Director Cary Joji Fukunaga brings us the final appearance of Daniel Craig as James Bond, and it’s bittersweet. I’ve loved all the actors (except maybe Lazenby) who have portrayed the MI6 007 agent over their 25 films. They each brought something different, however, there is something about Daniel Craig that, over the course of his films, has pushed him to the top of my list. He’s vulnerable, broken, and has a sense of longing we’ve rarely seen in a Bond film.
Craig’s tenure as Bond started with Casino Royale, and through his five films, there has been a common story and enemy behind everything he faces. No Time to Die completes this storyline with great emotional impact to both Bond and the viewer. It’s one of the few films where I’ve felt what the protagonist feels.
This version of Bond was always afflicted by his first relationship with Vesper. The introduction of Léa Seydoux in Spectre helped him move on and gave him an equal in terms of presence. Her character arc did not follow what I expected at all (no spoilers here). Seydoux is a great addition to this franchise.
One thing I’ve always been disappointed about Craig’s Bond is that he didn’t work enough with Felix Leiter, brilliantly played by Jeffery Wright. Their relationship was always a little give and take, but how close were they? This movie gives a little better insight into it.
Rami Malek is our main villain this time around and his soft approach to the character makes him all the more menacing. He’s brilliant, but not quite as menacing of a foe that Craig has faced in the past. He’s one step above White but falls several steps below Blofeld and Silva who were significantly more menacing.
The bevy supporting characters are back as well from Moneypenny, M, and Q with a new 00 joining Bond on his quest to save the world once again.
I hope your TV and player have Dolby Vision HDR because it’s incredible. Right from the start when they are in Italy, the level of detail is mind-blowing. With deep rich blacks and stunningly balanced contrast, you’ll be able to make out the smallest of details throughout the film.
Linus Sandgren (cinematographer) absolutely crushed the visuals in this movie. Skin tones are accurate despite the changes in lighting from warms to cools depending on the location. This might be the best 4K image I’ve seen this year.
Hans Zimmer not only scored one of the best sci-fi flicks last year (DUNE) but supplied his creative talents to Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007. If you are lucky enough to have a Dolby Atmos setup, his score will envelop you as it fills the space with all the horns and strings you expect from a Bond film.
If that’s not enough, every action sequence sucks you right into the middle of it. From bullets whizzing by your ears to explosions testing the limits of your subwoofers, you will be part of the action. Despite all the other awesome sounds, the dialogue is never impacted and comes through clearly. The sound designer for this Atmos track knocked it out of the park.
With this being the final Daniel Craig Bond film, you’d expect the disc to be crammed with bonus features, but alas, we get barely over an hour.
Being James Bond covers Craig’s tenure as Bond over a 47-minute documentary-style piece. This is the meat and potatoes of the extras.
Anatomy of Scene: Matera is a mini featurette that dissects the pre-title action sequences.
Designing Bond breaks down the sets and costumes in the film (it only took 3-weeks training)
A Global Journey takes us on one to visit the locations used in the film.
Keeping It Real: The Action of No Time To Die is a short loo into how the crew pulled off the practical sequences in the film.
Conclusions and Final Thoughts
You don’t need me to tell you to add this to your collection, however, let me tell you anyway. Add this to your collection. The technical aspects of the disc are top-notch. This is easily a demo-worthy disc. The bonus features are lacking, but the film is what you want this disc for. Farewell to Daniel Craig’s James Bond.