by Shelt Garner
I really liked No Time To Die. I only rolled my eyes a few times and checked my watch a few more. And I only once felt the need to think about leaving the theatre in mid-film. For me, a person who walks out of movies constantly, that’s a big deal.
But it’s the third act of the movie I want to talk about.
It’s in the third act that the stakes are raised and a child’s life — Bond’s daughter — is put in harm’s way.
It’s in the third act when something about how unfocused the movie is becomes clear. Somewhere in the movie’s nearly three-hour run time was an even better movie, waiting to come out. The emotional highs and lows of the movie were blunted by how muddled it all was.
I think it was so muddled because that is the point of a Bond movie. You go to a Bond movie to have a good time, not to really get your emotions played with. But had they wanted to make not just a Bond movie but a Bond “film” they could have focused a lot more on the implications of Bond having a family for once in his life and what he was willing to do to save them.
As it is, we’re introduced to his daughter as a plot point, she’s put in danger and then…she escapes because she bit the finger of the villain? What the what? It was a huge letdown.
You have something unique in the Bond franchise — he has a family to protect — and in the end the whole thing is dismissed in a rather ham-handed manner. There was not nearly the emotional pay off that it could have had.
Maybe I’m seeing the influence of Phoebe Waller-Bridge? But because she was just punching the screenplay up and wasn’t the main screenwriter, we just saw glimpses of the far more powerful movie that could have been? I dunno. But it definitely is weird that something so potentially powerful — Bond with family — was introduced and then not a lot was done with it.
As I mentioned, I think some of what I’m noticing is just something that is basic to the Bond movies on an existential basis. We don’t really expect them to be No Country For Old Men or There Will Be Blood. There’s just a fun way to entertain yourself for a few hours.