No Time to Die – Member reviews (Spoilers!)

Going to need a second viewing before I can even think of writing a review, but as I’m one of the very few around here who has actually seen it, I’d like to at least take the honors to start this thread.

It’s in the thread title, and I’m going to repeat it again:

BEWARE! SPOILERS AHEAD!

If you want spoiler-free reviews, pleas visit this thread

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Don’t forget to vote!

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I will and would have - but I did not attend the premiere, only posted this photo.

I’ve just left the cinema after the first midnight viewing. I need time to process.

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Yeah I cried, Fukunaga you madman.

Is it basically Dark Knight Rises, right with all its messiness relative to the previous high bar (in this case CR and SF)? yes. Firmly in the middle of the pack there of the Craig era.

Did I still love it? Yes. It’s everything I wanted it to be not just from when I walked out of Spectre, but when I saw my first big screen Bond which was - yes - QoS. This and SP being the films where Bond goes after the bastards.

Was it worth the however many miles away I am for full 1.43 IMAX? YES. EVEN THE GUNBARREL and opening credits!

As people have said it’s emotional, it wears its heart and inspirations very much on its sleeve - almost to a fault (dunno how to feel about that needle drop at the end) - it also is the real “let’s throw everything and the kitchen sink at Craig” film - it mixes so much tonally (again much like TDKR, it really really bounces between tones) but somehow all works out in the end, there was a hanging thread I was thinking about as the denouement played out and even that ended up delivering at the end. And did not drag at all pacing wise…just flew by.

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Not really a spoiler review, however I agree with @stromberg, it’s impossible to review the film without even suggesting possible plot points.

In short: it’s good. Great at times. But, unfortunately, there is also a catch.
The filmmakers this time played va banque, practically all chips betting on the emotional involvement of the viewer in the story. Otherwise there is a good chance that the remaining elements of the film will not compensate disappointment. Because neither the movie is as spectacular as you might expect, nor the plot is particularly revealing, nor will the villain in Bond’s villains’ pantheon be recorded (to put it mildly).
On the other hand, NTTD has an almost perfect pace. The film is long, but thanks to this, the individual elements of the plot gained a solid foundation…
Craig stood up to the task, shining in the film. If you were disappointed with the character of Madeleine Swann in SP - this movie will surely compensate, because Seydoux has a lot to play this time.
Paloma is indeed a gem.
And the opening credits are definitely weak (although I’m a fan of Eilish’s compositions).
What else? References to Fleming are great. The set design is phenomenal this time. Especially at Safina base. And Zimmer’s music? It illustrates the action very decently, although it is rather forgettable. We’ll see in time.
It’s hard to do justice to the film without spoilers. So let me say this: I am satisfied. However, mainly because I bought the formula proposed by the creators. But not everyone will be able to say the same.

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Need time to process but… Wow
I loved it, as a Craig fan I wanted his final one to be special and wasn’t disappointed. His performance in this is, in my opinion, his best. It’s the funniest film of his tenure and the most beautifully shot. Paced perfectly and I think it will be the one that is rewatched most of CraigBonds era.
Director should be given a chance with another movie a very safe and bloody exciting pair of hands

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‘This is my…family.’

In over 40 years of being a Bond fan I certainly never expected this might once become a memorable line from a James Bond film. Much less that it would practically disappear in the background under the impact of all the other sensations NO TIME TO DIE delivers. This film, it’s fair to say, goes boldly where no Bond film went before - and where certainly no other Bond film will follow for a considerable time.

I’ve just spent three hours in a film theatre without the slightest hint of ennui; that’s how well this film zips along despite it taking time for mood and emotion like few others in the canon. I’ve just seen that old genre cliché of the female super secret agent reused - with a finger to the usual suspects in the smelly outer right corner; be my guests… - and a dramatic action scene entirely in dialogue FX set around a kitchen sink.

And while all of these would be upsetting, undercutting expectations and, yes, hopes too, it all falls into place in a manner that feels just right. Right for this Bond and right for our time. This is the logical Bond film we get because it maps the end of an era. If SKYFALL anticipated events in our world with its supersaturated display of Union flags, then maybe NO TIME TO DIE anticipated the watershed moment in our world and translated it into sharp relief of before and after.

The world has moved on. Now we cannot deny this any longer.

Seasoned fans of the series will recognise many references to the classics, the script isn’t shy about taking from the past - young terrorists entering Spectre’s headquarters and killing the old guard dates back to outlines for THE SPY WHO LOVED ME - and the images cleverly reflect many many classic moments without rubbing them in. For the connoisseurs there are also a number of Fleming references, though perhaps not all live up to their potential as a reader would wish.

