Ben Oliver

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No Time to Die

We all have our secrets. We just didn’t get to yours yet.
02 October 2021

James Bond gets dragged out of retirement to help with a mission MI6 don’t want him to know about.

A slightly too-long but very competent farewell to Daniel Craig’s James Bond. It’s early days so it seems unfair to get into spoilers, but the story carefully wraps up all the threads from the other films while also running perfectly well under its own steam.

The screenplay cleverly reveals the idea behind the thing threatening to end the world, and also quickly shows us how it works and why it works. Then it gets cold feet and spends a further 20 minutes explaining it. That kills the pace of the whole project in the second third.

I really liked the nod to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in the soundtrack—a much maligned film but also the only film that really gives Bond anything to lose, and losing the things you love has been a theme through all of Daniel Craig Bond films.

After all these years I’m not sure linking all the Craig films together really worked - it always seemed a little half-arsed. However, he’s been a great James Bond and his films have made for some memorable moments. I don’t think anything has ever quite left me as breathless as Casino Royale but it’s been a good run and I’ll miss the buzz around seeing him do his thing one more time.

With the change in director and screenwriters this had ‘disaster’ written all over it, and yet No Time to Die works pretty well. Perhaps it’s a little less badass that what we’ve seen in the past, but it’s entertaining and doesn’t insult the audience’s intelligence. Along with cool cars that’s pretty much all I want from these films.

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