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No Time To Die 4K UHD Review

Daniel Craig’s era doesn’t end with a bang with “No Time To Die.”

In “No Time To Die,” James Bond comes out of retirement to help Felix Leiter and the new 007 agent (Nomi) to find a missing MI6 scientist (Obruchev) who helped develop a particularly nasty DNA bioweapon known as Project Heracles. The plot thickens as SPECTRE, Bond’s old flame Madeleine, and a terrorist named Safin become tied up in the mystery. 

As a Bond aficionado, it pains me to write this review. I understand the desire for writers Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Phoebe-Waller Bridge and Cary Joji Fukunaga wanting to reinvent James Bond and shake (not stir) things up, but “No Time To Die” isn’t the answer. Subverting Bond so far from Ian Fleming’s source material is a head scratching move as is making Daniel Craig’s Bond era more self-contained and serialized. The irony is that as much as it ignores the Bond of the past it so desperately wishes it was a reverse “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” The film even goes as far as referencing the score which feels like a slap in the face to OHMSS and the fans. You can’t have it both ways.

The greatest sin of “No Time To Die” is how much it undercuts “SPECTRE.” The underrated last installment carefully tied in the first 4 Craig films together all while setting up Blofeld to return for “No Time To Die.” Blofeld is present here, but he’s not the central villain as he should be. There’s so much to explore there especially with his ties to Bond. Instead, a new no name villain (Safin) is forced into the story who just HAPPENS to have ties to Madeleine Swann and SPECTRE and also decides to attack humanity because of “reasons.” I hate to say it, but “No Time To Die” feels like a needless epilogue to “SPECTRE” which worked far better as a conclusion that left things to the imagination rather than wrapping them up in emo anti-climactic bow.

“No Time To Die” also ceases to be what Bond has always been-fun. “Casino Royale” may have been dark, but it never stopped being fun especially in the riveting parkour and airport sequences. Director We know Cary Joji Fukunaga is a more than capable director with an impressive resume (check out “Beasts Of No Nation”), but his Bond film contains an overly self-serious tone, a generic villain plot, largely bland action sequences and very little globe trotting fun.

“No Time To Die” isn’t without its moments. Every moment Ana De Armas is on screen you’ll be happy she is. Her sequence is the best part of the movie. Daniel Craig always seems to be trying to explore what his Bond is in each film and he refreshingly seems more relaxed here than in the past. He’s much more comfortable spouting some one-liners here. Despite the OHMSS debacle, the score by Hans Zimmer is among the best Bond scores we’ve heard in a long, long time. The theme song by Billie Eilish is also a winner that deserves an Oscar to be sure. Although I don’t like how it panned out (no spoilers here), I was happy to see Felix Leiter (played by Jeffrey Wright) appear once again. I do wish this would have been more of a buddy movie with Bond and Felix, but that was not the case sadly.

Overall Thoughts: “No Time To Die” will certainly have its fans, but, to me, Craig’s era goes out with a whimper with the 25th Bond film. I can only hope that whoever takes on the Bond mantle next will help bring the franchise back to being fun again.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 2160p. How does it look? Expect a pristine print that does justice to the film’s stylish color palette.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? From the grand score to the explosive action, this track delivers in a big way.

Extras:
* Blu-ray copy
* Digital copy
* “Being James Bond”- My favorite extra here is this emotional Apple TV special about Daniel Craig’s era.
* “Anatomy Of A Scene: Matera”- A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the opening action sequence.
* “Keeping It Real: The Action Of No Time To Die”-A 6 minute featurette on the action sequences.
* “A Global Journey”- A glimpse at the shooting locations.
* “Designing Bond”- A featurette on the production design.

December 20, 2021 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , ,

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