They say all good things come to those who wait. Nothing signifies this statement more the 25th official James Bond film No Time To Die. There were pre-production delays, production mishaps, and nearly two years worth of post-production COVID release date shuffling.
To give Daniel Craig his proper swan song (or is it Swann song?) took a total of six years. That feels like an eternity since the lackluster Spectre. Well, no hard feelings. After finally witnessing No Time To Die, it is all water under the bridge. It was well worth the wait. The 15 years of Craig’s Bond turned out to be something special.
My NOtes TIME TO DIE:
- Someone call the blood bank. We seem to be lacking blood for the gun barrel. Hmmm… Bond sort of just disappears, doesn’t he? Interesting.
- Very creepy, cold opening with Safin and his Noh mask. Cary Fukunaga showing off his unique directing style right from the start.
- I was half expecting young Madeleine to shoot the bottle of bleach in Safin’s face. I also thought about Madeleine telling this story to Bond on the train in Spectre.
- I would love to know what happened with Safin and young Madeleine immediately after he saved her from the ice.
- Has any other James Bond spent more time in Italy than Craig?
- Using “We Have All The Time In The World” in Matera was a nice touch by Hans Zimmer.
- Are they married?
- I don’t know French as well as I should. What does Madeleine write down on paper and then burn? The Masked Man?
- Bond visiting Vesper’s tomb is both sad and awkward.
- That tricky kid! Too bad Bond never catches up with him.
- The bridge jump lost its WOW factor after seeing it so many times in the trailers and TV spots.
- Primo is a good old fashioned Euro-trash henchman.
- The car chase in Matera makes this a top notch pre-title sequence.
- The acting by Craig and Seydoux while the Aston Martin DB5 is being shot up to bits is outstanding.
- I really dig Billie Eilish’s title tune. It’s not quite Adele’s “Skyfall” but it comes close.
- I was slightly underwhelmed by Daniel Kleinman’s title sequence.
- The break-in at the lab is shot very well. Feels like something out of Nolan’s Batman.
- Valdo is the love child of Borat and Boris (Goldeneye). He might be one of the most annoying supporting characters in Bond history.
- How does Safin know SPECTRE’s lab attack plan? Is Primo already playing both sides? I don’t think so.
- Primo’s favorite Bond movie? For Your EYE Only. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
- Mallory/M is a sneaky one. He is an accidental villain in NTTD. This is the same guy who forced M (Judi Dench) to retire in Skyfall?!
- I could watch a two hour movie of James’ quiet, retired life in Jamaica.
- Always good to see Felix back. Wright is either the best or second best Leiter.
- Logan Ash might as well have DOUBLE CROSSER tattooed on his forehead.
- I need to know more about the quarters game James and Felix are playing.
- Heineken at a Jamaican bar? Red Stripe!!!!
- I enjoy (Nomi) LaShana Lynch’s faux-Jamaican accent.
- I like how they handled Nomi’s 007 reveal.
- I love how Craig’s Bond has no respect for Mallory/M. His M was “mum.”
- “Mad as bag of bees” might be my new favorite saying.
- Ana de Armas doesn’t have a lot of screen time as Paloma, but she makes the most of it. She and Craig have great carry-over chemistry from Knives Out.
- We all wanted to see a SPECTRE “Bunga Bunga” party right?
- I spotted Michael G. Wilson.
- Blofeld’s birthday party? I wonder what his sign is?!
- Primo’s camera eye can’t be sanitary.
- The Cuba party/action is giving me Moore/Brosnan vibes.
- If I had been in Bond’s shoes, I am spending the rest of my life in Cuba with Paloma. That’s why I would be a crappy agent.
- Not sure why Ash is aligned with Safin.
- You can feel that Craig’s Bond and Wright’s Leiter are good pals.
- Felix dying in the water in front of Bond has shades of Vesper’s death.
- I would watch a two hour movie of just Bond in his storage unit.
