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No Time To Die

Bond. James Bond.

- James Bond

I grew up with Bond, Daniel Craigs Bond. Yet, I’m not a James Bond Fan, I always enjoyed ‘Casino Royal’ and ‘Skyfall’ pretty much but not more. Keeping that in mind, I can’t evaluate what ‘No Time To Die’ copies from previous films like ‘On her Majesty’s Secret Service’. Aside from that the film stands and falls with whether you believe the love story between Bond and Madeleine or not. Although it worked for me, the film has quite a lot of other problems which make it neither good nor bad.

After ‘Spectre’, James Bond, again portrayed by Daniel Craig, quit the service. The third time within five films. In his absence, the world kept turning and while it got more dangerous, Bond appears to have gotten funnier. Way too funny for the high and personal stakes involved. To these stakes belongs Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, who is maybe the most important character of ‘No Time To Die’. Her relationship with Bond might even be the best part of the film. On the contrary, all the other cast members go short. Ana de Armas as Paloma and Rami Malek as bad guy Safin literally have no understandable reason to be in this Bond. Characters like Lashana Lynch as Nomi and the new 00-agent or Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter have some screen time but end up with unused potential.

The old guard containing Naomie Harris as Miss Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q and Ralph Fiennes as M are also on board, yet not much more than that. Then there is Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser who indeed had a nice role in the plot.

As already mentioned I’m not a huge fan of the amount of humor this particular Bond conveys. It is funny, just in the wrong moments. James Bond always had a shibboleth on his lips, yet it was never unfitting. Apart from the humor, there is something else that bothered me. The slight plot holes. For spoiler reasons, I can’t explain these further but if you keep a cool head you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway, ‘No Time To Die’ is still a Bond film. A film made for the cinema and that should be experienced there. Good action, fancy gadgets and the Bond theme. Everything that’s needed in a 007-adventure. The action sequences were pretty mixed up. There is a quite cool one-shot scene that blends over the standard shooting action later in the film. In addition to that, I relished the action that takes place in the woods which brought a nice flavour into the film.

It may also be one of the most emotional Bonds if you buy the relationship between Madeleine and Bond. I did and together with the title song ‘No Time To Die’ from Billie Eilish the film reached me on an emotional level which was quite similar to the one from the intro of ‘Black Widow‘.

Despite the flaws I really enjoyed it, especially watching it in the Zoopalast in Berlin. They always show a demo-like sound-show before an ATMOS film and for the new Bond, they had a special trailer prepared which was to my own surprise better than the following film. Though, aren’t trailer always better than the films they represent? This show-like trailer by all means whetted my appetite for the older Bonds which I am catching up on right now.

Do you expect me to talk?

No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!

- James Bond and Goldfinger

As always in the franchise, the title is the program. James Bond has literally no time to die. 2h and 43 minutes and Bond is always on the run. Luckily, the film has nice pacing which doesn’t allow boredom to develop. Still, after all this time, the ending suffers from the short amount the film spends on it. As does James Bond. He got old and ‘No Time To Die’ pays tribute to that in a beautiful way. However, Daniel’s era has to end with this film. It’s time to die…

The name’s Bond … James Bond.

- James Bond