I must admit the James Bond franchise has never interested me much. Of the long running franchise I have only seen the Brosnan and Daniel Craig entries and they are a hit and miss bunch.
Now after seemingly endless delays we get the latest and final entry in the Craig saga of Bond films: No Time to Die. It’s not a perfect movie but it should more than satisfy Bond fans and I was happy with its emotional conclusion to a normally silly franchise.
Some may lament the loss of the stupid women and over-the-top action of past Bonds but I welcome the change. The franchise is finally making movies that appeal to me and make Bond into an actual person I care about. Plus you still get the pretty people and great stunts so win/win in my opinion.
If you want to get the full amount out of No Time To Die I recommend watching the previous film Spectrefirst. I have seen it but it has been a while so some of the plotpoints were lost on me and the film felt more than a little confused. It also definitely drags at times with the audience feeling the 163 minute runtime.
All that said, the action is well done. The movie is well shot with the style and panache you want from a Bond movie. Rami Malek makes for an intimidating and creepy villain. The little girl is cute. Léa Seydoux is fine as Madeleine although her and Craig don’t have much chemistry due probably partly from their large age gap (he’s 53, she’s 36).
My favorite part of No Time to Die is its humanity. It’s an emotional, gripping end to this version of Bond. Craig gives a great performance and like I said we actually care about the character this time around. That emotion is what makes it worth watching even with its flaws.
No Time to Die releases Oct 8th around the world. When you get a chance to see it let me know what you think and how it compares to other Bond entries I might not have seen.
So I have to admit I get a kick out of fan theories. Most of them are nonsense but I think they are funny. I find it amusing how the good theorists can weave themes and characters together to create compelling arguments.
Of course most of us know the Pixar Theory. Basically it is a theory that all of the Pixar films are connected from Toy Story all the way to The Good Dinosaur. Here is how The Good Dinosaur fits into the theory
(Warning all of these videos I am posting have spoilers so if you haven’t seen the films beware!):
This Inside Out theory I thought was pretty good. Is Riley adopted?
There are also a lot of fun fan theories for Disney. This one about Elsa and Rapunzel being sisters is very solid and fun.
This one about Beauty and the Beast is great!
Harry Potter has a lot of fun one’s. Here is one that JK Rowling liked and said fits!
There is also a theory that Harry might not be the Chosen One after all
I also liked this one that merges Star Wars and Harry Potter- Is Kilo Ren Snape?
Here’s a fun one that supposes is the Joker in Batman v Superman Jason Todd not the Joker we see in other films?
This was pretty clever about James Bond. Is it just a code name?
In the world of Star Wars we have many fan theories and this one was legendary. Jar Jar is a Sith Lord!
Here is one I love debating who is Rey’s father?
Anyway, there are a ton of fun fan theories. What are some you like? Do you enjoy watching them?
Spectre is an interesting film to review because it succeeds at being what most of the 24 Bond films are but it fails at being what in my opinion the two best Bonds films , Casino Royale and Skyfall were- emotionally compelling. It’s a solid Bond movie but it just doesn’t have that layer of complexity the earlier films in the Daniel Craig Bond films did. To me at least those films succeeded because Bond felt like a real person with emotions and feelings, which made the action much more engrossing because it was happening to someone I actually cared about.
Most Bond movies aren’t so rich but are silly action movies with quippy one liners, cool gadgets, ridiculous stunts and beautiful women. You get all of that in Spectre but I was a little let down by Sam Mendes’ latest offering because I wanted more than that. The previous movies spoiled me! (In fact, I picked Casino Royale as my action movie choice to introduce someone to film in this fun post here)
In Spectre we even get the martini shaken not stirred line when in Casino Royale he is asked that and says ‘Do I look like I give a d…” I prefer the previous but I guess it makes sense when Casino Royale was supposed to be a prequel or an origin story for Bond. I suppose he has been growing into the agent we saw in earlier incarnations of the character. Too bad…
But that said, let’s talk about the movie we did get, not the movie I wanted. The plot to Spectre is very similar to Mission Impossible 5. The movie starts out with a dynamite sequence in Mexico City during a Day of the Dead celebration. The action is terrific with sweeping pan shots and a helicopter fight scene that blew my mind.
James Bond is hunting down a secret organization called Spectre from a clue that he found from the M played by Judi Dench in previous films. When he returns to London the 00 organization is being merged wtih MI6 and the new M played by Ralph Fiennes is having to deal with C played by Andrew Scott who Sherlock fans will recognize. I liked them both in their roles
James is supposed to stay in London but through the help of Q and his cars and gadgets (more of that kind of thing in this than the previous films) he makes it to Europe and then South Africa to investigate the Spectre.
Along the way James meets a woman named Lucia played by Monica Bellucci and then the main Bond girl Dr Madeleine Swann played by Lea Seydoux. They are all fine but again the typical old school Bond girl, nothing more. There’s nobody even close to Rebeca Ferguson in MI-5.
The villains are a big disappointment. So far I have yet to see a great Christoph Waltz performance (his Tarantino films are too violent for me) but it really isn’t his fault here. He is off screen for most of the movie and when he was there it was a standard campy Bond villain with elaborate ways to kill people instead of just shooting them. There’s also one of those old school Die Hard style bombs with the digital read out. Are those ever going to go away? Dave Bautista literally says one word and is the more predominant force trying to stop Bond. They do have an amazing fight sequence on a train so that was entertaining but hard to feel bonded to a villain who doesn’t talk.
There were times when I got a little bit bored and like in MI-5 there are a lot of plotholes and moments where you scratch your head wondering ‘how did they get here? How did they know to go here? How did they survive that?” Perhaps that wouldn’t bother me if this hadn’t been the 7th movie this year asking me to take such silly action leaps and again the previous films were so good! Sigh…
Anyway, Spectre is what it is. It’s an old school Bond movie with some good action, some silly banter and beautiful women. If that’s your thing than you’ll probably like it. If you are hoping for a little more depth than you might be disappointed.
As far as content there is some sensuality in two scenes and a lot of over the top action and fighting. Minimal profanity so base your viewing of the film on how offensive you find the Pierce Brosnan or Timothy Dalton Bond films.
Also the score by Thomas Newman felt very old school Bond as well.
Overall Grade- C+ (which I remind you a C+ means I thought it was slightly above average)