Daniel Craig, in my opinion, does what he always did. Giving his bloody best. And his colleagues in the cast and behind the camera follow him suit in a production that embraces several shifts in tone and tempo. You can clearly see this was not just another Bond film but the one where they all want to hit out of the park.

All that said, there’s also, for me, a feeling like the villain might have been a little more pronounced. Safin is present, even in scenes where he isn’t. But he remains a bit foggy, a bit without real purpose. Not for lack of motivation, that is clear enough. It’s the way he’s played.

Anyhow, my verdict.

I liked it, quite a lot more than I expected. I even liked the end because it’s so fitting in the greater picture of it all. It encapsulates Craig’s Bond and makes room for the next.

All the room in the world.

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I don’t post on here very often these days. I caught No Time to Die at the midnight-plus-one showing and, well, here’s a long review, inhabited entirely by SPOILERS.

It’s taken almost six years for Daniel Craig’s final outing as OO7 to reach the screen. There are several well-documented reasons, including Covid, reshoots and backroom bickering. The eventual return is welcome. It’s always good to have a James Bond film to watch. We used to get them in the summer when Roger Moore’s bright and breezy interpretation leant itself to popcorn blockbusters. Recently, they’ve come in the winter and are shrouded in shadows of death and clouds of doom. No Time To Die sticks rigidly to the format first proposed in Craig’s debut outing: this new, lonely James Bond makes impulsive decisions which effect those all around him and ultimately affect his career. In this case terminally.

There. That’s let the cat out of the bag early.

Daniel Craig is definitely a Bond for the 21st Century. He comes loaded with more baggage than an Aston Martin DBS. He’s weary of his work: he retires twice. He feels duty bound to return when his own errors mean his country’s security is threatened. He dislikes authority, butts heads against it, then doggedly does the least he’s been instructed and the most he can to be destructive. He’s an orphan with mother issues, brother issues and an enormous chip on his shoulder about being from the wrong kind of class. He’s associated with many women, some beautiful, others headstrong, all opinionated of him, but they either die or he abandons them. He drinks too much. He’s rather good at killing people and seems remarkably indestructible. He survives three point blank explosions in this adventure alone, before, well…

We know something grim is going to happen as we follow Bond and Madeleine Swann zipping along the Amalfi coast in his Aston Martin. “We have all the time in the world,” he tells her. We all know how it ends when Bond uses that line. The pair are struggling with their romance. He won’t let go of his past great love, Vesper Lynd; she won’t open up about her complicated traumatic past. They join the suspicious locals at Matera by burning their secrets, which they promise to reveal to each other. Not before Spectre interferes and tries to assassinate them both. Bond duly shovels his love onto a train and turns his back on his future. Next, we’re five years on and he’s drinking hard in Jamaica and being tempted to return to the fold by a new female OO7 as well as his old mate Felix Leiter from the CIA. This decision, like many earlier ones, is taken without thought and plunges Bond back into a deadly game of death which this time he struggles to escape from. When those secrets are finally revealed, it’s all come too late for Madeleine and our James.

Craig lets us see the suffering, but that doesn’t make his performance particularly noteworthy. It might be provocative for a Bond film, but the dark stuff, the introspective dialogue and long glances, slows down the cat’s cradle storyline and overloads it with supposed emotional insight. Bond isn’t growing as an individual here, he’s regressing: regretting everything he’s done and the death he’s caused or dispatched. There’s an alarming moment when he makes breakfast for a young child and he appears stunned by this act of simplicity, that peeling and slicing an apple is the most delicate task he’s ever performed in the last few years. His treatment of Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine is pretty rough, mind. Love inhabits strange places in Bond’s mind. Convinced she’s betrayed him as Vesper did, he disowns her; convinced she didn’t, he rapidly falls head over heels in, well, something, let’s call it love, but it might be need. Seydoux does the best she can in an underwritten pivotal role. Sadly, Madeleine is still harbouring secrets right until the final line of the movie.

More alarming even than Bond’s emotional growing pains is the body count, not only from his hand, but from many others. The gun battles are relentless. Annoyingly, some important dialogue is threaded through these exchanges and, like a similarly important scene set in a nightclub, it’s impossible to hear what anyone is saying. A terrible editing oversight. Still, back to the running and shooting and killing: like Raoul Silva said in Skyfall, “It’s exhausting.” I could say the same about this epic whose bullet count is astronomical.

