No Time to Die: Cary Joji Fukunaga’s entry to the long-running 007 action franchise, the concluding part of a cycle, is a melancholic one; not because it’s emotionally charged (even though it is), but because it’s generally so uninspired. The main issue resides with the villain, generally what drives the film: weak, dull, and miscast. His grand scheme, in the best tradition for the series, is megalomaniacal; step-by-step, however, nothing makes much sense, and his motivations for those are beyond incomprehensible. Rami Malek is simply too young for the role, and he plays the cryptic character without any charisma whatsoever. (His main henchman is also rather forgettable.) Daniel Craig, in his fifth turn in this role, is fine enough as this brutish but vulnerable version. Ana de Armas and Lashana Lynch are fine presences, but used merely as tokens of ass-kicking female characters; the latter, in particular, is not allowed to properly show why she is who she is. Léa Seydoux, as the official love-interest Bond girl, has great sorrowful eyes and justifies her post. The action is generic and unimpressive. In any case, the film looks like a million dollars, with its story taking place all around the world, all elegantly shot by cinematographer Linus Sandgren. Composer Hans Zimmer wisely uses the original theme often. Billie Eilish’s theme song sets the emotional mood early on.
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