After several years of waiting, No Time To Die has finally landed. COVID killed the original premiere date, and we were forced to wait, and wait, and wait for what seemed like forever. Remember, Spectre came out in 2015! Six years later, we finally get the 25th installment of the James Bond franchise and the last Daniel Craig Bond film. Today is Saturday Night at the Movies, and I recently sat down and watched No Time To Die with my lovely wife.
She’s oddly enough a huge James Bond fan, well, more like a Daniel Craig fan. I don’t blame her—the guy is in amazing shape. Today we aren’t just reviewing Daniel Craig’s body or the film, but reviewing the guns, gunfights, and gun handling.
No Time to Die — The Guns
Lots and lots of European awesomeness show up in No Time To Die. HK, Beretta, Walther, Sig, Czech Small Arms, and more are all wonderfully represented. My personal favorite is one of the first guns we see, the Czech Small Arms SA vz. 58 Compact.
This super short variant of the vz. 58 is anachronistic for the timeline we see it portrayed, but still, it’s just so cool. The vz. 58 is already a cool gun, but the compact model is even cooler. It’s super short with a 7.5-inch barrel and a minimalist folding stock.
HK seems to be the weaponry of choice for SPECTRE. We see the MP7, the MP5, and 416 in living color in the hands of various thugs. One of the original SPECTRE goons wields a Beretta PMX submachine gun, which competed for the Army’s subcompact weapon contest. On top of that, this is the first and currently only movie appearance of the PMX.
Bond, of course, wields his famed PPK, which is a rather outdated choice, but it’s a tradition, and I respect tradition. Prior to being a 00 agent, Bond served in the Special Boat Service, which inspired his later handgun selection. In his Jamaican paradise, he carries a Browning Hi-Power and, in the final act, a Sig P226R, both guns wielded by SBS commandos at different periods.
We see a smattering of other Berettas, including the ARX-160 rifle and the Beretta M9A3. To cap things off in different scenes, Bond wields the short carbines from both the East and West. In Cuba, he handles an AKSU-74, and in the finale, what appears to be an Mk 18.
The Daniel Craig series is very hit and miss. Casino Royale started things off with a bang, and it’s tough to beat. No Time to Die sits in a middling position. It’s not as boring as Quantum of Solace, but it doesn’t touch Casino Royale or Skyfall. I’d compare No Time To Die to Spectre, but I don’t remember anything about Spectre.
The Craig Bond films all follow this overarching plot. That’s not a big deal, but the first movie came out in 2006, and it’s tough to remember the little things.
I feel like I need to rewatch the previous films to remember the whole plot. Also, in Casino Royale, Bond is this new agent, and by the third film, Skyfall, he’s described as a relic.
So by the fifth film, he should be a grandpa. It’s a weird arc that doesn’t make much sense to me. We do get lots of Bond, though, and the story is coherent and easy to follow. A few side plots, some adventure, and some great chase scenes punctuate the movie. The pacing is done well and never bogs down.
Rami Malek plays the villain, and he’s one of Bond’s better villains. If you asked me, he might have turned evil because his name is Lyutsifer Safin. I’m sure he got picked on. Rami Malek plays him brilliantly, and honestly, I wanted less Bond and more Safin.
Maybe that’s the hallmark of a good character. He’s enigmatic, scarred, and violent. He’s not necessarily a traditional Bond villain either. He sees himself as a bizarro version of Bond. Instead of being a violent agent of the government, he’s a violent scientist who freelances.
It’s not a bad flick, and the 2hr 45 min runtime doesn’t drag much. However, No Time To Die won’t top Casino Royale or Skyfall for me.
The Gun Handling
John Wick ruined action films. Mostly because after Wick, everything feels a little boring. Wick does it so well that Bond’s action scene feels a little sluggish and boring. They don’t excite me. That being said, they are clearly shot, they ditch the shaky cam, and we get to see the action. Daniel Craig certainly seems confident with his weapons.
The only action scene with guns that stands out to me is in the finale. During a hallway/stairway fight, we see some smart tactics and intense fighting. It’s a highlight of the movie’s firefights. That being said, a couple of chase scenes stand out and are pretty great.
Have you ever watched an action flick and yelled at a character to pick up the bad guy’s weapon? Well, Bond does it. Several times he picks up a weapon or trades a handgun for a rifle of SMG. It’s deeply satisfying to see some common sense. Bond never lets a good gun go to waste in No Time To Die. Hell, at one point, he takes a grenade launcher-equipped rifle and even remembers to grab a grenade.
The Bond Style
Bond has a shooting style that wouldn’t be effective but looks cool. He doesn’t always aim. He points an automatic weapon, fires a burst, and the bad guy guys. It looks like he wields a magic wand that lacks recoil or the need to aim. Just point, spray and succeed.
That being said, by the finale, we see Bond mix this style with actual aiming. He sure as hell should since his Mk 18 Mod 0 has a multitude of sighting systems. Obviously, we have the EOTech as his primary optic. Then we have the front sight base, plus a set of offset irons. The offset irons are hilarious.
Someone mounted the rear offset to the handguard instead of running it all the way rearward to the optic’s rail. Why is this silly? Well, it’s a peep sight and with it mounted that far ahead, it’s likely to be tough to see through to use the front sight. Also, you are losing potential accuracy by shortening the sight radius.
Worth a Watch?
I’m only a casual Bond fan, and I enjoyed the movie. It’s fun, paced well, and has some great characters. I probably won’t watch it again, but it was worth the rental for sure. What do you think about No Time To Die? Let us know below.