No Time To Die starts with a flashback sequence where the chief villain pays a visit to Mr White’s house in Norway, for revenge, to kill him for exterminating his family on Spectre’s orders. For no reason other than it’s creepy, he wears a Japanese Noh mask. A pre-teen Madeleine Swann shoots him point blank, but he lives to save the youngster’s life, pulling her from an ice lake. The sequence made no sense action-wise, or plot-wise, contributes to the narrative only by contrivance and sets us up for a film full of long winded battle royales in Matera, Cuba, Norway [again] and an armoured island lurking off the Russian coast. Every sequence is stretched for no reason to its optimum length: the chase in Norway could have been written out in a thrice, the repetitive Matera action could have been half the length and wouldn’t have lost impact. Even the fairly staid mid-section where we’re meant to learn about the plot and decipher character’s motivations feels needlessly extensive.

Here, I was intrigued by the premise that Mallory, whose been heading up MI6 for five years now without the aid of the organisation’s best ever agent, has made a judgemental error and allowed the pathetic, snivelling scientist Valdo Obruchev to continue to develop Heracles nanotechnology, which in the wrong hands will lead to the eradication of whole strains of human life, exterminating in seconds anyone touched by a virus which attacks only after recognising an individual’s signature DNA. It was all a bit sci-fi for me. The writers worked it effectively to kill off a few important characters, but it made their whispery villain very one-dimensional. Hacked off at having his family killed, he’s decided to slaughter half the world’s gangsters, oligarchs, politicians, spies, etc. as well as all their DNA relations. That’s a seriously messed up head. No wonder he needs therapy. Dr Swann isn’t the one to help him though; he only wants to use her to assassinate Blofeld. She doesn’t, but the nanobots are smart enough to transmit death via intermediaries and Bond has the honour, without even realising it. Know-it-all Q explains it much better than I do. Nobody meanwhile takes time to examine what’s going on in M’s head; a mere insert regarding heroes and villains doesn’t really cut the mustard. Ralph Fiennes is curiously static.

Bond is given plenty of assistance to cause chaos even if the MI6 Scooby Gang are kept in the background. Blofeld, deprived of his own terror organisation, drops handy hints before his premature exit. Lashana Lynch is miscast as Nomi, the new female OO7; her role is badly written. She achieves very little; Bond does all her work for her. I didn’t like her arrogant attitude. She isn’t sophisticated or smart, she’s simply stroppy and rather rude. Far more successful was scatter-brained Paloma, played by Ana de Armas who rips up a storm in Cuba with Bond, fighting baddies in the skimpiest of dresses and swapping sexy banter with Bond with every bullet, martini and right hook. It’s shameful to waste such an accomplished character who provides all the fun dialogue, enthusiasm and lightheartedness we’ve been missing during Craig’s tenure. He responds in kind and their pairing is by far the most fetching his version of Bond has ever had. You feel the sparks of their attraction, even if it’s unfulfilled. Where has this been for the past four movies? I ask.

Safin is a poor villain. He might have a bonkers plot and be completely bonkers, but he lacks depth and a powerful presence. He has no decent heavies. He speaks in a whispery monotone which I could barely pick. Rami Malek’s profundities never even cross the cinema floor. He’s even out-acted by Christoph Waltz as Blofeld who’s only in one scene. Safin’s chased to his island kingdom between Russia and Japan [nicked from Raymond Benson’s The Man With The Red Tattoo] where he’s planted a Garden of Death [nicked from Fleming’s You Only Live Twice] and has a huge repository full of DNA just waiting for Heracles to unleash worldwide. Bond and Nomi glide to the rescue, save the world, Dr Swann and her daughter but for once OO7 can’t save himself. It’s a bleak conclusion, not made any more palatable by a repeat of George Lazenby’s final words from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and a short solemn epilogue.

I could be very angry and bitter about the finale. I’m not. I’m just very disappointed. I ought to be happy because the producers declare “James Bond Will Return,” suggesting the “Many Bonds One Number” theory I always took to might have legs. The problem with the conclusion is our hero becomes a tragic figure; he may well have saved the world, but he hasn’t found happiness and lasting satisfaction. His world is as empty at the end of No Time To Die as it was at the start of Casino Royale, even if his heart’s in a better place. Self-sacrifice is all well and good, but we’re not used to this sort of thing in the world and personage of James Bond; he was always the spy game’s answer to Houdini and this rather cuts his legacy short, at the knee, as Nomi might put it.

Enough.

