By Jason Delgado
When the lights go down in the theater, the excitement of the journey into the unknown begins. I can remember trips to movies as such a special event as a child, and like everything else as you age, that magical feeling dims over time, especially when certain films become predictable.
I have to admit that I’ve never been a huge fan of the James Bond franchise because of the predictability of the films (you always know that Bond will prevail and get the girls), and I just couldn’t get behind the character. Bond, James Bond, Mr. “shaken not stirred,” the womanizing, and cool super spy with futuristic fancy gadgets and sleek cars, is the antithesis of everything I am, as a married, non-drinking, introverted nerd who had a flip phone for longer than most people, and still drives an ‘09 Elantra. Instead of a natural wish fulfillment experience that many male viewers probably have when watching the character, I have a disconnect.
With that being said, I’ve still enjoyed past Bond films to varying degrees (I haven’t seen all 25 movies) because of the top-notch action/adventure sequences and exotic locations around the world, not to mention that Daniel Craig is such a talented actor. I’m usually an optimistic person by nature, and I try to go into every movie with a clean slate. I’m so glad that I did that with No Time To Die.
The opening scene is shot like a gripping horror film, which hooked me immediately, while the movie’s overall tenseness, superb score by the legendary composer Hans Zimmer, brilliant acting by the supremely talented cast (led by Craig at the very top of his acting game), and masterful directing by Cary Joji Fukunaga, kept me invested for the entire two hours and forty-three minute runtime.
Even though most of the familiar tropes are present (I especially enjoy the breathtaking, postcard-esque camera shots of Italy), this isn’t your father’s James Bond. I won’t spoil the surprises in store, but I will say that this more mature version of James is my favorite Bond yet.
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) as Safin is a strange and terrifying villain, worthy of being the final foil to Daniel Craig in his last turn as the title character. Lea Seydoux is also stellar as Madeleine Swann, the woman who has had a complicated past and history with Bond.
No Time To Die is a tense and thrilling spy adventure with tinges of horror, and is one of the best movies overall that I’ve seen since the pandemic started (it was actually the first major movie to be affected by the pandemic, with an original release date of April in 2020). The unpredictability of the film was such a pleasant surprise, and a reminder that even as you grow older, you can still have some thrills and chills.
I give No Time To Die five out of five hot sauce packets! It’s so hot that you’ll need almond milk to cool down from the inferno that awaits.