No Time to Die was one of the movies I was most looking forward to. With the pandemic, the release for No Time to Die kept getting pushed back until finally, it was released this year. The release of No Time to Die is a big deal as this is Daniel Craig’s last Bond film. It’s a much easier transition for the next Bond actor if the last film ends on a high note. I enjoyed No Time to Die as I thought it took the franchise in a different direction and explored Bond in a way that the other films have not.
James Bond (Daniel Craig) is on vacation with his beautiful partner, Madeleine Swann (played by Lea Seydoux). As Bond is going to visit Vesper’s grave, he’s attacked by Spectre. As he and Madeleine flee, Bond is under the impression that Madeleine betrayed him. As such, Bond leaves her. Five years later, Bond is retired. He is approached by Felix Leiter (played by Jeffrey Wright) who is wanting Bond’s help to find an MI6 scientist who aided in creating a biological weapon. Bond is swayed into helping and ends up reconnecting with Madeleine under extreme circumstances.
One major highlight of the film is the appearance of Paloma (played by Ana de Armas). She is in the movie for a short time and I think her appearance is incredibly important. The Bond films are notorious for killing women in violent ways especially once these women sleep with Bond. With Paloma, she’s introduced and helps Bond, and once her role is done, she is on her way. She’s still alive and doesn’t suffer. This was something I loved. It also leaves the door open for Paloma to come back in another film with a different Bond actor.
Besides the women, the Bond films are known for classic villains. In No Time to Die, the villain Safin (played by Rami Malek) was seeking revenge against Spectre for the murder of his family. When I heard about Malek’s casting in this film, I was excited. There are certain types of Bond villains. There are the villains who pose a physical threat to Bond. An example would be Jaws although he may be considered a henchman, not a villain. Some villains are more of a psychological threat to Bond. I think of Raoul Silva from Skyfall to fit this category. I would rank Safin into this category as well.
The main critique I had for this film was the run time. No Time To Die is 163 minutes or 2 hours and 43 minutes. I find it difficult to keep my attention if a movie is longer than 2 1/2 hours. While watching No Time to Die, it didn’t feel long. However, I think this easily could have been made into a 2 1/2 hour movie.
No Time to Die was an entertaining and fitting end to what Craig brought to the role. I will miss Daniel Craig in the role as I think he took Bond in a different direction than the other actors did. One of the things I enjoy about the Bond franchise is each actor’s unique take on the character. It makes me excited for the future Bond films and to see who is willing to take up the mantle of Bond especially because they will have big shoes to fill.
If you’re curious, I did include a couple of paragraphs summarizing some major spoilers from No Time to Die. Feel free to read at your own risk.
SPOILERS DOWN BELOW
I can’t write a review about No Time to Die without revealing some spoilers. The biggest spoiler of them all was killing off Bond. Bond is trapped in Safin’s lair as he doesn’t have time to escape the island before the missile strike happens. Additionally, Safin gave Bond the nanobots specifically to kill Madeleine and Bond’s daughter, Mathilde. There was no way I was expecting this to happen. Bond died!?!?! I thought this was a shocking yet fitting end to Craig’s tenure as the character. He lost his first love Vesper, and now he dies saving his second love, Madeleine. I know some Bond fans were disappointed by his death, but I figure in the next film, Bond will be cast as the new 007 to take over Craig’s spot. Plus each Bond actor is treated so differently, so I don’t think it will be a problem for the next Bond movie.
I loved how Bond ended up having a daughter. The character of James Bond is depressing in the sense that he doesn’t have a family and his entire focus goes into his job. Craig brought some humanity back into Bond and while Bond is still a flawed character, he’s grown so much as a person throughout the films.