Coming to 4K Ultra HD, Bluray, DVD and Digital Code in a 3-Disc Collector’s Edition from director Cary Joki Fukunaga and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is a tale about when it is NO TIME TO DIE.
James Bond (Daniel Craig) has given up being 007 and taken up a life in Norway with the lovely Madeleine (Lea Seydoux). While visiting the tomb of Vesper Lynd, an explosion leads him to believe that the woman he loves has betrayed him in the worst way. Letting her go, Bond goes about his life in Jamiaca without her and back in this stern stance.
Years later, scientist Valdo Obruchev (David Dencik) who was working in the MI6 lab on the Heracles bioweapon project has been kidnapped. Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) with the CIA finds bond and asks Bond as a friend to help them find Obruchev. Believing that Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) is responsible, Bond agrees. Attending a black-tie affair, he sees Obruchev only to be met by a strange mist that takes out all the Spectres that are at the same affair.
Getting Obruchev is the easy part, discovering that Leiter’s partner Ash (Billy Magnussen) is a double agent for Safin (Rami Malek) puts Bond in high gear. The only way to find out what is happening is by Q (Ben Whishaw) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) arranging a meeting with Blofeld. On the way to the meeting, Bond sees Madeline and tries to keep it together. Speaking with Blofeld, Bond learns that what he had thought all these years was wrong.
Finding Madeleine, Bond tries to understand what is happening around him when he learns the story of, she and Safin and the death of his parents. Almost immediately they are on the run again with Safin close behind as M (Ralph Fiennes) stays in contact. Bond and 00 agent Nomi (Lashana Lynch) discover he has been hiding on an abandoned missile base and is mass-producing a weapon that will kill millions of people.
Bond knows that his final decision will save those he loves.
Craig as Bond is leaving the role and in doing so, he has taken the last of James Bond with him. Of course, playing Bond through five films Craig has given us everything that those of us who grew up with Bond expect. This film tries to humanize an agent who has spent his life fighting for kin and country. Do I buy it? I am not so sure of that. I liked my Bond elusive so I will have to chew on that more.
Seydoux as Madeleine is the woman who has stolen Bond’s heart and more than that. Becoming Dr. Swan, I am not sure that even did much for her character except give her access to Blofeld. Her connection to Safin is a bit wonky as well but I suppose needed to play out the story. Malek as Safin gives an unemotional performance of a psycho who just wants to see the world nano itself to death. Trying to use logic to get what he wants; everyone knows you cannot reason with crazy.
Whishaw as Q gets a chance to bring his knowledge of technology to bare but, as with all geniuses, the nano world is something he cannot fix. Fiennes as M has it out with Bond but the scene where that happens feels awkward and uncomfortable, perhaps it was meant that way. Waltz, Wright, Magnussen, Harris, and Lynch all feel like cameos as their roles are short spurts in the mix of the story.
Dencik as Obruchev is the comic relief of mad scientists. Never sure which side he is on, I assumed he was on the side with the biggest weaponry. Fidgety and annoying, he knows what everybody wants and is not above being thrilled by what he is able to do.
Other cast include Ana de Armas as Paloma, Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner, Dali Benssalah as Primo, Brigitte Miller as Dr. Vogel and Lisa-Dorah Sonnet as Mathilde.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.
The Bonus Features include Anatomy of a Scene: Matera, Keeping it Real: The Actions of NO TIME TO DIE, A Global Journey and Designing Bond.
I am going to be blunt honest here and say that NO TIME TO DIE is not my favorite Bond film. The film feels like it is jumbled with appearances of former bad guys mixed in with trying to turn Bond into a touchy-feely agent without actually calling him 007. The story is all over the place and introducing nano-bots feels like a throwback to when the idea of nano-bots was cool. Even Safin’s exotic island felt like a re-visit to THE INCREDIBLES mystery island.
Realizing Craig was attempting to make a grand statement by his final Bond film, I do not think this was the way to do it. Producer Broccoli said the film would “come to a satisfying ending” which makes me wonder if we were both watching the same film. Then again, having grown up on Bond since seeing my first in 1967 with YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, I like my Bond’s mysterious, action directed and non-attached.
I think Bond provides action and the story has gotten lost. Movie-goers do not share the same history with Bond as many of us “older” film buffs and it is a loss for us in a lot of ways. So, if this is how it has to be then farewell to the Bond of my youth and wish the next generation good luck with it.
In the end – Bond is back!