Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux
Release Date: December 21, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
NO TIME TO DIE returns Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming’s James Bond alongside OSCAR® winner Rami Malek. Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
Please Note: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Daniel Craig returns for his fifth and final outing as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in ‘No Time to Die’ which rejoins Bond after leaving active service and now enjoying some much needed peace and relaxation after his hectic years in action. But his respite from the life doesn’t last long when he is attacked and his old CIA friend Felix shows up shortly after requesting his assistance. After reluctantly accepting, Bond is thrown back into the fold, especially when a dangerous and mysterious new villain appears on the scene with a terrifying new technology that could set the world on a dangerous course if his plan comes to fruition.
Directed this time around by Cary Joji Fukunaga (Jane Eyre, TV’s True Detective) from a screenplay by Neal Purvis (Casino Royale) & Robert Wade (Skyfall) and Cary Joji Fukunaga (IT 2017) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (TV’s Killing Eve), from a story by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Cary Joji Fukunaga; Fukunaga does a great job at the helm of ‘No Time to Die’ guiding along the final chapter in Craig’s Bond saga with style and care. The film also benefits from a great cast comprised of both new and returning individuals including Daniel Craig (Knives Out), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Léa Seydoux (The French Dispatch), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), Ben Whishaw (The Danish Girl), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Jeffrey Wright (TV’s Westworld), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) and Ralph Fiennes (Hail, Caesar!) along with more, and nearly all offering quite solid performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
‘No Time to Die’ is rich with dazzling action, excitement and heart. The fifth and final outing for Craig’s portrayal of Bond builds from the previous four films and takes various key elements from each in order to build what feels like a rather complete and satisfying conclusion that nicely wraps up his story arc in a manner that feels complete and not overly forced most of the time. The new entry does seem to take a step back from the excessive action seen in a few of its predecessors but not in a negative way, instead allowing for a more emotional and intricate final installment that may have a bit more emotion at its core but still finds plenty of opportunities to serve up tense and visually gorgeous action sequences that never fail to impress. Daniel Craig has definitely proven himself one of the more fitting actors to tackle the role of James Bond and this five film arc has also found some clever and exciting ways to reinvent the franchise and character while largely staying true to his roots and ‘No Time to Die’ is a pretty great final installment that’s worthy of concluding Craig’s time as Bond. I would strongly urge fans of the James Bond franchise and Craig’s portrayal of the character in particular to go out of your way to check out ‘No Time to Die’ at your earliest convenience if you haven’t already had the pleasure. It’s a solid conclusion to Craig’s run as the character that brings everything from the previous entries together for a sizeable adventure that does the five film arc justice.
Overall, ‘No Time to Die’ delivers an altogether rewarding conclusion to Daniel Craig’s time as the beloved James Bond with enough action, excitement and heart to satisfy those who have been following the actor’s portrayal of the character since 2006’s ‘Casino Royale’. ‘No Time to Die’ is definitely highly recommended, especially for Bond fans in general and even more so for fans of Daniel Craig’s run as Bond specifically who are sure to have a pretty great time with this quite rewarding final chapter. Although I would strongly suggest watching the previous four films before jumping into this one if you haven’t seen them as ‘No Time to Die’ very much revolves around storylines and plot elements that have been building throughout the series since ‘Casino Royale’ and directly continuing other elements from this film’s predecessor ‘Spectre’ that are quite crucial. For those who are otherwise caught up, ‘No Time to Die’ should easily prove well worth a few hours of your time and the cost of a rental and you definitely won’t want to skip this solid final chapter to Craig’s impressive Bond saga.
The Blu-ray release of ‘No Time to Die’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent all around and delivers a crisp, clean and wonderfully detailed presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults to be uncovered along the way. It holds up beautifully even during the various darkly lit, heavily populated and fast moving sequences throughout and never allows anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or problematic at any point. Overall, this is a phenomenal high definition video presentation that should thrill fans and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack is equally outstanding and provides a clean, immersive and quite active audio presentation throughout. It consistently utilizes all seven available channels in order to send music, action and vehicle effects, along with crowd chatter, nature effects and a whole lot more whipping throughout the various speakers at every logical opportunity, and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a fantastic Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that delivers splendidly on all fronts and should not disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘No Time to Die’ contains a few nice extras (all of which can be found on the additional Blu-ray disc dedicated to the extras and clearly labeled Bonus Disc) in the way of some Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore bringing Craig’s final outing as Bond to life, featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are ‘Anatomy of A Scene: Matera’ (running approximately 11 minutes in length), ‘Keeping It Real: The Action of No Time to Die’ (running approximately 6 minutes), ‘A Global Journey’ (approximately 8 minutes) and ‘Designing Bond’ (11 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘No Time To Die’ Arrives Home on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & DVD December 21, 2021 & is Now Available on Digital from MGM & Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
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