6/10 After five films across 15 years, Daniel Craig makes his last appearance as the legendary James Bond in “No Time to Die”. While this swan song exceeds in many areas, I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed due to several problems with the plot and villain. Before I get into that, let’s start with what worked. The opening flashback into the beginning action scene was an extremely strong way to begin this film. In case you were unaware, all five of the Craig Bond films are essentially one long, interconnected story. Randomly watching one in the middle will be confusing due to all of the overlap with characters both living and dead and their respective plot points. This movie does wrap up all of the loose plot points going back to “Casino Royale” and I loved the unexpected way they ended this movie. The acting is strong across the board with Craig continuing to be one of, if not the best Bond and supporting characters like Ana de Armas and Christoph Waltz making the most of their limited screen time. The action was well done and overall this movie ends up better than “Quantum of Solace”, falling into the middle of the Craig Bond film pack alongside “Spectre”. The film looks gorgeous with its visuals and breath taking cinematography. As for the problems, while Rami Malek is a fine actor, his villain was incredibly weak and forgettable. Blofeld is easily the biggest baddie of all five of these Craig films, but instead of him and Bond having an epic showdown, Malek’s character gets all of the villain screen time and his motivations are all over the place and constantly changing. There was nothing memorable about him and the missed opportunity to do something with Blofeld still feels disappointing. A plot point with Blofeld’s eye was also pretty ridiculous and impossible to believe. Since this is the longest Bond movie ever, it does drag a bit in the middle and the film makers would have been wise to cut out a good 20 minutes or so to tighten things up and help with the pacing in the second act. There is a little woke, PC nonsense that gets shoehorned in but luckily nothing too drastic. Bond’s replacement felt more like a way to go after Bond’s ego as opposed to a fully developed character with a personality and motivations. The fact that she is a newer agent and lacks a lot of the skills that Bond has demonstrates that she realistically would not have earned the title of 007 but the screenwriters needed some competition and motivation for Bond. While I was excited to hear a Hanz Zimmer James Bond score, his work gets the job done but ultimately was forgettable and underwhelming. If you’ve seen the other Craig Bond films, you definitely need to finish with this final outing and it is sad to see Craig go. While the plot had elements that made no sense and the villain was the second weakest (behind Dominic Greene) out of the five, “No Time to Die” was still enjoyable enough to warrant seeing if you keep your expectations in check and know that this is nowhere near as good as “Skyfall” or perhaps the best Bond film of all time, “Casino Royale”.

#skEYEfall / #lgbtQ / #NotSafinTheBestForLast / #MrNanobot / #OnGoldenBond / #ProducedByPhilSpectre

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