No Time To Die (2021) 2-Disc Collector’s Edition (DVD review).

Strictly speaking, the latest James Bond film, ‘No Time To Die’ should be dated 2020 rather than 2021, so I’ve watched the film end of December and the extras in January. I haven’t been waiting for it to appear in the cinema but a home release. At 2 hours 43 minutes, it also stands as the longest Bond film so I do hope future films act with a bit more restraint or a tighter script.

That’s a lot of time to invest in watching a film. Certainly, Bond needs to stop getting out of retirement or you will have to ask unless he keeps up a vigorous exercise like his actor counterpart how come he hasn’t gone to seed or at least a desire to settle down on a comfy sofas with his martini, shaken not stirred.

24 minutes in before the opening credits. James Bond really needs to do security checks on the girls he dates. Doing a five year jump means a lot of missed Bond adventures or placement for when the opening actually happened and joining the dots together. That starts with the Heracles Project and a deadly nerve agent stolen. The inherent weakness in a DNA toxin is it will wipe out anyone related to the targets, so essentially, you could actually wipe out more of the human race, which is recognised in the film.

Bond (actor Daniel Craig) retired in Jamaica but Felix Leiter (actor Jeffrey Wright) wants him for a mission. The man from the Heracles Project, Valdo Obruchev (actor David Dencik), had been located by the CIA in Cuba and they want him to go in. Bond wants to stay in retirement until his 007 replacement, Nomi (actress Lashana Lynch), arrives. CIA and MI6 are not talking but Bond is aware that Spectre is involved and decides to help Leiter. A lot of betrayals along the way which enters spoiler territory. Paloma is a revelation and hope that actress Ana de Armes gets more adventure films.

Bond makes a visit to MI6 in London and a general lack of information passing and is refused by M to see Blofeld, which is slowly changed with spoiler results and so, too, until the end so, as by now, many people have seen the film, let’s comment instead.

The pace of the film is slow. They could cut half an hour and not destroy the pace of the film. What is odd is the film has all the ingredients of the typical James Bond film: gadgets, cars, action scenes, secret bases and yet it doesn’t gel. Even Lyutsifer Safin (actor Rami Malek) is a cryptic villain with no strong motivation other than to destroy most of the population of the world and you’re hardly left waiting to see him. I’m surprised that they didn’t call the film ‘All The Time In The World’ considering how many times the song was referenced.

What makes it worse is the lack of emotional connection to the characters and not sufficiently knitting the scenes together. Nothing against the actors but things can be made or broken at the editing stage and the pace is clearly off. The ending will make people wonder how Bond can return in the next film, so does that mean we’ll finally see how a regeneration is done?

The 5 features in the 36 minutes on the extras disk could easily have been combined onto the film disk, especially as there is no audio commentary. Oddly, they are better than the film showing how the stunts were built up.

Please note, I have nothing against the James Bond franchise and certainly Daniel Craig’s reign as Bond revived my interest in the films. It’s just a shame this one could have been so much better.

GF Willmetts

December 2021/January 2022

(pub: MGM/Universal, 2021. 2 blu-ray disks 163 minute film with extras. Price: . ASIN:

cast: Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whitshaw, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz

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