Cary Joji Fukunaga directs with some fearlessness. The film doesn’t feel its length. When it’s good, it’s very good. The piece is well shot. Linus Sandgren’s landscapes sparkle, especially during the pre-credit scenes, a snowy Norway and a sun-bleached Matera. The relatively unexciting sets are certainly on point. Hans Zimmer’s music is as insignificant as the non-entity of a title song, a few melodic nods to past Bond films inhabit the flow. The script, which needed four contributors, dips and swoops, rises and dips again, constantly. Some of the support performances are dreadful, which unbalances the sturdy ones at the front.

Overall, despite my reservations, I didn’t dislike No Time To Die, but it isn’t the swansong I wanted for our James: he seems too confused, uncertain of everything and everyone around him. Once more, as Mr White so eruditely put it, he’s a kite blowing in the wind. The best that can be said for Daniel Craig’s lease on the character is this five film series can now stand alone and outside the other movies. Maybe next time around we can all get on with some less serious soul-searching espionage.

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Jus got home from watching it. As far as I’m concerned it’s up there with the best of them. To me this was the perfect conclusion of Craig’s era. Wonder what they will do with Bond now, still want to see Bond back in the fifties ala Man From Uncle movie.

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Just got back home from seeing it. I have so many thoughts, I don’t know where to begin. Overall, I loved it (most of it). But I have so many opinions about so many bits of it. I’ll the bad out of the way first…

First off- as nice as it was to see the gun barrel back at the start where it belongs, I didn’t like it. Maybe I’m just so stuck in the past, but I didn’t like the way Daniel’s silhouette just blurs and instantly fades. Give me the CGI blood again!

Billie Eilish’s song, now I’ve seen it in the the context of the film, I realise I don’t like it at all. And the opening credits were very forgettable.

Rami Malek is also a very dull villain as Safin. There was no spark or energy to his character, just monotone dull. A waste of his acting talent. I blame the writing here. I didn’t think much of Lynch either.

Anyway! That’s all the bits I didn’t like. Everything else was just lovely! The Matera sequence was brilliant, especially Zimmer’s score. The Cuba sequence with de Armas was funny, thrilling and just damn Bondian. The chemistry between Craig and Armas was palpable, I just wish we got to see more of Paloma.

And then we get to Mr Craig himself. As others have mentioned he absolutely throws himself at this film, you can see it in his performance, he is so in the role as Bond I just couldn’t keep my eyes off him when he was on screen. Pathos, charm, wit, danger, he has it all. His comraderie with Felix (Felix! Ahhhh!) in the Jamaican nightclub was just beautiful. Talking of beautiful, big up Linus Sandgren. He makes Van Hoytema look like a child with a camcorder and some home-made gel-slides. That one-shot action sequence in the stairwell with Bond killing multiple people was great, as was him blowing up thingys eyeball. It reminded me of Daredevil.

Was the film too long? No. It was the perfect length. Even the middle part where you could argue there needed to be editing, it was so important to spend more time with Q, Moneypenny and M- and I was so happy to get a “oh shut up Q I know he has been staying with you!” a la Bernard Lee in TMWTGG. There were many Bond references littered throughout and it will probably take me another couple of viewing before I spot them all.

A fitting end to the DC tenure as 007. Bond has been completely humanised and I do wonder where we go from here.

Regardless, No Time to Die is a triumph.

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“His name was Bond, James Bond”

I’m just back - I thought it was fucking awesome!

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Seen it.

Knew what was coming but was still not prepared for how much I’d be hit by the emotional hammer blows. I’m still not quite right a couple of hours later.

Longer thoughts to come, but immediate reaction - a brilliant film, which just… works. A couple of plot wobbles, but that’s just the usual gremlins, rather than connected to Bond’s journey.

Loved it.

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Oh Lord! Just got back from the cinema and I am shooketh.

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Just back from the theatre. Bloody well hated it! So many things went wrong.
I’ll try to elaborate more, but just wanted to share my immediate impression.

Poor Ian Fleming!

Sure hope the next one (if there is one) will be another reboot so that we can forget this lame Spectre/NTTD run.

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Mod note: Please remember to vote in our survey.

I’m just back from seeing it at the cinema, a bit over the top,but I wore a cream suit, blue shirt and a 007 Aston Martin tie,with 007 tie clip.

With a jack Daniels and diet Coke and a bag of salt popcorn, I settled down to watch it…

I think I will need to sleep on it,as I’m really not sure what to think…

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Hi everybody! I’m a long time (actually very long time) reader from germany here on the forums. I usually come here to enjoy all your comments and insights to just celebrate my lifelong Bond-affection, which began with Moonraker when i was nine years old. I was a big fan of Daltons Bond, later came Daniel Craig and reenergized my love for the franchise in a big way. So usually i like the more serious approach to Bond.

