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PHOTOGRAPHY
NO TIME TO DIE
Movie review by David Blackwell

163 minutes, Rated PG-13
STUDIO: MGM/ Eon Productions/ United Artists/ Universal Pictures (International release)
Theatrical RELEASE DATE (USA): 10-8-2021
James Bond (Daniel Craig) is retired for five years from Her Majesty's Secret Service (aka MI-6). After surviving an attempt on his life by Spectre in Italy, he lives alone in Jamaica. His old CIA pal, Felix (Jeffrey Wright) requests a favor from Bond which throws the former 007 into a plot devised by scarred villain Saffin (Rami Malik). He is reunited with old work colleagues and the woman he left behind along with a female agent who has the 007 handle now.

NO TIME TO DIE continues the trend of James Bond movies which have great pre-credit sequences, great plot set-up, poorly written villains, and a badly written climax. I enjoyed the latest Bond movie for the most part except the ending, Saffin showing up as a plot device to further the plot along (Rami Malek is better as Freddie Mercury and in the Mr. Robot TV series). It is like the writers of the last four James Bond movies are so focused on writing the good guys that they give the bad guys short shrift in character development (and leaving good actors little to play with). NO TIME TO DIE is the 25th film in the official James Bond series and the last great Bond film was CASINO ROYALE. In recent years, the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE films are miles above the last four James Bond movies (especially the last two MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE films). Every other Bond film has a great title song with the others being crappy (I'm looking at you Sam Smith and the duo behind the song for QUANTUM OF SOLACE).

Since this is the last Daniel Craig movie as James Bond, the series needs a major reboot and a writer/ director like Christopher McQuarrie to right the course on the series. The ending doesn't make me want to go see NO TIME TO DIE in the theaters. It isn't a movie I want to go out and rush to see again which may just hurt the box office of this movie. I'll wait for the blu-ray to see it again, but this is a disappointment for a movie delayed for one and a half years by COVID going around the world. I am worried that one of female actors had to go out of her way in an interview to say they were destroying the male gaze in this movie. However, the best Bond girl is the bit part by Ana de Armas playing rookie CIA agent Paloma as she helps Bond out in one of the best sequences of NO TIME TO DIE. I wish she was in the movie longer and the four writers would have been justified to include her more given what happens next later that sequence. Lashana Lynch is wasted as the new 007. She is a sourpuss sidekick who is sidelined quickly in most of her scenes. For a movie that is over two and a half hours, the writers could have tightened up the movie and developed Saffin lot more. NO TIME TO DIE relies heavily on callbacks to ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE with a key line of dialog and the music themes from it.

If you are a big fan of James Bond fans, it is going to be a toss up if you want to see this in the theaters or wait for digital or physical media (DVD/ Blu-ray). If you aren't impressed with the Daniel Craig films of James Bond, you might just want to rent it on digital or disc and skip the theaters. This is my second least favorite film of Daniel Craig as Bond. NO TIME TO DIE is ultimately a mixed bag that doesn't spend enough time developing the bad guy and you are left with a hodgepodge of ideas that either work or don't depending on the scene. It is a miss that is enjoyable enough for one time in the cinema, but it doesn't make want to rush to watch it again. I hope the next James Bond film is return to the great Bond films of yesterday.

This review is (c)10-15-2021 David Blackwell and cannot be repeated without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com and look for additional content/ news at http://enterlinemedia.tumblr.com