No Time To Die is the 27th film in the james bond franchise and Daniel Craig’s fifth and final time as James Bond. Craig’s tenure as Bond has been as one of the most successful runs of any actor to play James Bond in cinematic history by grossing over $3.2 billion in four films and having the highest grossing bond film in Skyfall. His fifteen year tenure as bond is the longest of any actor to play the role without the role being recast in between films. The film was delayed over a year because of the pandemic, so anticipation grew to an all time high.
I started watching Craig’s Bond films during the pandemic and was thoroughly entertained. The films can be separated into two categories. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace are the young Bond era, with these movies consisting of Bond’s first missions as 007. The rest can be described as the old bond era. It accomplices Skyfall, Spectre, and No Time To Die. The era felt very disconnected from each other at first as Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace came out within a year of each other and were very connected as everything happens in Quantum of Solace because of Casino Royale. After that we had to wait four more years before we saw Bond again. This time in Skyfall, we see an older, angrier James Bond who almost hangs it up at the start of the movie. Skyfall was great, but it felt very disconnected from the others, with the only returning cast member other than Craig was Judy Dench as M. Spectre did a better job at tying the three movies together as we saw the return of Mr. White, a minor character from the first two who was a member of the evil organization Quantum. No Time To Die does a great job in fully connecting these films together through returning characters and mentions of past movies and characters. It’s the first one of these films to feel truly connected to each and every film in Craig’s Bond Series.
There is a lot of good moments in No Time To Die. The movie picks up right where the ending of Spectre left off, with Bond in retirement with Madeline Swann. Things are going well for Bond until Spectre attacks, and set Bond into a frenzy. After a scuffle with Spectre, we skip 5 years to now see Bond still retired by living alone in Jamaica. He lives a very nomadic lifestyle until Felix Leiter, returning for the first time since Quantum of Solace, gives Bond a job offer to take out Spectre. Felix is played by the great Jeffrey Wright and is a great edition to the movie. Even though its been 13 years since we’ve seen Felix, he falls right back into the fold and plays his part perfectly. These events set off the motion of the movie.
Bond runs into a few challenges, like the new 007, played by Lashana Lynch. The new 007, or Nomi, automatically makes sure Bond knows his place and proves her worth. Bond also has to deal with Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who is still meddling behind the scenes in prison. The biggest challenge for Bond is the main villain of the movie, Lyutsifer Safin. Safin is played by Rami Malek, who does a great job for what he was given. Safin has a great introduction, but ultimately falls flat throughout the movie. Safin had a lot of potential, but the writing was just not great for his character like it was for others.
All the actors did great in their roles. There wasn’t a weak link in the cast. One actress who stood out to me was Ana De Armas as Paloma. Paloma wasn’t in the movie for long, but was a great edition and was equal with Craig’s Bond. Armas and Craig had great chemistry on the screen for the two to three scenes she was in. Its too bad that was all we got to see from her, because she was really entertaining. All of the returning cast members did fine in their roles, with Craig putting on a great job in his swan song. Latasha lynch had a good performance as Nomi, but ultimately her character wasn’t very useful in the overall plot of the film.
The score was fantastic as it is for most james bond films. The main theme, appropriately named “No Time To Die”, is performed by Billie Eilish. The song is fantastic and ends the trilogy of great openings started by Adele in Skyfall. The song has a great chance of winning best original song at the oscars. The cinematography was also really well done. Craig’s Bond films have been can’t miss so far in theaters, and this continues that streak. The movie was gorgeous on the silver screen, with each location being vibrant and different from each other.
To sum it up, No Time To Die is a great film and a fantastic James Bond film. It is my favorite bond movie since Casino Royale. It gives you everything you would want and expect out of a bond film and ramps it up to eleven. It also isn’t afraid of taking risks and paints Bond in a light we have never seen him in in his 68 year existence. The only downside is a mediocre villain and some characters that could have used more screen time. There’s so much more to talk about in this film that i’m leaving out for the sake of spoilers. I would highly recommend this for whoever is on the fence of seeing this movie. It is a satisfying ending to one of, if not the greatest James Bond saga yet. Overall I would give No Time To Die a 8.5/10.