It is Holy Writ & Received Revelation that Sean Connery was “the best Bond,” but for me, that’s Daniel Craig. I realize that makes me a heretic, but so be it. Craig, and the producers helming the Bond films he starred in, made 007 visceral and dangerous again. “Casino Royale” (2006) remains a master class in how to reboot an old franchise. After years of over-the-top opening action sequences, Casino gave us a flashback and a foot chase! This Bond was human-powered, not gadget-powered.
While I had enjoyed the occasional Bond film before Craig, I wasn’t a fan until he arrived.
So I thoroughly enjoyed “No Time to Die,” even though a gifted actor like Rami Malek wasn’t given quite a weighty enough villain to compare to Casino’s Mads Mikkelsen. But then, “No Time” was a little less about Bond’s antagonist and more about Bond’s farewell… and what a show it gives us! The producers were willing to leave it all on the field and take a Bond story where few have gone before to give Craig a worthy send-off. In the end, James Bond was a human being after all. (Albeit one who never suffered from PTSD, hearing loss, liver disease, or a body damaged beyond repair from years of physical abuse.)
The final Craig outing as Bond adds a nice character arc for his version of 007 from the beginning, to the middle, to the end of his career.
Hans Zimmer’s music is terrific. While some critics don’t appreciate his style, I have yet to hear a Zimmer score that didn’t wow me musically. (Check out his scores for Interstellar and Dune for fantastic music that truly serves the film & story.)
Ana de Armas was on screen for what, 10 minutes? And nearly stole the film.
Who’s going to be the next Bond? I’m hoping for Idris Elba, but the producers might have a surprise up their sleeves. If they make as inspired & unexpected a choice as Daniel Craig, it’ll be something to see.
“Finch” on Apple TV+ got to me even though I knew what was coming going in. It doesn’t waste time on how the robot has sentience and emotions because that’s not the point — the robot is the emotional avatar through which you, the viewer, experience the story of grief and loss. And Tom Hanks is, well, Tom Hanks and that’s always worth watching.