HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
Studio 666
Great Movement, The
Lost in La Mancha
Cellar, The
Sacred Spirit, The
Chess of the Wind
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Scream
All I Can Say
You Are Not My Mother
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  No Time to Die Bond Goes Viral
Year: 2021
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Stars: Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Rory Kinnear, Billy Magnussen, Christoph Waltz, David Dencik, Dali Benssalah, Lisa Dorah-Sonnet, Coline Defaud
Genre: Drama, Action, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Some years ago, when Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) was a little girl spending her days looking after her alcoholic mother and waiting for her agent father to return while they stayed in the isolation of Norway, a man arrived wearing a mask with the express intention of murdering them both in revenge for what Madeleine's father had done to his family. Through a complicated set of circumstances, this mystery man ended up saving her from falling under the ice on the nearby lake, so now he feels she owes him something. She now is the romantic partner of ex-British Secret Service agent James Bond (Daniel Craig), so what will bring him back to the world of espionage?

Craig had expressed his desire to get out of his James Bond contract a number of times over the years since he took the role for the much-respected Casino Royale in 2006, but nobody seemed to know whether he was joking or not. Considering the denouement of No Time to Die, it had been so well-telegraphed that it is difficult to believe anyone was not expecting at least something highly dramatic to occur, though the frequent allusions to the outlier in the Bond series, On Her Majesty's Secret Service may have been an attempt to throw the audience off the scent, but its effects have haunted the franchise ever since: was it better to embrace it rather than ignore it outright?

Evidently it was, and after many delays thanks to the pandemic, this was one of the movies that showed a confidence that audiences would return in droves for a title that they really wanted to watch; Craig, despite the constant public uncertainties about the hero's relevancy that had made up an increasingly tired conversation about Bond since the nineteen-nineties, had proved to be the right man for the job, a tough guy whose masculinity was tempered with a concern that the world did not need him anymore when in fact it needed him more than ever. It was a tricky tightrope to walk, but you could not deny that while some entries had been warmer received than others, he had been an excellent choice.

That relevancy debate was tackled head on with No Time to Die, but as it had been bubbling under throughout the leading man's tenure, you might think maybe it was time to admit that audiences genuinely liked the Bond formula and were happy not only to pay good money to see it, but also to watch the countless spy flick knock-offs, some more accomplished than others, that littered the movie schedules even around half a century after he had made his big screen debut. This consciousness that seemed to ask, "how long can this last?" may come across as false modesty for a series that was still making the top ten of the year in an era of Marvel juggernauts, but it was the sort of thing that the moviegoers liked to mull over, it was irresistible not to have an opinion on a Bond movie, such a reliable conversation starter as it was.

The twist ending that was not much of a twist, even with the even less surprising "James Bond Will Return" legend at the close of the credits, came across as one more try at staying in that cultural conversation, and my goodness it succeeded, whether you loved it or hated it. Other elements, such as Lashana Lynch as the new 007, were spikily amusing, though were more in service to keeping this in the headlines than anything useful to the plot, and the sense that there was as much devoted to the publicity machine as there was to telling a rattling good yarn was never far away. This self-consciousness could have developed into a meta style of storytelling as so many other long-running franchises were lapsing into at this stage, and you may be pondering whether this instalment did not actually do that, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge much trumpeted in the writing team.

But the near-three hours running time never dragged, the Bond stunt team were as talented as they ever were, the ensemble supporting Craig had real personality, even Rami Malek as the emotionless instigator of a potential deadly pandemic, and it only suffered when trying to make us cry, which seemed out of place in this brand. Perhaps the trouble was, Craig never had as good a love interest as Eva Green first time out and Madeleine would always be second best. Indeed Ana de Armas had more potential as Bond's match as a Cuban agent he meets when temporarily working for the CIA, but perceiving she was so strong she was in danger of overbalancing the movie, she was used sparingly; she nearly stole the show, however. And she was also a ray of sunshine in a yarn that director Cory Joji Fukunaga was unafraid to allow to take a turn for the bleak, yes, the quips were present, but the weight of death was lying heavier over this Bond than any since George Lazenby also tried to prevent a deadly pandemic back in 1969. One hoped future Bonds would be less apologetic, but the admirable Craig deserved to leave on his own terms - and still talked about across the world. Music by Hans Zimmer, incorporating John Barry.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 467 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: