In 2005, Christopher Nolan changed the landscape of franchise films with his dark, gritty Batman Begins. A similarly dark and gritty reboot of James Bond followed with 2006's Casino Royale. I thoroughly enjoyed both Nolan's Batman trilogy and Casino Royale. They're excellent films and they felt fresh and different at the time. But after director Cary Joji Fukunaga's No Time to Die, which will be Daniel Craig's final outing as Bond, I find myself longing for a sense of fun and adventure to return to franchise films.
Bond finds out his love Madeleine (Lea Seydoux) has a secret association with new supervillain Safin (Rami Malek). Safin is developing a bioweapon that will turn individual people into weapons infecting specific targets.
At 2 hours and 43 minutes, No Time to Die is easily the longest Bond film ever, probably because it's trying to find stuff to do for all of the old characters while still introducing new ones like the spy Nomi (Lashana Lynch). The best new addition is Ana de Armas (Knives Out) as Paloma. Sadly, her role is far too small but she is a delight.
It's hard to discuss the rest of No Time to Die without spoilers. It's by no means a bad film, and Craig has done a good job as Bond. But it's too long and too dour for me to ever think I'll want to re-watch it.
**1/2 stars (out of four)