No Time to Die perfectly balances predictable and unpredictable

- in Kultur & Nöje, Nöje, Recension

Original title: No Time to Die
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
In cinema premiere: September 30th
Language: English
Runtime: 2h 43 min

No Time to Die is the most recent movie in the James Bond franchise, and the final one with Daniel Craig in the lead. The Bond movies with their iconic legacy are always highly anticipated and in No Time to Die the stakes are higher than ever, for the fans as well as the protagonist. Lundagård’s Linn Larsson has seen the movie and shares her thoughts. 

We are introduced to a Bond that seems to have retired and settled down. His zen is suddenly abrupted by a mission from his old friend at CIA, Felix Leiter (Jeffery Wright). Spectre is yet again causing trouble and their leader Blofeld still wants to watch the world burn. This time his master plan revolves around a virus, ironically enough. The obnoxious antagonist is Christoph Waltz’s forte and this manifests in his portrayal of Blofeld.

Nomi (Lashana Lynch) is ready for action in Cuba
Credit: Nicola Dove
© 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

It is obvious that No Time to Die caters to its modern audience by writing female characters whose purposes are more than just muses to the hero. The charming Ana de Armas plays the equally charming side-kick, Paloma, and the new agent 007, Nomi (Lashana Lynch), makes her first appearance, which naturally causes humorous intrigue. Incorporating female characters to appear woke is low-hanging fruit – the movie barely passes the Bechdel test anyway – but I admit that it worked on me, if only momentarily. 

I do miss some depth to the characters – the film fails to provide ground for a sense of affection to the newly introduced ones. This somewhat undermines the tension in the most agitating scenes. In particular the new villain Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) and Bond’s love interest Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) have backstories with loose ends that are never really tied up, which might leave the curious unsatisfied. 

The fact that every element of the picture so seamlessly comes together is a testimony to the director Cary Joji Fukunaga. The director of photography, Swedish Linus Sandgren, does a remarkable job with camera work that has me in awe at multiple times during the film. Hans Zimmer is the composer of the original score, which is not as overwhelming as his renowned soundtrack to Inception but it definitely compliments the atmosphere.

Artwork NO TIME TO DIE.

It cannot be stressed enough the brilliance of Daniel Craig’s performance in No Time to Die, and it is hard to believe that there was ever controversy regarding him getting the role as James Bond. Eventually, the audience embraced Craig in the role and I am happy to say that he got a beyond worthy end to his Bond era and he is well deserving of the lengthy runtime. 

The masterfulness of this picture lies in how the predictable aspects of a Bond movie are present, yet balanced with unpredictable components that catches me off guard. Afterwards, I am left with a sense of finality that is both melancholic and comforting. No Time to Die is one of the greatest Bond movies ever produced, and I dare promise you an impressive cinematic experience that should be enjoyed in theaters.

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