No Time to Die

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Year Released: 2021
Rating: 2.0

The last of the Daniel Craig-era James Bond movies continues where Spectre left off: MI6's highly regarded agent is traveling around Europe with his lover Madeleine (Léa Seydoux), then loses trust in her and hides out in Jamaica before being recruited to hunt down a dangerous scientist named Obruchev (David Dencik) who's been working on a project to develop a bioweapon (which was approved by the Secret Intelligence Service).  The complaints I had for the previous few Bonds also apply here: they've removed most of the spy craft and made him a running-and-gunning action hero, there's a feeble attempt to "decode" the psyche of 007 (he's still haunted by the death of Vesper Lynd) which has never worked out (because they are still, at their core, popcorn movies) and, to state the obvious, it's a smidge bloated with its close to three hour running time.  For its flaws, it's still solid fun in parts - the sequence in Cuba with Ana de Armas is particularly noteworthy - and (despite all the rumored problems with production) it's slick and suave and feels cosmopolitan ... until the very end, where it desperately tries for some "deep resonance" and ends up alienating a good portion of its fan base (despite promising that the character will somehow return).  There aren't many Golden Rules in Cinema, but I'm pretty sure they just broke one.