2022 Academy Awards: ‘CODA’ wins three Oscars, including Best Picture; ‘Dune’ wins six Oscars

March 27, 2022

by Carla Hay

Members of the “CODA” team at the 94th annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 27, 2022. Pictured from left to right: producer Patrick Wachsberger, actor Eugenios Derbez, writer/director Siân Heder, actress Marlee Matlin, actor Troy Kotsur, actress Emilia Jones, actress Daniel Durant, actress Amy Forsyth, producer Philippe Rousselet and producer Fabrice Gianfereme. (Photo courtesy of ABC)

With three prizes, including Best Picture, Apple TV+’s drama “CODA” made Oscar history by being the first movie from a streaming service and the first movie with several deaf actors to win Best Picture. This historic victory happened at the 94th annual Academy Awards, which were presented at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 27, 2022. Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes hosted the show, which was telecast in the U.S. on ABC. Eligible movies were those released in U.S. theaters between March 1 and December 31, 2021. The nominations and awards are voted for by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Troy Kotsur of “CODA” also made history by becoming the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar. Kotsur took the prize for Best Supporting Actor. Marlee Matlin, who was the first deaf actress to win an Oscar (Best Actress for 1986’s “Children of a Lesser God”), also starred in “CODA.” Kotsur and Matlin portray a married couple in “CODA,” an acronym for “child of dead adults.”

In “CODA,” a hearing teenager named Ruby Rossi (played by Emilia Jones) has parents named Frank and Jackie (played by Kotsur and Matlin) and an older brother named Leo (played by Daniel Durant), who are all deaf. Ruby has to decide if she will stay in their hometown of Gloucester, Massachusetts, to help in the family’s fishing business or pursue her dream of being a singer at Berklee College of Music.

“CODA” is a remake of the 2014 French film “La Famille Bélier,” thereby making “CODA” the second movie remake (after 2006’s “The Departed”) to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Unlike “La Famille Bélier,” which cast hearing actors as deaf people, “CODA” had deaf cast members in the roles of deaf people. “CODA” won all three of the Oscars for which it was nominated. In addition to Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor, the Oscar haul for “CODA” included Best Adapted Screenplay. “CODA” director Siân Heder adapted the screenplay.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ sci-fi remake of “Dune” won six of its 10 Oscar nominations: Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Production Design, Best Sound, Best Original Score and Best Visual Effects. Netflix’s Western drama “The Power of the Dog” went into the ceremony with the most nominations (12) and ended up winning just one: Best Director, for Jane Campion. The only other movie to win more than one Oscar at the ceremony was Searchlight Pictures’ Tammy Faye Bakker biopic “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”: Jessica Chastain won Best Actress, and the movie won the prize for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

Ariana DeBose, Troy Kotsur and Jessica Chastain at the 94th annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 27, 2022. (Photo courtesy of ABC)

Ariana DeBose became the first openly queer woman to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She won the prize for playing the role of Anita in the 2021 remake of “West Side Story,” which was DeBose’s acting debut in a feature film. It was the same role for which Rita Moreno won a history-making Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1961’s “West Side Story,” which made Moreno the first Latin person to win an Oscar. Moreno attended the Oscar ceremony in 2022, and she looked on with pride and joy when DeBose took the stage to accept the award.

Despite all the accolades during the show, it will probably be most remembered for an unscripted moment when “King Richard” star Will Smith went on stage and punched presenter Chris Rock in the face, after Rock made an insulting joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, looking like G.I. Jane because of her close-cropped, shaved head. Pinkett Smith went public in 2021 about shaving her head because she has alopecia, a condition which causes large clumps of hair on a head to fall out. Rock was on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature. According to Variety, Smith also yelled Rock after slapping him: “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!”

This surprising altercation, which was followed by spurts of audio blocking and other technical interruptions to TV audiences, happened about 30 minutes before Smith won Best Actor for “King Richard,” in which he portrays Richard “Richie” Williams, the father and first tennis coach for tennis superstars Venus Williams and Serena Williams. Smith gave a tearful acceptance speech about protecting his family and being called to spread love.

