It is the end of the era of Daniel Craig’s James Bond, and parting is such sweet sorrow. But do not fret; Craig’s last outing as the debonair MI6 agent is heavy in spectacle and action, proving that it can stand the test of time not only with these most recent Bond flicks but within the pantheon of the 007 films as a whole.
No Time To Die opens like many Bond films, capturing the audience’s attention with mystery, intrigue and murder. A young girl witnesses her mother being killed by Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), and in her attempt to escape, Safin spares her life. This is the beginning of Madeleine Swann’s (Léa Seydoux) story and is just one of the many secrets about her life that Bond (Craig) doesn’t know about. We then catch up with Bond, enjoying his retirement alongside Madeleine. The inseparable pair are enjoying their time together, but it isn’t long before their pasts come back to haunt them. Of course, we all have our secrets. However, what will all of the deceit mean for James, Madeleine, and the lives of those around them? You will just have to watch No Time To Die to find out.
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, No Time To Die holds nothing back. In terms of action, it is just as exciting as its predecessors and will likely leave audiences elated. Fukunaga does a great job with his direction, and the cast certainly leans into everything they’re given with ease. From the beginning to the end of No Time To Die, Craig’s love of the character is felt. Although, there is no mistaking that this is Craig’s final outing as the beloved agent. He pours his heart and soul into his performance, giving something almost operatic that ends with a cacophonous crescendo that is very well-deserved after spending so many years in the role.
Despite this being a goodbye to Craig’s Bond, No Time To Die introduces audiences to new faces and what an impact they make! Lashana Lynch enters the film with intense charisma as Nomi; she easily rivals Bond himself. But that is the point, considering she is the newest 007 at MI6. Lynch and Craig have great chemistry together, constantly aware of one another, making for some entertaining moments where the pair try to one-up the other. Another new introduction to the franchise is Ana de Armas as Paloma. Much like Lynch’s Nomi, de Armas’s Paloma is outstanding alongside Craig’s Bond, and the duo joins forces to make one of the film’s most eventful and impactful scenes. Brief as her appearance may be, her presence leaves a lasting impression. As does Nomi, who is deserving of her own set of adventures if MGM would be so gracious.
While this is a movie about Craig’s Bond, showcasing some new and exciting characters for his final adventure, it would have been nice to see some of the other characters who’ve aided Bond throughout these films get their proper send-offs as well. There is not much screen time to be had by Ben Whishaw’s Q and even less for Naomie Harris as Moneypenny. Bond wouldn’t be where he is today without the help of both of these characters, so to see them pushed to the wayside in what might be the last time we see these actors as these characters were disappointing, especially considering the brilliant acting skills that Whishaw and Harris consistently bring to the table.
In addition to this, some parts of the script, written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Fukunaga, seemed to suffer from having one too many cooks in the kitchen. Compared to other Bond films like Skyfall and Casino Royale, the writing for No Time To Die could sometimes be a bit all over the place. This made for a few moments where the storyline had a few gaps or odd choices. However, in the grand scheme of things, the acting and action sequences do an excellent job of masking any missteps and keep the audience invested with their eyes on the film’s end goal. All in all, No Time To Die is as Bond as you can get with action and car chases aplenty, witty dialogue and jokes about being had, but most of all, it is a befitting send-off to Craig’s iconic rendition of the much-loved MI6 agent.