No Time to Die is the twenty-fifth Bond movie and Daniel Craig’s fifth and last appearance as the titular character. In the film, Agent 007 is roped back into the world of espionage as he attempts to stop a global threat and discover the secrets of those closest to him. The film is both an homage to older Bond films and a departure from tradition.
As it is to be expected, Craig delivers a spectacular performance as 007. The gritty and violence that characterized his version of Bond once again permeates the movie. Both Lea Seydoux and Christoph Waltz return in their supporting roles for this film. Seydoux is great as Madeleine White and Waltz shines every second he is on screen, confirming how underused he was in Spectre.
Rami Malek is terrifying yet mostly subdued as this film’s main villain. He is captivating while on screen, yet he does not always feel like a threat. It does not help the villain that most of the memorable moments do not involve Malek. However, the true standout of the film is Ana de Arma’s character. Although on screen for a relatively very short period of time, Paloma is one of the best characters in the Bond universe and will leave audiences wanting more.
Another highlight of this movie is the cinematography achieved by Linus Sandgren, known for movies like First Man and La La Land. The film looks fantastic, which says a lot given that previous films had cinematographers like Academy-Award-winner Roger Deakins and Hoyte Van Hoytema. Composition, lighting and coloring are perfect, making this film hard to forget visually.
The film, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, is the longest Bond movie yet. Although there are multiple action sequences that are excellently orchestrated, the vast running time might make audiences feel like it is a slow movie.
Fukunaga makes characters drive the plot, which is somewhat unusual in a Bond movie. Nonetheless, character’s motivations are hard to discern and justify at times, making the movie feel not entirely fleshed out. Bond’s romance with Seydoux’s character is also weak at times, the chemistry not always being present.
Action sequences are the best they ever have been. From the opening sequence to the climax of the movie, the choreography of the fight scenes is spectacular and brilliantly shot. Car chase scenes are as good as any other iconic chase in the franchise. No Time to Die delivers memorable moments that are aided by the fantastic cinematography.
The film’s soundtrack is composed by the legendary Hans Zimmer, whom offers an outstanding score. Billie Eilish also provides a memorable opening theme song that might not be amongst Bond’s best, but is still solid all around.
As with other Craig Bond movies, No Time to Die deviates from the norm by having a lot of recurring characters and plot points from past movies. This might cause unfamiliar audiences to feel lost at certain points. However, this decision does create a more emotional and powerful story in the end. This Bond is also different in that he is older and less suave than the standard portrayal of the character audiences are used to. This bond is very serious with little time for quips, very similar to the Timothy Dalton Bond.
No Time to Die is not perfect. It has a very long running time that could have been cut down to a better finished product. Even with the extensive length some characters seem shallow or one-dimensional. These issues are minimalized compared to the film’s strengths. The film as a whole still manages to come together to deliver an unforgettable addition to the Bond library. The more personal take on the character creates a strong story that is highlighted by amazing action sequences and beautiful cinematography. No Time to Die is a fitting swan song for Craig as he waves goodbye to the character and cements himself as what is, perhaps, the best version of Bond on film.