"Bond, James Bond". Since 1962 we have heard that name uttered in twenty-five different 007 movies by six different actors. Next year will be the sixtieth anniversary of the first movie, Dr. No but this year, "post-COVID" (if there is such a thing), heralded in the release of movie #25 and the fifth film starring Daniel Craig (Knives Out), No Time to Die. From the beginning of his tenure as the British MI6 Agent fifteen years ago, Craig's bond had a different feel. So, it is only fitting that his final movie in the franchise, also feels a little different.
After years of loyalty to his majesty's service, Bond has retired and lives quietly in Jamaica. Of course, that peace is short-lived when he receives a visit from CIA Agent, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright; Westworld) asking for his help in finding a terrorist who has nanotechnology which can be programmed to destroy the DNA of certain individuals, killing them almost instantly, while causing no harm to others with different DNA.
After the terrorist killed all of Spectre, Bond tracks him to an island off the coast of Japan where he is holding Bond's former love, Madeleine (Léa Seydoux; Midnight in Paris), and her daughter. Knowing Bond has feelings for Madeleine, the terrorist Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek; Mr. Robot), infects Bond with nanobots programmed for Madeleine and her daughter, ensuring Bond can never see either of them again.
When we first were introduced to Craig as Bond in Casino Royale, it was obvious he wasn't what audiences were used to from a Bond character. While he was confident, suave, debonair, intelligent, etc. he also had a certain streetwise swagger to him as if he had come from less-than-ideal beginnings. Some would argue that would make him the most realistic and therefore, the best Bond of them all. However, others would state he was too "gritty" and raw to be Bond. Regardless of your take, Craig makes for a very good Bond and arguably one of the better actors to take on the iconic role.
Malek is the consummate character actor, and his portrayal of the villainous Safin is excellent. He is methodical yet maniacal, calculating, and cold, making Safin seem truly terrifying as you get the sense he would infect his own parents if it achieved his goal. Seydoux portrays Madeleine as
Strong yet a little "broken" but generally a good match for Bond.
While the combo pack also comes with a Blu-ray disc that is sharp and clean, it can't compare to the 4K version of the film. The quality of the UHD Dolby Vision picture is incredible. By far it is probably one of the best I have seen with color reproduction that pops off the screen and details that are minute yet exacting.
Both the Blu-ray and 4K discs have the same Dolby Atmos audio track which matches the quality of the video perfectly. Explosions and gunfire (of which there is an abundance) ricochet from every angle, immersing the viewer into the scene. The dialogue has the right balance, so it is clear and isn't overwhelmed by the action sound effects.
Four of the five extras can be found on both the Blu-ray and 4K with the latter also housing a 45-minute retrospective by Daniel Craig about his fifteen-year journey as 007. This feature originally aired on Apple TV but if you haven't seen it previously, I highly recommend it. The other features are Designing Bond, Anatomy of a Scene: Matera; Keeping it Real: The Action of No Time to Die, and A Global Journey.
If you are a die-hard James Bond fan you will need to own this combo pack, but you may also be a little disappointed with the plot of this film. Although it has a terrific action sequence near the beginning of the movie (with others later on), it didn't feel completely like a 007 film as Bond seemed softer and more emotional than he ever has in the past.
Bottom line...the movie is good, the 4K quality is outstanding.