No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★½

As September came to a close, The Mets were far from making the playoffs, and any type of excitement dissipated earlier in the year. I stopped watching around mid-September, and yet after walking out of No Time To Die, I regret not finishing the season, mostly because the collective time of 6 games would have been more exciting than the film.

I sat with it for 45 minutes, marveling at the basic cinematography and choreography of the action, and I wanted to tell myself that it’d get better. For a minute, it did -- the sequences in the opening, Cuba, and the chase scene in the woods stuck with me as I left. In-between, my patience took the test of time. There are bright spots in the dialogue punches that Phoebe Waller-Bridge added, and it’s a somewhat simple revenge tale that doesn’t stop polishing their ego.

The plot has a steady progression until the third act, where it becomes a simple shoot-em spy film with nothing of worth. Oddly, I’m not a superfan of James Bond, but as a fan nonetheless, I miss the intricate nature of the films that preceded it. The better ones are more calculated and deliver charming performances. They toss it out the window for a film yearning to be Skyfall but end up being the Quantum of Solace of Spectre.

Beyond that, it tries to pat itself on the back with the way they use and integrate the characters, and they fall short. We get a first Black and Female 007, but after a simple act of respect, she delivers it back to him like it’s just a number. Unfortunately, they forget how iconic that number is and how poorly misguided that exchange was. It may just be a number, but for others, it may inspire them; however, it’s not as big of a problem as the boredom had through most of this flick -- it was quick and simple, and at the end of the day, Lashana Lynch outshined Craig at every corner.

Unfortunately as a character Nomi (Lynch) is underwritten, like most, except Bond, who we’ve been with for 15 years. It continues to trend in mediocrity with a poorly written villain with a bad modus operandi. Im just lost feeling like the film was bloated without a lot substance.  My only saving grace was Billy Magnussen, who needs to be a star, and seeing how underused he was brought a tear to my eye. 

I wish Craig had a better farewell. But as a director, Cary didn’t deliver him justice. Many shots were simple and boring. I haven’t marveled at a landscape shot since Skyfall, and it stays that way. Though I don’t want to discredit him as a fan, considering his great action directing in the things I did enjoy.

Side note: for someone who’s only three weeks from graduating, Ana De Armas shines in Cuba.

Kevin “Pigeon” liked these reviews