End of a Bond era
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After sitting on the shelf for 18 months, No Time to Die finally hit theaters Oct. 8, allowing audiences to see Daniel Craig complete his five-film run as James Bond.
Bond must save both the world and the woman he loves, Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), from Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), a villain possessing a dangerous biological weapon. Of course, the movie gives us fist fights, chases, and explosions as it winds its way toward its inevitable conclusion, tugging our heartstrings along the way.
But the film attempts too much and too little with its 163-minute runtime. The central conceit is nothing new, and Safin is a campy bore. Also, Bond and Swann’s love story never really seems believable. Craig exhibited more chemistry and fun in his brief scenes with Ana de Armas, who plays new CIA operative Paloma, but those scenes don’t have much to do with the larger plot. The episodic narrative needed streamlining and the film drags before it gets to the last act. The overstuffed extravaganza tries to make the womanizing Bond more palatable for the #MeToo era. A higher regard for women would have been a welcome change, if it hadn’t felt so tacked on.
Despite its flaws, No Time to Die (rated PG-13) bids Craig farewell with thrills and bittersweet emotion. It’s a satisfying, if messy, end to his run.
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