Thursday, December 9, 2021

No Time to Die (2021)

This is the kind of movie that you might like if you only watch action movies. A better example is Angel Has Fallen (2019), a sequel in the Has Fallen series with some genuinely tense moments. I prefer movies where the protagonist has weaknesses rather than being an indestructible superhero. This latest Bond’s only weakness is the writing, and it’s a fatal flaw.


Daniel Craig reprises his role as a middle-aged Brit on a perpetual vacation. After the intro sequence, he goes to a tiki bar where he meets Bernard from Westworld, as well as a CIA guy Bond calls the “Book of Mormon”. The nickname is pertinent because none of the new characters are memorable enough to warrant names. In no particular order, they are:

  • Mr. Robot
  • Black 007
  • Hot Latina
  • Not ScarJo
  • Angry Old Man (probably M)
  • Russian Scientist

Here’s the story: Mr. Robot gets revenge on Not ScarJo because her mom was in Spectre and apparently killed his whole family. He wears a stupid Asian doll mask that’s far too effeminate for his fucked up face. Then he makes nanobots that somehow spread like a disease and do genetic targeting to kill specific people or traits or whatever. British intelligence was in on the whole thing, as was the CIA, as was Spectre. The only person in the world who didn’t know about the nanobots was Bond, and he gets mad about it and shoots a bunch of people before heroically sacrificing himself to destroy the nanobot lab.

There is also some really bizarre writing. Towards the end, Russian Scientist offers Black 007 the opportunity to exterminate all black people, then he’s kicked into a pool of acid. If it sounds stupid when I describe it, just watch the movie. The constant juxtaposition of dark-and-serious Casino Royale tone with Roger Moore-era shenanigans does not work. It’s like the writers threw a bunch of pages into a blender.

Most of the characters have no importance to the story whatsoever. Mr. Robot, Black 007, and Angry Old Man are the only characters needed to keep the plot moving. The rest are set dressing. The movie is longer than Dune.

I generally like James Bond movies, but this was not one of the stronger installments. It is clear that Daniel Craig will be replaced with someone younger and the James Bond chronology will be restarted yet again. My bet is on Daniel Radcliffe.