Smith also said during the speech: “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people.” The Smith/Rock altercation is bound to be ranked as one of the most notorious moments in Oscar history.*

Other presenters at the show were Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Daniel Kaluuya, H.E.R., Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez, Jacob Elordi, Rachel Zegler, Tony Hawk, Kelly Slater, Shaun White, Stephanie Beatriz, Halle Bailey, Lily James and Naomi Scott, Naomi Scott, Tiffany Haddish, Simu Liu, Mila Kunis, Ruth E. Carter, Lupita Nyong’o, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Garner, Elliot Page J.K. Simmons, Shawn Mendes, Tracee Ellis Ross, Rami Malek, Tyler Perry, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bill Murray, Jill Scott, Sean Combs, Zoë Kravitz, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kevin Costner, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Anthony Hopkins, Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli.

There were also performances of four of the five songs competing in the Best Original Son category: Beyoncé opened the show with her Oscar-nominated “Be Alive” from “King Richard,” by performing the song at a tennis court in Compton, California, as a nod to where Venus Williams and Serena Williams got their start. Sebastián Yatra sang “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto.” Reba McEntire sang “Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days.” Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell performed the title track to “No Time to Die,” which won the Oscar. Van Due to touring commitments, Morrison did not attend the ceremony to perform his Oscar-nominated song “Down to Joy.” Instead, there was a performance of the “Encanto” hit song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” by members of the “Encanto” cast with a special guest appearance by Megan Thee Stallion.

*April 1, 2022 UPDATE: After much controversy and media coverage of Smith’s physical assault of Rock at this Oscar ceremony, Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. Read the full story here.

*April 8, 2022 UPDATE: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that it is banning Smith from all Academy events for 10 years. Read the full story here.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominations for the 2022 Academy Awards:

*=winner

Best Picture

“Belfast,” Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, producers

“CODA,” Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, producers*

“Don’t Look Up,” Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, producers

“Drive My Car,” Teruhisa Yamamoto, producer

“Dune,” Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve and Cale Boyter, producers

“King Richard,” Tim White, Trevor White and Will Smith, producers

“Licorice Pizza,” Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, producers

“Nightmare Alley,” Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale and Bradley Cooper, producers

“The Power of the Dog,” Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier, producers

“West Side Story,” Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, producers

Best Director

Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”)

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (“Drive My Car”)

Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”)

Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”)*

Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”)

Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog”)

Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick … Boom!”)

Will Smith (“King Richard”)*

Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”)*

Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”)

Penélope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”)

Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”)

Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Ciarán Hinds (“Belfast”)

Troy Kotsur (“CODA”)*

Jesse Plemons (“The Power of the Dog”)

J.K. Simmons (“Being the Ricardos”)

Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Jessie Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”)

Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”)*

Judi Dench (“Belfast”)

Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”)

Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”)

Best Adapted Screenplay

“CODA,” screenplay by Siân Heder*

“Drive My Car,” screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe

“Dune,” screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth

“The Lost Daughter,” written by Maggie Gyllenhaal

“The Power of the Dog,” written by Jane Campion

Best Original Screenplay

“Belfast,” written by Kenneth Branagh*

“Don’t Look Up,” screenplay by Adam McKay; story by Adam McKay and David Sirota

“King Richard,” written by Zach Baylin

“Licorice Pizza,” written by Paul Thomas Anderson

“The Worst Person in the World,” written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier

Best Cinematography

“Dune,” Greig Fraser*

“Nightmare Alley,” Dan Laustsen

“The Power of the Dog,” Ari Wegner

“The Tragedy of Macbeth,” Bruno Delbonnel

“West Side Story,” Janusz Kaminski

Best Film Editing

“Don’t Look Up,” Hank Corwin

“Dune,” Joe Walker*

“King Richard”, Pamela Martin

“The Power of the Dog,” Peter Sciberras

“Tick, Tick…Boom!” Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum

Best Sound

“Belfast,” Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri

“Dune,” Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett*

“No Time to Die,” Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor

“The Power of the Dog,” Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb

“West Side Story,” Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy

Best Original Score

“Don’t Look Up,” Nicholas Britell

“Dune,” Hans Zimmer*

“Encanto,” Germaine Franco

“Parallel Mothers,” Alberto Iglesias

“The Power of the Dog,” Jonny Greenwood

Best Original Song

“Be Alive” from “King Richard,” music and lyric by Dixson and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

“Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto,” music and lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

“Down to Joy” from “Belfast,” music and lyric by Van Morrison

“No Time to Die” from “No Time to Die,” music and lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell*

“Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days,” music and lyric by Diane Warren

Best Animated Feature Film

“Encanto,” Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer*

“Flee,” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie

“Luca,” Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren

“The Mitchells vs. the Machines,” Mike Rianda, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht

“Raya and the Last Dragon,” Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho

Best International Feature Film

“Drive My Car” (Japan)*

“Flee” (Denmark)

“The Hand of God” (Italy)

“Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” (Bhutan)

“The Worst Person in the World” (Norway)

Best Documentary Feature

“Ascension,” Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell

“Attica,” Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry

“Flee,” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie

“Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein*

“Writing With Fire,” Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

“Coming 2 America,” Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer

“Cruella,” Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon

“Dune,” Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr

“The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh*

“House of Gucci,” Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras

Best Costume Design

“Cruella,” Jenny Beavan*

“Cyrano,” Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran

“Dune,” Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan

“Nightmare Alley,” Luis Sequeira

“West Side Story,” Paul Tazewell

Best Production Design

“Dune,” production design: Patrice Vermette; set decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos*

“Nightmare Alley,” production design: Tamara Deverell; set decoration: Shane Vieau

“The Power of the Dog,” production design: Grant Major; set decoration: Amber Richards

“The Tragedy of Macbeth,” production design: Stefan Dechant; set decoration: Nancy Haigh

“West Side Story,” production design: Adam Stockhausen; set decoration: Rena DeAngelo

Best Visual Effects

“Dune,” Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer*

“Free Guy,” Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis and Dan Sudick

“No Time to Die,” Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver

“Spider-Man: No Way Home,” Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick

Best Documentary Short Subject

“Audible,” Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean

“Lead Me Home,” Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk

“The Queen of Basketball,” Ben Proudfoot*

“Three Songs for Benazir,” Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei

“When We Were Bullies,” Jay Rosenblatt

Best Animated Short Film

“Affairs of the Art,” Joanna Quinn and Les Mills

“Bestia,” Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz

“Boxballet,” Anton Dyakov

“Robin Robin,” Dan Ojari and Mikey Please

“The Windshield Wiper,” Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez*

Best Live-Action Short Film

“Ala Kachuu – Take and Run,” Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger

“The Dress,” Tadeusz Łysiak and Maciej Ślesicki

“The Long Goodbye,” Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed*

“On My Mind,” Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson

“Please Hold,” K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse

Review: ‘No Time to Die’ (2021), starring Daniel Craig

September 29, 2021

by Carla Hay

Daniel Craig in “No Time to Die” (Photo by Nicola Dove/Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

“No Time to Die” (2021)

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga

Culture Representation: Taking place in Italy, Cuba, the United Kingdom, Chile and other locations around the world, the action film “No Time to Die” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few people of African, Latino and Asian heritage) representing the working-class, middle-class, wealthy and criminal underground.

Culture Clash: British superspy James Bond goes after yet another villain who wants to take over the world. 

Culture Audience: Besides appealing to the obvious target audience of James Bond movie fans, “No Time to Die” will appeal primarily to fans of Daniel Craig or people who are interested globe-trotting spy capers.

Rami Malek in “No Time to Die” (Photo by Nicola Dove/Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

The often-delayed and overly hyped “No Time to Die” is not the best James Bond movie to star Daniel Craig, but it’s got enough thrilling action to make up for some hokey dialogue and questionable creative decisions. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for people who are inclined to like James Bond films, flaws and all. It’s a harder film to like for people expecting something more original than the usual chase scenes and “villain trying to take over the world” plot.

The last 15 minutes of “No Time to Die” are the only moments when the James Bond franchise does something that it’s never done before. But until then, this 163-minute movie (yes, that’s two hours and 43 minutes) becomes a bit bloated and repetitive with things that have already been done many times before in James Bond movies, which are based on Ian Fleming’s novels. The action scenes are not the franchise’s best, but they’re surely the most expensive.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (the first American to direct a James Bond film), “No Time to Die” is being marketed as the final James Bond movie to star Craig as the British superspy. Fukunaga co-wrote the “No Time to Die” screenplay with Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Having four people write the “No Time to Die” screenplay doesn’t mean that the movie turned out better than the far superior James Bond movies starring Craig—namely 2006’s “Casino Royale” and 2012’s “Skyfall.” In fact, the too-long running time of “No Time to Die” gives the impression that the movie is precisely this long because of “too many cooks in the kitchen” for this screenplay.

