No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★★

How will I know that you’re okay?
You won’t
You’ll never see me again
.

This movie is the final reason why we adore Daniel Craig’s rendition of James Bond. In his universe, we followed his journey started from a reckless yet badass super agent in Casino Royale, to tightly emotional and vulnerable one in Skyfall, to this surprisingly equivalently touching and fitting end of his saga in No Time To Die. What made those three titles to be the best of his, that there’s personal stake.. at least someone significant and we care about would die and Cary Joji Fukunaga clearly knows that formula, and replicate it in thousand folds. It’s been 5 movies across 15 years time span with a connected storyline.. So yes it’s the farewell we expected coming and they even celebrated it with such fireworks at the end. What’s great is the balance as it didn’t fall to the trap of being over-sentimental. Loved it.

Again, the rest of the winning formula from the previous Bond iterations replicated nicely here; you still could find the excellent action set-pieces complemented with beautiful wide angles shots so filming with sceneries in exotic countries wouldn’t be such waste, cool modern borderline sci-fi gadgetry and story involving conveniently arranged mass murdering weapon are also still remained. Bond is still the suavest man in the middle of firefight he still can make martini and stuff, although you can see a depressive change in his eyes as the movie goes on. What’s funny is all the villain’s henchmen are worse than stormtroopers in term of shooting accuracy. Dude, man’s not even trying to avoid bullets and it’s almost parodical in a sense.. yeah maybe it’s time to end Craigverse, he’s not even agile anymore.

On the other note, I love how Cary Joji tried so hard not to put any location inter-titles and blend in the information naturally to the narrative. Loved also the recurring motifs of saying goodbye as if everything’s hinted from the get-go. Loved the complicated yet still idiot-proof scheme in the second act, it’s so fun and thrilling. Things that I don’t really find working are : the miscast of Rami Malek, he’s so unconvincing + underdeveloped I really couldn’t believe that he’s villainous enough. I think that’s also one factor that contributed to the weak final third, add that with dark and cramped settings, everything becoming a chore for the last half an hour, and eventually the action scenes in that part are unmemorable compared to the first two acts. The nano-machines stuff is also felt a try-hard attempt on finding out what mass murdering weapon that they could use for another stake for Bond to save the day of the world, again.

Overall, I love this movie, maybe on par with Skyfall. I’m also excited for Cary Joji Fukunaga to take the directing for the next one, if there’s any possibility. He knows what to do and what’s to bring out from Bond’s universe. As for Bond, personally I only have strong attachment with Daniel Craig’s one, so yeah.. good bye for now.. and see you resurrected as Detective Benoit Blanc in Knives Out universe.

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