of his female co-stars and the baddie features so sparingly (though that maybe because he was double-jobbing for Lord Lloyd Webber at the Opera) that even by the end there just wasn't a sense of accumulated tension, peril or danger - indeed I just felt really quite underwhelmed. Of course, it is a fabulous looking film: the old Aston Martin makes a welcome return - as does the divine Louis Armstrong's "All the Time in the World" but I wonder how many of us will recall this film once the dust has settled. It has a role right now; it may well single-handedly rescue cinema from the horrible effects of lockdown, and for that is must be congratulated, but speaking as a lifelong Bond fan, I'd implore those at the helm of the next one: can we please get back to what Bond is entertaining at, what Ian Fleming designed him to be and stop imposing wafer-thin stories on equally thin, undercooked, characterisations and hope that nostalgia and John Barry et al will dupe us into thinking it is great? I don't care if the next 007 is gay/girl/coloured/one legged - but please can we get back to a story laced with humour and personality with a script that allows for nuance, sarcasm and charm. Otherwise, perhaps Bond has just served his purpose, it's time to move on? Sorry - I was really disappointed.

21st century Bond (IMDB: 7)

On: 10/4/2021 12:00:00 AM By: dromasca
One of my guilty pleasures as a moviegoer is watching James Bond movies and I have no intention of apologising for that. Thus, I watched as soon as I had the opportunity 'No Time to Die' directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the latest film in the series, whose release has already been postponed several times and which finally meets the screens and its viewers this cinematic fall of the year 2021. The James Bond film series is approaching the age of 60. All Bond movies start from the same premises and have the same hero, but the way he looks and behaves and the structuring of the story have evolved over time. This says a lot about how cinematic entertainment was and is perceived and accepted in the movies of the big studios.

A lot has happened during these years. The hero evolved from the nonchalant and humorous commander in Fleming's books and played by Sean Connery to the complex and gloomy character in the last series, played by Daniel Craig. The original 007 had gone through the experience of World War II and was active during the Cold War. He was excused for his womanising as many things are excused to war heroes, and there was no room for moral doubt concerning his actions because he lived in an age when it was clear who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. Thee 21st century James Bond lives and acts in the turbulent era after the fall of communism and after the novels of John Le Carre were written. Today's enemies are not ideological, and screenwriters of such films (not just those in the Bond series) often prefer not to identify them politically, ethnically, or religiously. On the other hand, the romantic implications of the character are no longer devoid of substance. James no longer conquers but falls in love. From Bond the Don Juan we now (almost) get Bond the family man. One of the qualities of the script in 'No Time to Die' is that it manages to describe at this stage of the character's evolution a story that is acceptable by today's standards of the big studios and is somewhat credible in terms of character psychology. Craig's James Bond has been throughout this series and is in this film also a real character, not just a two-dimensional comics book figure.

What I liked about 'No Time to Die'? Daniel Craig. Action scenes, car chases and stunts that show ingenuity in a few moments (just when we thought we saw everything in this area) and use the landscapes spectacularly, especially in Italian villages. Humour and self-humour. The presence of Ralph Fiennes, an actor who can do anything on screen and I will like it. Ana de Armas, a classic Bond-girl who I hope will survive until the next series. What I liked less? Rami Malek, an actor who constantly disappoints me and who plays a mediocre bad guy here. Lea Seydoux is OK, but her relationship with Bond lacks chemistry. The dose of melodrama introduced in the script towards the end. The scientific pretext, which is thin and I could not understand what they were brewing in those pools (not that it would be important).

'No Time to Die' honorably concludes the Daniel Craig chapter of the Bond epic. It's not the best Bond I've ever seen, but it's above average. I look forward to the next reincarnation.

I wasn't expecting that, very entertaining, if long. (IMDB: 8)

On: 10/1/2021 12:00:00 AM By: Sleepin_Dragon
It felt as though we were never going to get to see this, but finally it's here, the question is, was it worth the wait?

The answer, yes, really not what I was expecting, of course it's action packed, dramatic and high octane, but it actually boasts a good story, and perhaps shows us a slightly different side to the character.

Plenty of action, plenty of style, and a real twist.

I thought Daniel Craig was awesome, and I'm genuinely sad that he's leaving, it's fascinating now to know who'll take over.

On the downside, it was a bit long, and it did lull a little in parts, but the action was enough to halt any dozing.

Overall, very watchable, 8/10.