Daniel Craig’s final outing as the titular 007, “No Time to Die” has finally been released. Several issues during production, such as including numerous delays, rewrites and the COVID-19 pandemic, had caused the film to be pushed back from its initial release date of November 2019 to Sept. 30 and Oct. 8 2021 in the United Kingdom and the United States respectively.
Despite the tumultuous production however, the film delivers a satisfying send off to one of the franchises longest serving actors in Craig as Bond with Lashana Lynch, known as Nomi in the film, taking over as the new 007 following Bond’s retirement with a shocking and controversial casting.
The film takes place after the events of “Spectre,” which was released in 2015. James Bond, now retired from the spy game with Madeline Swan, Bond’s girlfriend, has an old friend convince him to come out of retirement for one last major “world-ending threat.”
The now Platinum Billie Eillish song, “No Time to Die” mixes very well with the opening title sequence. The theme song is up there with Adele’s “Skyfall” and Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name.” Hans Zimmer does a phenomenal job in scoring the soundtrack throughout the film.
The film excels in the cinematography with Director Cary Joji Fukunaga handling action set pieces well and clearly understanding the characters and the world that has been built since “Casino Royale,” which was Craig’s first entry into the franchise.
The cast delivers in its performance with Craig, Lynch, Lea Seydoux, David Dencik, and Ana de Armas being the best of the bunch. However, every actor excels in this film, contributing to the overall storyline in their own way.
The film makes great use of new addition Nomi, Lynch’s character, being the new 007 after Bond’s retirement. She stands apart from Bond, and both have some witty back and forth and even grow to respect each other.
Unfortunately, the villain Safin, played by Rami Malik, is unmemorable and bland. The worst part is it is not Malik’s fault, with little development given to his character, he does the best he can with what is given.
For a James Bond film, this one does ranks highly with “Casino Royale” in terms of brutality by Craig. Specifically, a one-shot take in the Faroe Islands and the gunfight in a foggy forest in Norway.
“No Time To Die” does an excellent job in having high stakes and consequences. There’s never the sense of the hero will always win, especially nearing the end. Overall, this is a solid but not perfect way to end the “Craig-era” of Bond films within the franchise that is a must watch.