Been a while since I've posted a blog about a new movie I've recently seen in theaters (or rather online streaming services).

No Time To Die was simply put, a super-intense movie that literally defied all expectations for this entire franchise to me. It started off being a typical Bond movie with a very typical intro sequence detailing the flashback of our Bond girl, Madeleine Swann, from the last Bond installment, Spectre, where she deals with the assassination of her mother at the hands of a mysterious masked man who would be the chief antagonist of this film, Lyutsifer Safin, and the chase of Bond and Madeleine from the goons sent by Blofeld in Italy and their narrow escape, but later on, No Time To Die gradually shifts into something no previous Bond I've ever seen to date ever was: A serious psychotic drama, an earnest coming of age story, and an intricate tale of trust, betrayal, and sacrifice. It was a huge and shocking departure form the type of Bond film that would emanate and be surrounded by the bright idealism, the silly goofiness, the aura of invulnerability, the unapologetic womanizing, and the carefree hedonism of the Bond character himself with sunshines and parties abound. Also I gotta say I really liked how a Tamagotchi was given its appearance on this film as a way for Madeleine's childhood to serve as a nice fun reference to the 90's decade.

The plot of No Time to Die really hinged on presenting itself as an interwoven narrative of revenge and pursuit with Bond and Safin and a merciless series of unraveling changes to the established (and soon-to-be-ended) status quo with several characters of note dying off, bringing twists to advance the stakes of the plot, and one passing the torch. The film itself also showed several ways to further growth and development as a character in his last appearance as Bond attaching a rather significant weight to his relationship and chemistry with Madeleine Swann and how close and connected he felt to Madeleine in terms of value and emotion as an individual. Bond's shared character arc with Madeleine really shined the most out of any Bond girl. Nomi's relations with Bond also proved to be pretty pivotal in determining the transition for an era of Bond films and shaped Bond himself in the end. And the revealed turncoat status of characters like Ash and Obruchev also added to the stakes and suspense of the escalating plot for Bond and co. I really found "Heracles" as a worldwide threat of a technology that supposedly kills specific targets and anyone related to them based on their DNA to avoid collateral damage to be a somewhat intriguing concept and a very unique plot point to drive an already multifaceted plot. As for Safin himself, I have to be honest and say that he was a somewhat disappointing and middle of the road Bond villain, but while he wasn't as charming or charismatic as Blofeld, he did a few relatable and redeeming qualities such as being afflicted with the painful sorrow that Blofeld killed off his family before the events of his film by a decent role for Rami Malek himself, but a best Bond main antagonist he was not exactly. I mean I still like how Blofeld still managed to be much more of a conniving and unrepentant overarching villain even after being imprisoned from the last events of Spectre.

The acting and the dialogue were really great with Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, and the rest. M himself represented a sort of power dynamic between Britain and the rest of the world when embodied by the M16. The action, while thrilling in its own right, was pretty high-octane but for some reason, it just didn't grab me with as much of a great explosive punch as Skyfall and Spectre did and compared to the last two Bond installments, the action combat scenes of No Time To Die felt a bit lacking and barebones for the most part. Like the choreography just felt a bit bland, the scene where Bond made Primo's bionic eye explode with his EMP watch was good. What lacked in pure beautifully crafted action of the previous Bond films, it kinda made up for in raw unmitigated depth and emotion of the plot and the characters as it progressed all the way into the climax and Mathilde, the child of Madeleine really did a lot to carry the weight of the narrative with it. The final ending of the entire film really shattered my conception beyond what I would have considered to actually constitute a Bond film and how it would usually end to embody and convey a deeper sense of heroism and self-sacrifice, even for a Grand Finale to present itself as Daniel Craig's swan song. I must say No Time To Die in its entirety was nothing short of compelling and magnificent and one thing it did to stand out among the rest was how it pretty much cemented itself as the absolute darkest and grittiest film in the franchise to date with an ending that will not easily be forgotten by its established audience. And the exit of Daniel Craig as James Bond will forever leave a great legacy and an impression on Hollywood films as a whole and pave the way for whoever will succeed the actor in his footsteps. Above all, No Time To Die is pretty much the most highly intense and psychologically emotional and sentimental film I've ever seen in all of 2021 and the best tribute to a long-running franchise I've seen since COVID-19.

In conclusion, I would award this movie a score of 4.75 out of 5 stars.