What a terrific send off for Daniel Craig as 007. A fitting end to his Bhond saga that ties up loose ends and brings his story to an emotional conclusion.
James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
Remarkable that Daniel Craig served as 007 for 15 years and made 5 worthy additions to the Bond franchise. But much like every other James Bond before him, time simply ran out for this suit wearing, martini drinking special agent. Fans have waited a long time for this final outing, due to the pandemic, No Time To Die had its fair share of release dates before settling on a Fall 2021 date. It was worth the wait, because not only did this movie live up to the hype, but it’s seeing success at the box-office.
Just when Bond thinks he’s made it in life, retired from the Academy and settled down with the woman of his dreams Madeleine (Lea Seydoux) he stumbles upon a controversy and her past and within a matter of mere moments his life comes crashing down before him. 5 years later, Bond is still semi-retired when an old friend Felix (Jeffrey Wright) comes knocking at his door to help with “one final mission.” Like any good friend Bond agrees and his last hooray turns his world upside down, bringing his past, present and future all together in a tour de force that will entertain fans like no other. One of the most impressive achievements of this film, is the run time of 2 hours and 47 minutes that doesn’t drag at all. No Time To Die doesn’t drag for a second, because the second you think you’re getting a break in the action, you’re right back in the thick of things.
Meeting old friends and making new ones along the way. Bond is reunited with M (Ralph Fiennes) Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) while meeting the new 007 (Lashana Lynch) and Paloma (Ana de Armas). Bond is only as good as his cast of characters around him and the new additions are fantastic. The sly but cool new 007, Lashana really stole a lot of the scenes she was part of and her banter and chemistry with Craig was amazing. Ana isn’t given much screen time but she knocks it out of the park. She plays a new comer, a cooky yet loveable secret agent, that’s just happy to be there and doesn’t mind knocking back a few drinks on the job, a perfect fit for Mr. Bond. Where these characters end will up with the upcoming revamp of the franchise is beyond me, but they are all so perfectly casted, I hope they plunk a new 007 in with these people, rather than recasting the entire franchise. I feel like that would be a massive step backwards, because these characters still have stories to tell, and there are certain moves going forward that they should be apart of.
With every Bond movie comes a classic new villain. Some are better than others, some are so bad you can’t remember their names. I think Rami Malek’s (Safin) falls somewhere in the middle. He gets a pretty awesome introduction to open the movie, but technically we don’t really meet him until halfway into the film and his character is so quiet and never really posses a threat that he almost feels forgettable. It’s whats at stake that Bond is afraid of not the villain and I wish it was the other way around. He is trying to protect what is most important to him, and when he realizes he can no longer do that, the film becomes very emotional. We get that from the only memorable scene with Malek in it, the final confrontation between Salfin and Bond.
Director Cary Fukunaga brings it with a stylish entry, that features tons of gorgeous cinematography and clean cut action. The visuals and landscapes throughout the movie are beautiful and it just feels like an epic conclusion. An emotional score that has you weeping in certain moments, all help put the bow on this James Bond present. So you really can’t ask for much more with a Bond film, perhaps a stronger villain, but at the end of the day, this movie was about finishing Daniel Craig’s time as Bond and they did it to perfection in my opinion. Everything comes full circle. In the end Bond leaves this world knowing that he left the most beautiful thing in the world behind.
It was a hell of a run for Daniel Craig, so cheers to him.
No Time To Die = 86/100