NO TIME TO DIE Review; "The Perfect James Bond Movie - Action-Packed, Satisfying, And Surprisingly Heartfelt"

No Time to Die has just arrived in UK cinemas, but are those early rave reviews a good representation of what to expect from Daniel Craig's final time playing James Bond? Find our verdict after the jump...

The release of a new James Bond movie always is always an event in the UK, so it’s no wonder No Time to Die's ticket sales have been on par with Avengers: Endgame. This latest chapter is arguably an even bigger deal than normal thanks to Daniel Craig’s departure, and that alone gives this movie a real "end of an" era feel (especially as his tenure as 007 is the longest of any actor who has lent their talents to this iconic role). So, does this finale deliver? Casino Royale was the fresh start the series needed, while Skyfall was a masterpiece. The less said about Quantum of Solace and Spectre, the better, but No Time to Die stands tall as one of the best Bond films ever made and the perfect farewell to Craig’s take on the spy. 

Now does feel like the right time for the actor to step down from the role, but he makes sure to send his iteration of Bond out on a high. After a few missteps last time around, Craig is back at his badass best to deliver what feels like a definitive take on the Ian Fleming creation. It will be tricky for anyone to follow the actor, and beyond just being one of the most formidable big screen action heroes, this Bond is a layered, fascinatingly complex character to spend time with (and Craig brings a lot of emotion to his performance). Rami Malek, meanwhile, is likely to be divisive as No Time to Die’s big bad, Safin. There’s not a lot for him to work with, and like Blofeld and Dominic Greene in Spectre and Quantum of Solace, it’s hard to imagine the villain will be remembered for long. Malek definitely makes the most of what we see from him, but this never really feels like a Bond movie built around its villain and a few more scenes could have made all the difference.

That could be why so many supporting characters shine, with Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, and Jeffrey Wright all on top form. Léa Seydoux is similarly superb, while Lashana Lynch is certainly an exciting new addition to the franchise; whether her character could hold her own in a spinoff, for example, is up for debate, but it would be a shame not to see more of what the actress can do with the role. Ana de Armas’ Paloma is another character deserving of the spotlight; she’s a breath of fresh air for a film like No Time to Die, and it’s a shame she doesn’t get more screentime as every second we do get to spend with her is an absolute joy. Giving her and Lynch’s characters their own movie could have the makings of something special.

Much has been said about Cary Joji Fukunaga tackling his first big budget blockbuster, but the filmmaker does not disappoint. Combining stunning visuals with intense action, he delivers the perfect action movie experience and finds the best possible balance of nostalgia and topical themes which make sure 007 feels relevant in today’s world. Most impressive, however, is how his and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s screenplay (Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are also credited) manages to make sense of those messy attempts to get everything to link up in these movies with the introduction of Spectre. 

With a punchy Hans Zimmer score, and some of the best action scenes of any Bond movie, No Time to Die doesn't disappoint. It is a long movie, but is compelling and thrilling enough to earn that lengthier than normal runtime. This is a story with plenty of heart, some big twists and turns, and edge of your seat action that builds to a shocking, satisfying conclusion setting the stage for a new era of stories featuring 007. For now, though, focusing too much on the franchise’s future would do this finale a disservice because it not only matches expectations but exceeds them in every possible way. This was worth the wait, and even if you’re not a fan of James Bond, you’d be a fool to miss out on taking this journey. 

No Time to Die is the perfect James Bond movie; action-packed, satisfying, and surprisingly heartfelt, Cary Joji Fukunaga proves an ideal fit for this franchise and helps make sure Daniel Craig, who is phenomenal here, ends his tenure as 007 in style. 


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