- The Aston Martin from The Living Daylights has always been a sweet looking ride. Did James win this one in a poker game too?
- Moneypenny and Tanner don’t really have much to do in this movie.
- I can sense Craig is way more into this film than the previous one.
- Nomi is certainly a teacher’s pet with M.
- Finally, we get to see Q’s home life and his furless cats.
- Safin’s personal targets beyond his “kill Spectre” plan is a little murky.
- Malek’s accent is very vague. Slightly Russian, slightly made up country.
- This Madeleine-Lyutsifer reunion is chilling, although not sure how old Safin is. He must have been a teenager when he killed her mother.
- Safin is half-megalomaniac, half-stalker.
- M and Bond finally seeing eye-to-eye during their outdoor meeting in London. A nice little scene set to the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service theme.
- Nanobots-DNA? Worst Christmas gift ever!
- The infection part does have a COVID feel to it.
- Madeleine not wanting to shake hands with James for a couple of reasons.
- How soon before Blofeld’s eye ball camera becomes the next streaming service?
- Ernst Stavro Lecter? Hannible Blofeld?
- I hate that Bond calls him Blofeld. His name is Oberhauser. Don’t give him the satisfaction.
- Craig slips into his Benoit Blanc performance/accent during the interrogation scene.
- Waltz in this cameo > his entire performance in Spectre.
- How does Oberhauser/Blofeld know Madeleine’s secret?
- Good thing Bond doesn’t have any family… right? Those infected hands. Yikes!
- That bridge in Norway looks like a fun joyride. Wish they had done more with it action wise.
- I didn’t buy the love between James Bond and Madeleine Swann in Spectre, but it is working for me in NTTD.
- Daniel Craig morphing into Richard Burton.
- I enjoyed seeing the Hall of M portraits. Timelines are officially all over the place now.
- Madeleine living in her childhood home full of bad memories. Awkward.
- I appreciate Bond and Swann trying to fill in the Safin plot gaps.
- Bond cooking breakfast for his daughter > Bond cooking quiche for Stacy Sutton.
- “Do mosquitoes have friends?” I am going to use this line from now on.
- The Range Rover action scene feels like a commercial.
- The spooky forest suits Safin. Wish we could have seen more of him in those scenes.
- Bond killing Ash, similar to Bond killing Locke in For Your Eyes Only.
- Nomi giving Bond back his 007 status, while hard to believe, does have a nice touch to it.
- Safin has elements of Dr. No for sure. At one point he is even called “Doctor”. If Dr. No also had a creepy obsession with a woman whose life he saved as a child.
- The Poison Garden is a nice call back to the You Only Live Twice novel. I would have liked to have seen more of the dangerous plants.
- The gravity plane stunt is similar to the bridge jump stunt, in that seeing it too often in the trailers/commercials devalued its awe.
- The villain’s lair is quite spectacular, although Safin’s security is somewhat lax.
- I envy Nomi getting to kick and punch Valdo. She speaks for the audience.
- Safin is selling Heracles? To whom exactly? Weren’t there five screenwriters on this?
- Bond’s verbal mano y mano with Safin lacks the punch of his previous ones vs Silva and Oberhauser/Blofeld.
- Safin may be the world’s worst babysitter, but he is finally coming off as menacing.
- I like Mathilda’s attitude. Definitely the daughter of James Bond.
- Valdo is a racist scientist? Interesting.
- Mallory/M should lose his job for this whole Heracles Project fiasco.
- Bond is just killing Safin’s men left and right. Surviving grenade attacks. He is in video game God mode!
- Bond doing a final little gun barrel turn and shoot during all the mayhem was a nice touch.
- Primo’s death was an eye opener. Sorry. I’ll stop now.
- The admiral sounds like Ian Fleming.
- Bond breaking Safin’s arm might the most brutal thing I’ve ever witnessed in a James Bond movie.