“No Time to Die” is the equivalent of a long and rambling introduction to a farewell speech that delivers a knockout punch, which itself takes a long time to get to the heart of the matter. For a movie this long, it might disappoint viewers to know that Rami Malek’s Lyutsifer Safin villain character isn’t in the movie is much as the “No Time to Die” movie trailers make it look like he is. His biggest scenes are in the beginning (when he’s shown about 20 to 25 years before, doing a revenge killing of the mother of one of the movie’s characters) and in the end, when he has the inevitable major showdown with Bond.

Fans of Ana de Armas (who plays a James Bond collaborator named Paloma) might be disappointed to see that she’s not in “No Time to Die” as much as the movie’s marketing gives the impression that she is. She’s literally there just to be eye candy who can fight, in a predictable James Bond film sequence where he joins forces with a mysterious beauty who can go into battle while wearing a slinky dress. After this fight sequence, she’s not seen or heard from again in the movie.

However, the movie does deliver in continuing the story arc that began with “Casino Royale” of James Bond as a complex man who’s capable of having his heart broken. Bond had his heart broken in “Casino Royale” with (spoiler alert) the death of Vesper Lynd (played by Eva Green), who has been described as the greatest love of his life. Vesper’s death is referred to in “No Time to Die,” when he visits her grave and acts like someone who will never get over this loss.

In “No Time to Die,” Bond gets a new heartbreak. And this “heartbroken” Bond is the reason why “No Time to Die” often seems to drag with so much moping and brooding from Bond. “No Time to Die” constantly hits viewers over the head with Bond wallowing in his bitterness, at the expense of giving more screen time to the chief villain Safrin so viewers can get to know Safrin better. Safrin, whose face has burn scars but doesn’t show any signs of aging, ends up being a two-dimensional character with an unimaginative backstory and a voice that sounds like American actor Malek trying to do a vague European accent.

Safrin sure likes to pout a lot, while he saunters in and out of the movie like a villain in search of a memorable personality. Between the moodiness of Safrin and Bond, there’s enough pouting and sulking to make you wonder if they’ve watched too many “Twilight” movies. Even though Safrin doesn’t appear to age, he’s not a vampire, which is a relief to anyone who might think he’ll sparkle like a “Twilight” vampire.

Why is James Bond heartbroken this time? It’s shown at the beginning of the film that he’s in a happy and loving relationship with psychiatrist Madeleine Swann (played by Léa Seydoux), the French native who’s young enough to be his daughter and who first hooked up with him in 2015’s “Spectre.” Madeleine and Bond (who has retired from MI6 and the spy business) are living together in bliss in Matera, Italy.

However, Madeleine has a secret from her past that has come back to haunt her. This secret is revealed early on the movie to viewers. However, it’s a surprise to Bond, when he and Madeleine are ambushed in their home by assassins who’ve been sent by Safrin. It leads to one of the movie’s best action sequences, with high-speed car chases and close-call shootouts.

Bond and Madeleine escape, of course, but Bond can’t forgive her for keeping the secret that led to them almost being murdered. He puts her on a train so that she can safely get away from the villains. “How will I know you’re OK?,” Madeleine asks tearfully. Bond coldly replies, “You won’t. You won’t ever see me again.”

Is this a James Bond film or a soap opera? At any rate, the movie then fast-forwards five years after Bond’s breakup with Madeleine. Several of the actors who joined the James Bond franchise as Bond co-workers during the Daniel Craig era also return for “No Time to Die.” They include Ben Whishaw as Q, Ralph Fiennes as M, Rory Kinnear as Tanner and Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, who are all perfectly fine in their supporting roles. “No Time to Die” still doesn’t reveal much about who these supporting characters are outside of their work, except in one scene that reveals that Q lives alone, he likes to cook gourmet meals, and he has a sphynx cat.

Joining the James Bond franchise for the first time is Lashana Lynch, who plays Nomi, the spy who inherited the 007 identifying number after Bond retired. Nomi has some standout action scenes in the film and could end up being a very popular character for the James Bond franchise. Nomi is not the type of female character in a James Bond movie who’s going to show up for a shootout in a gown and high heels, although that would certainly be her prerogative.

