October 27, 2021

The Movie Man: Craig is Captivating, Seydoux is Stunning, But ‘No Time To Die’ Fails to Live Up to Expectations

Daniel Craig at the film premiere of ‘Spectre’ in Berlin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Special to LymeLine.com

Kevin Ganey is ‘The Movie Man.’

This is a special review for me.

My first ever published piece as a writer was a review for the previous Bond film, Spectre. Much has transpired since then, both for me and the world.

But the appreciation of the art of cinema, manifested in many forms, remains as we struggle with whatever trouble life throws our way. Paraphrasing Mel Brooks, it’s, “Just another defense against the universe,” and a defense that has a special place in my heart.

Bond films are not known for their groundbreaking, cinematic expertise, even if they do consult Stanley Kubrick for lighting (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977). Yet, they remain a necessity for the movie-going experience. Indeed, there were plenty over the years that pushed boundaries and blew us away.

But No Time to Die is not among those ranks.

Apart from being another installment in the Bond franchise made for the sake of pure entertainment, this one is necessary for screening since it is the final performance of Daniel Craig, who, I will proudly assert, is the best performer to take on the role of Ian Fleming’s iconic spy.

I will praise the movie on three separate counts. Two of them being characters and the other being a driving force for the plot.

Craig’s final run as Bond is indeed the most vulnerable of the 25 occasions the character has graced the silver screen, often portrayed as hardened man, who turns to booze, pills, and sex as a coping mechanism for years of trauma.

Then there is Léa Seydoux, who is the only actress to reprise her Bond girl character from a previous movie. For the record, yes, Maud Adams appeared in two films, but as two separate characters, namely Andrea Anders in The Man with the Golden Gun and the title character in Octopussy.)

Seydoux is, without question, the most sophisticated of all the women, who have blown the world away with their beauty alongside Bond, and she has now provided additional reasons for us to remember her contribution to the franchise.

While I can praise Craig and Seydoux, the same cannot be said for the film’s villains (Academy Award-winners Christoph Waltz and Rami Malek), who simply cannot live up to their performers’ hypes.

Then there is the plot.

Upon screening it, viewers will pick up on some hackneyed elements. But the danger is perhaps the most authentic since Goldfinger (in which the title character seeks to detonate a dirty bomb inside Fort Knox and the subsequent contamination of the gold thus wrecking the US economy.)

Why repeat the evil plans of the third film? Simply put: to remind the reader how impressive it is.

I close this review by thanking Craig for breathing new life into a character. When he took on the role, he transformed Bond from the occasionally campy figure to the gritty, no-nonsense, adrenaline-pumping performances he gave for an era dealing with new forms of international turmoil.

Will he read this? Very unlikely (unless he decides to scavenge local, online newspapers throughout the world), but I can dream, can’t I?

Again, thank you, Daniel Craig. The history of cinema will unquestionably look kindly on you.

About the Author: Though no longer a resident of Lyme, Kevin knows he can never sever his roots to the tree of his identity. When not attending to his job in Boston, he is committed to ensuring a better grasp of current (and past) releases of cinema to his home community as he strives to leave his own mark in the same field that has always been his guide to understanding life. If you enjoy his published reviews here on LymeLine.com, follow him on his new website at ‘The City of Cinema and read more of his unique insights into entertainment.

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