‘No Time To Die’ a sad send-off for Daniel Craig

Soundtrack, cinematography can’t save film from a script that lacks character depth, faith to Bond legacy

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By Naomi Di-Capua, McCallum High School

Bond. James Bond. These infamous words have been muttered by only the most fortunate actors since the release of the first James Bond movie in 1962, culminating in 25 movies under his name. On Oct. 8, director Cary Joji Fukunaga added the 26th movie to the list, and it was detrimental to the legacy of those words.

No Time to Die built up excitement from many fans, as it was Daniel Craig’s swansong as James Bond after previously appearing in the last four installments of the saga.

The film failed to live up to the hype, and it (sky)fell short in its send-off for Craig.

The film starts as viewers are introduced to Madeline (Léa Seydoux), Bond’s newest lover. Throughout the rest of the film Bond shows an absolute devotion to this girl, demonstrating our first major flaw.

James Bond has always been a ladies’ man; however, he has never been one for long-term relationships, so to suddenly see his complete obsession with a girl was a sharp contradiction to the previously established character.

As Madeline grows to take an important role in the film, her character becomes dry and boring. With such a central influence on Bond and the plot progression, a sprinkle of character development would have been appreciated. A majority of Seydoux’s role as Madeline was to be overly emotional, and unfortunately for the writers, crying doesn’t make a character interesting.

Unfortunately for the writers, crying doesn’t make a character interesting.”

The lack of solid character development was a pattern throughout the film, as the directors cast Rami Malek as the lead villain, Safin.

Malek, who is known for his Oscar-winning performance in the 2019 film Bohemian Rhapsody, is the perfect actor to fill the role but again, sadly, the writers fall short.

During the course of the nearly three-hour-long film, Safin only appears for the last hour, providing limited time for viewers to interact with his villainous persona. Regardless of the limited time, Malek’s performance was stellar and truly one of the film’s only redeeming aspects.

Malek’s performance and Hans Zimmer are the reasons this film is watchable. For one, Hans Zimmer and Billie Eilish deliver astonishing music that conveys what the characters do not. Eilish released a wonderful song that made me want break out in dramatic song in the theater.

Much like the music, the cinematography was captivating. The filming locations transports viewers to the Amalfi Coast, Scotland, Cuba and even the Faroe Islands, showing how well the $250 million budget was spent.

The underworked characters and overly complex plot left me confused and tempted to leave. In contrast, the music, captivating shots, and exciting action compelled me to stay.”

This film was nothing short of eye candy, due to both the cast and the stunning shots. The variety of camera angles used throughout scenes created an immersing feeling of being within the action and experiencing everything visually.

The creative ability that went into the planning for the action shots is obvious. Numerous car chases, multiple gun fights and even helicopter and boat explosions in the mix created thrilling shots. Biomedical weapons even made an appearance, delivering us dramatic deaths and confusing scientific terms.

All things considered, however, No Time to Die did not deliver. The underworked characters and overly complex plot left me confused and tempted to leave. In contrast, the music, captivating shots, and exciting action compelled me to stay.

Regardless of its redeeming qualities, however, this film is not worth three hours of your time or the price of admission.

This story was originally published on The Shield Online on November 15, 2021.