NO TIME TO DIE – 007 ***1/2
Bond is back and he is excellent! Directed by California-born Cary Joji Fukunaga (“Jane Eyre”, “Sin Nombre”), it has everything and more that 007 aficionados have come to love about the franchise which has been going on since 1962 with 24 films in all. Action, amazing stunts, exotic locations and the Bond girls have been part of the deal. The excitement and exhilarating car chases are on the menu here, but the tone seems to have matured, and the lone Bond girl, Ana de Armas, a cute/spicy Cuban actress, is more involved in the action than in bed, as sexual mores have evolved.
The often dour but very virile Daniel Craig has played the suave English spy for the last five episodes in this hugely successful series, though he himself wished to end his run with this one. And he is at his best – relaxed, tender and loyal to his love, and more attractive in his quiet confidence. So the question is, how do they end it, and will he live or die? Well, that is for you to find out when you see the movie.
As with most of the films, the premise is always a world-endangering dilemma or catastrophe that only Bond can manage to save with his incredible sharpness and agility. And of course there is always a new, vile arch-enemy to overcome and destroy. But Bond seems to be in some sort of retirement with Madeleine (Lea Seydoux), his great love from the last episode, SPECTRE, when M (Ralph Fiennes) ends up in a tight corner over some DNA experimentation gone terribly wrong under his command. So Bond is called back to save the day, though there seems to be another 007 on the horizon. Again, for you to discover on your own. So if you’re in the testosterone mode, go ahead and run to it.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.