- James not being able to touch Madeleine and Mathilda is heartbreaking.
- Not sure James would have survived the gunshot wounds anyway.
- “Final Ascent” by Zimmer is haunting.
- Nice tribute at M’s office back at MI6.
- The connection to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is complete.
- Ian Fleming’s James Bond will return. Daniel Craig’s James Bond will not return.
Bond’s coolest moment? At the Cuba party, just after Bond and Paloma waste a bunch of bad guys, they have a quick drink. Craig’s Bond swallows his drink, grabs his automatic gun, does a smooth slide across the bar and is ready for action once more.
Bond’s most embarrassing moment? Losing his cool with Oberhauser/Blofeld.
Bond’s best line? This script does give Craig more opportunities at one-liners than ever before. A few to choose from, but I like his “Another child?” quip to Madeleine when says she has something to show him.
Best acting performance? Lea Seydoux makes up for a poorly written part in Spectre and ends up being the acting MVP of No Time To Die.
Bond’s #MeToo #TimesUp moment? Bond is on pretty good behavior here, although it is amusing when he thinks Nomi and later on Paloma are coming onto him.
Worst line in the movie? A few contenders. Valdo’s “I like animals!” and James’ “Die Blofeld! Die!” are a tad embarrassing. But our winner is Nomi with “Do you know what time it is? Time to die.” Oof.
What I noticed for the first time after watching this for the 4th time? Nomi left the keys in the plane ignition. Pretty easy for Bond or anyone else to steal.
Best action sequence? As wonderful as the Cuba sequence is, I am going with the opening in Matera. Tomb explosion, bridge jump, fight with Primo, motorcycle jump, car chase, etc.
Who or what is the title song about? It’s interesting how a teenage girl could sum up Craig’s Bond’s feelings, but Billie Eilish does it well. The song “No Time To Die” doubles down on Bond feeling betrayed by Madeleine.
Best looking cinematic moment? Hard to pick just one, but the visuals are quite stunning when Bond visits Madeleine and Mathilda in Norway. The DP (Linus Sandgren) is at the top of his game.
How could the villain have succeeded? Probably by quitting after killing Spectre and Blofeld. Also, cut down on his obsession with Madeleine Swann. Malek is a terrific actor, but the writers let him down.
Which other Bond actor could have starred in this movie? The emotional sections, especially the tragic ending is all Craig. Can’t see any other actor handle that. The lighthearted parts + the action scenes, could have easily come from a Brosnan Bond flick.
Does Bond ever think he might die? Umm… yeah… about that. “I know.”
What would have made the movie better? Giving Safin a true motivation beyond the first half revenge plot. Since we are dealing with DNA, why not make Safin much older in age than he appears by using his DNA weapon to keep himself alive and healthy. The title NO TIME TO DIE would ring truer than it does.
What’s in a name? Bond never uses an alias, which is surprising since he doesn’t want to be found in Jamaica.
What’s in a title? No Time To Die is an original title. Before choosing that one, producers almost went with A Reason To Die. I personally believe a better title would have been “All The Time In The World.”
Drinking game: A take a shot of Cuban rum any time “Heracles” is said. Salud!
“WTF?!” moment: Bond slapping Valdo on the ass. Quite amusing and out of nowhere.
Fun fact: It was rumored that the original director, Danny Boyle, wanted to kill off Bond and the producers didn’t go for it. Judging from the ending, I guess that story got mixed up.
Overall ranking: 9th out of 25.
Review synopsis: Daniel Craig’s 15 year run as 007 has come to an end and we thank him for his service. Craig does something Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan never did. Go out on top. While No Time To Die isn’t on the level of Casino Royale or Skyfall, it is better than Quantum of Solace and Spectre. Overall it’s so much more impressive than its plot. Specifically, the villain’s plot. NTTD will not be a James Bond film that people ever say: “Which one was that again?” It will be remembered forever.