Nomi is first seen interacting with Bond when she goes undercover as a flirtatious party girl whom he meets at a bar. Nomi gives him a ride home on her scooter after she deliberately disables his car. When she reveals her true identity to Bond and tells him that she’s been assigned his previous number, Nomi confidently informs him: “I’m 007. You probably thought they’d retire it.” Bond says nonchalantly, “It’s just a number.”

Everyone knows that Bond isn’t going to stay retired, once he finds out about the big problems his colleagues are facing. What’s at stake in “No Time to Die”? There’s a convoluted plot explanation in the movie, but essentially it’s about a manufactured poisonous gas where numerous nanobots can enter a human body and cause people to die after their skin breaks out in bloody blotches.

A (cliché alert) Russian scientist named Valdo Obruchev (played by David Dencik) developed this deadly weapon gas, which was originally intended to be a way to implant the DNA of people with outstanding military skills, in order to create super soldiers. Safrin predictably recruited this corrupt scientist with the enticement of great riches. Safrin has a (cliché alert) secret compound as his headquarters, so there’s a race against time for Bond and his colleagues to find Safrin’s lair. This compound has a biodome with poisonous plants that are used for the deadly gas.

Meanwhile, Bond is tracked down by two CIA operatives named Felix Leiter (played by Jeffrey Wright) and Logan Ashe (played by Billy Magnussen), who successfully convince Bond to come out of retirement to track down where this gas is being manufactured. It takes a while for Bond to change is mind, which is one of the reasons why the movie drags on for too long. Wright has played no-nonsense government officials many times before, but Magnussen (who’s usually typecast as a comedic and goofy “pretty boy”) has not.

Magnussen’s constant grinning and mugging for the camera are an unwelcome distraction. The Logan character even gets on Bond’s nerves, when he comments that Logan “smiles too much.” It’s an obvious foreshadowing of things that are eventually revealed about Logan. It’s through Felix and Logan that Bond is put in touch with Paloma, whose only purpose in the movie is to go to a black-tie party with Bond and then get involved in a shootout at the party.

Christoph Waltz makes brief appearances in “No Time to Die” as Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the “Spectre” villain who is being held at Cuba’s notorious Guantanamo Bay detention center. Blofeld does the expected smirks and taunts when Bond and his colleagues find out that Blofeld knows more about Safrin than he’s willing to tell. But ultimately, Blofeld is just there as filler in this overstuffed movie. The characters of Felix, Ashe, Paloma didn’t need to be in this movie at all. The story would still have worked without creating these extra characters.

For a movie with four screenwriters, “No Time to Die” has some incredibly mediocre dialogue that’s not much better than a B-movie. And (cringe alert), James Bond utters more than a few bad puns. The top assassin on Safrin’s team is an almost-robotic mercenary named Primo (played by Dali Benssalah), who has a false eye that’s a prop with its own story arc. The trope of a villain with a missing eye has been so over-used in movies that it’s disappointing that the “No Time to Die” filmmakers couldn’t come up with something more original.

There are some moments in “No Time to Die” that seem to be delibrately slapstick and hokey, such as in the fight scene at the black-tie party. More than once in this scene, Bond and Paloma go to the bar to swig a few alcoholic drinks in between the violent shootout. Bond and Paloma smirk at each other as if to say, “We’re such badasses, we can get some drinking done while we’re in the middle of a shooutout.”

Another shootout scene that’s a lot more problematic is when Bond shoots a gun at close range at Safrin while Safrin is literally holding a child hostage. Bond misses his target, but it’s an incredibly irresponsible action, considering that Safrin could’ve used the child as a shield and the child could’ve been shot and killed. Or the child could’ve been accidentally shot just by being that close to Safrin.

When viewers see who this child is in the movie, it makes Bond’s decision to shoot even more mind-boggling. Yes, it’s only a movie, but misguided violent scenes like this involving an innocent child do a disservice to the Bond legacy. It makes Bond look like a reckless amateur.

Of course, because “No Time to Die” is about heartbroken Bond, there’s more in this movie that’s meant to be tearjerking moments than ever before in a James Bond film. It’s going to make people feel incredibly sentimental for Craig’s long and mostly impressive journey as James Bond.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures will release “No Time to Die” on various dates in cinemas around the world. The U.K. release date is September 30, 2021. The U.S. release date is October 8, 2021.

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