‘No Time To Die’ Review: Daniel Craig’s Final Outing As James Bond Does Not Disappoint

NOTE: THERE ARE NO SPOILERS FOR NO TIME TO DIE IN THIS ARTICLE.

What to say? What to say? No Time To Die is magnificent, that’s all there is to say. I don’t use the word masterpiece lightly, but this film deserves it. Daniel Craig’s final outing in the world of James Bond does not fail to amaze, and it deserves all the praise it can get. From the plot and the characters to the settings and the vehicles, let’s get into what’s good and what’s bad about No Time To Die.

The Bad

Safin (Rami Malek) in NO TIME TO DIE. Credit: Nicola Dove © 2020 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM.

Let’s get the bad over with. This should be pretty short, as there’s not much in No Time To Die that’s terrible.

Villain Problems

I think the main thing about the film that wasn’t great is that Rami Malek’s Safin was underused. I’m not going to go into specifics (as this review is spoiler-free), but every time Safin appeared it was terrifying, and he should’ve been used a LOT more than he actually was. It would’ve made for a better film, and an overall better villain.

To compare him to some of the other Bond villains in the Daniel Craig era, he was much better than Dominic Greene (Quantum of Solace) or Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Spectre). However, it’s hard to beat Le Chiffre (Casino Royale) or Silva (Skyfall). However, he had this aura of terror that surrounded him whenever he set foot on-screen, something that none of the previous villains have had, which made the film much more enjoyable (and scary).

Runtime

The other minor issue with this film is it’s runtime. Clocking in at 2 hours and 43 minutes, it felt quite long at times, and I felt multiple times that it could’ve been shortened to maybe 2 hours and 20 minutes. There were at least 2 scenes where I feel the dialogue could’ve been cut or shortened a little bit.

The Good

(L-R) James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Paloma (Ana de Armas) in NO TIME TO DIE. Credit: Nicola Dove © 2020 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM.

Now, for the good, which will assuredly be a lot longer. There’s so much to cover, Ana de Armas, the action, and more.

Ana de Armas

Ana de Armas was, in short, AMAZING. Unfortunately, she was only in the movie for 10-15 minutes, but for EVERY SINGLE ONE of those minutes, she never failed to amaze in her performance as Paloma. No spoilers, but it was absolutely incredible. And, from what you know from the trailers, her fighting abilities are astounding. I daresay she could take Nomi in a fight, given the chance.

Action Sequences

The action sequences of this film are arguably the best in the franchise. Nomi, Paloma, Bond, and even Madeleine Swann have great sequences where they take turns beating the pulp out of both Spectre’s agents and Safin’s hitmen. One of the most memorable is at the club in Cuba, where Ana de Armas’ Paloma beats up Spectre agents using a combination of firearms and martial arts. Rest assured, there will be plenty of action in this Bond film.

The New 007
Nomi (Lashana Lynch) is ready for action in Cuba in NO TIME TO DIE. Credit: Nicola Dove © 2020 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM.

Now, as for 007, she’s just as fit and ready as Bond, if not more. She also has the wit that’s become a trademark of 007s. She isn’t afraid to go against her superiors, when necessary, and also likes agitating Bond. Also not a bad touch, Nomi has great taste when coming to outfits and vehicles. The Aston Martin DBS is a great car, and her choice in No Time To Die.

Nomi is a double-0, but in this film seems to serve the purpose of James Bond’s sidekick. While a lot of you will immediately think this isn’t a great role for her (and I was inclined to agree with you), she actually plays that role with ease and honor. Lashana Lynch also doesn’t allow herself to get sucked up in Daniel Craig’s shadow, and manages to keep Nomi as a memorable, distinct character in the Bond franchise.

The Plot

The plot of this film is arguably the best of the franchise’s 25 films. While films like Goldfinger, Casino Royale, Dr. No, and Skyfall are up there, No Time To Die‘s plot is incredibly interesting in both its scale and nature. It focuses on a terrorist (Safin) who is trying to spread a bio-weapon throughout the planet, aiming to kill tens of millions of people. This may seem typical at first, but as we get more and more into the movie, we realize that the plot is anything but. There are also quite a few surprises in store for viewers.

A Few More Things…

(L-R) Tanner (Rory Kinnear), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), and M (Ralph Fiennes) in NO TIME TO DIE. Credit: Nicola Dove © 2021 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM.

I wouldn’t be doing my job if I failed to mention these final few worthy mentions:

Pre-Viewing

Before you enter the theater to go see No Time To Die, you should also try and watch the previous Daniel Craig films. This is because all 5 films have an overarching narrative, unlike the previous Bond universes, which have been independent stories, for the most part. The most important to see are Casino Royale and Spectre, though seeing Skyfall and Quantum of Solace wouldn’t hurt.

The Ending

That ending…….well, I’m not going to spoil it for you, but prepare for heavy emotions as you leave the theater. Also try to stay for the end of the credits as well, you’ll never know what you might see…

Conclusion

(L-R) James Bond (Daniel Craig), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), and Q (Ben Whishaw) in NO TIME TO DIE. Credit: Nicola Dove © 2021 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM.

All in all, No Time To Die is an extremely satisfying conclusion to the latest chapter in the Bond saga. The characters, the plot, the action, it all makes this satisfying conclusion to Daniel Craig’s run as James Bond. I would gladly see this film again and again. Outstanding job to Cary Joji Fukunaga and the entire cast and crew. Top 3 Bond film for me, and that’s saying something, as there are 25.

No Time To Die is now playing worldwide in theaters. Let us know what you thought of the film by tagging us at @ReviewedCinema.

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