Befitting send-off to forgettable Bond

17 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views
Befitting send-off to forgettable Bond

The Sunday Mail

Film Review
Tinashe Kusema

WHEN Daniel Crag replaced Pierce Brosnan as James Bond back in 2005, I was one of the people who were a bit sceptical over what the Brit would actually bring to the table.

Lacking in natural charisma that his predecessors Roger Moore, Sean Connery and even Timothy Dalton possessed, I was not sold on the new direction the filmmakers wanted to take.

Now, 16 years later, and at the end of what has been a totally forgettable experience, I cannot help but smile that this totally misguided experiment is finally over.

Of the five movies by the Englishman, “Casino Royale” was different, “Skyfall” was flawed, but promising and “Spectre” remains a total disappointment.

The jury is still out on “Quantum of Solace”.

Viewed individually, none of the previous Daniel Craig outings as the revered MI6 agent, 007, have been memorable.

However, they do tell a rather compelling story as a whole.

While each villain has either been disappointing or totally wasted, they still served a purpose. It is against this background that “No Time to Die” — Craig’s swansong in the iconic role — could arguably be his best outing. It is almost sad, really!

“No Time to Die”, currently showing at Ster Kinekor theatres around the country, sees Bond retired and trying to give his relationship with Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) the old college try.

Unfortunately, when two people with so many secrets and skeletons in their closet come together, disaster is bound to follow.

Their pasts collide when an old acquaintance of Swann resurfaces to settle an old debt with Spectre, a shadow organisation that Bond himself has had many run-ins with.

The acquaintance in question is Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), and the former assassin highjacks a bio-weapon known as ‘Project Heracles’, which is used to wipe out the entire Spectre organisation.

The weapon contains nanobots that infect like a virus upon touch and are coded to an individual’s DNA.

After the death of Spectre’s higher-ups, Safin sets about using the virus on the planet. Bond returns to MI6 to link up with his replacement and new 007, Nomi (Lashana Lynch).

The two then go on one final mission to save the world.

The film has all the makings of a typical James Bond movie — flashy cars and weapons, a bond girl that shows up, fights in Palona (Ana de Armas) and a madman with a nefarious plan to conquer the world (Safin). Given that this is to be his final outing, it only makes sense that both the story and film revolve around Craig’s 007 character.

It packs quite a punch in that regard!

Bond’s relationship with Swann is at the heart of the story, turning the movie into a tragic love story.

The writers perform quite a balancing act in fitting everything into this love story.

They do not slow down the action and all the little Bond-like nuances.

Craig gives one of his better performances. He carries the action and dramatic beats well. Also, supporting acts play their roles well, with Lynch shining bright like a star. As a pseudo 007, there was a lot pressure for her going into the film.

She is the closest we will ever come to either a black or female Bond.

Lynch carries herself like a champ and is one of the film’s best parts.

She is witty and bold.

Her chemistry with Craig is solid and she comes close to outshining the star a couple of times.

My only problem with the film is that not enough time and material is given to Malek’s Safin. There are no stakes at all.

His plan is very generic and the American actor is literally starved of screen time.

I know for a fact that Malek is a talented actor, and I am such a fan.

I am such a fan to the extent that Malek is the guy I would want to play my character if ever a movie about my life is made.

I do not even care if he has to apply “blackface” to do it.

Robert Downey Jnr did so in the movie “Tropical Thunder” and no one seemed to care.

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