But coming back home tonight from my first viewing of NTTD i have to say that this film feels like a massive blow to the stomach for me. Yes, it DID get me on an emotional level, but not in a good way. I came back angry and very frustrated. Not because the movie is bad. In my opinion it works very well in itself. But this is James Bond. The guy, who doesn’t give up, no matter how hopeless things turn out.

For me that’s the essence of Bond. It hasn’t to be light hearted or playing for laughs all the time. But the one thing i want to take away from a Bondmovie is hope. There’s one guy in the world, who find’s a way out. That’s the one rule they broke with this movie. In my opinion they’ve pushed the limits way too far. If this was actually the reason, Danny Boyle walked away from it, i have to applaud him.

I’m feeling very sad right now. Bond meant a lot to me up to this point, especially the Craig ones, even for my professional life. But right now, i have no intention to watch one of his movies again. I couldn’t have imagined, that i ever would reach this point. Maybe, i have to take a break from it for a time. Seeing things differently in the future.

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I loved the Casino Royale/Quantum of Solace-y bits - the pre-titles was great and had a real sense of urgency I think was mostly missing from the last two films - and I wasn’t so keen on the Skyfall/Spectre-y bits - “time to die” really? and Bond’s death by missiles felt too simplistic and bombastic for Craig’s Bond.

I didn’t hate the SF/SP stuff, but it just didn’t sit right for me next to the CR/QOS stuff. I don’t think you can have your cake and eat it!

Safin was fine but I wanted to see more of him in action. I’m sick to death of the talky scenes with people stood still. Bond meeting M by the Thames I think it was, I wanted to give the two of them a slap, it felt too set up and unnatural. I had the same issue with Skyfall and Spectre. Most dialogue scenes feel preened within an inch of their life. There was less of that this time, but there were Bond’s scenes with M, Blofeld and Safin. I wasn’t sure or not if the Blofeld scene was deliberately super dry so as to give Bond strangling him more impact??

I thought the music was pretty good, but I wanted more Bond theme! The escape from the square had my blood pumping, I was actually tearing up cos it’s been so long since the Bond theme felt that vital! And then, it doesn’t really get much more use than that !

If they’re happy ending Craig’s run with him dying in a hail of missiles, then I wish they’d gone that barmy with the rest of the film! I am chomping at the bit for a big Tomorrow Never Dies bike chase style set piece, wall to wall Bond theme!

The obvious green screen when Bond gets to his resting place suggests to me it was a last minute thing… if not, why are these sorts of scenes in films always so fake looking?? I’m not sure which films it is I’m thinking of (ok one is Rise of Skywalker’s cobbled together final shot), but controversial scenes like this always also seem to have weird CGI going on. Anyway I can picture Daniel Craig going “fuck it, let’s just blow him up”.

The use of We Have All the Time in the World and the OHMSS theme felt cheap. I liked the use of No Time to Die and Vesper’s theme. But then All the Time in the World at the end too? Craig Bond deserves his own memorable line and his own song at the end!!

At the moment, I’d put it above Skyfall and Spectre because it had more Casino/Quantum-esque bits. As you may have gathered, I’m a fan of that Bond and I don’t think they have successfully brought in the traditional elements, they still feel jarring.

So

  1. Casino Royale
  2. Quantum of Solace
  3. No Time to Die
  4. Skyfall
  5. Spectre

Time for bed!

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First of all, welcome to CBn, Shatterhand!

To you and all the fans who don’t agree with the end - and that’s probably a number of people, both in hardcore fandom and among the casual audience - I’d like to share my take on it.

I used to be always on the sceptic side when such a theoretical possibility was discussed here. Every once in a while it popped up as a daring take but didn’t garner much support, simply because it didn’t lead anywhere - Bond dying is just the end. And few would have seriously bet on Eon going down that route anyway.

Now I came out of the theatre yesterday and, while certainly shocked even though I knew about it in advance, I was in fact at peace with this ending as it was written. Why?

Craig’s Bond was an incarnation that was from the start conceived as Bond as if he was real in his fictional universe. Mind you, not real in the drab sense of a George Smiley. But real in the limits of his world: starting out lacking expertise, ageing, showing signs of use and abuse, bleeding and hurt and not forgetting about his past. This was a character shown on a human trajectory.

For me the much more impactful scene was Bond confessing his love again, close to tears and the weight of all his wasted opportunities showing in every line. This is a character that doesn’t owe us as audience anything. This man owes it to himself to try to come to terms with his life. He’s jumping off the karma wheel of eternal invincibility for the little scrap of a chance to be, for once, human.

And therefore mortal.

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