Synopsis: No Time To Die (2021) sees James Bond (Daniel Craig) retired, finally seeming to get his happy ending. However, the deadly Safin (Rami Malek) must be stopped. But this time Bond leaps into action with help from the new 007, Nomi (Lashana Lynch) . . .
The central story in No Time To Die ties in the “A” and “B” plots of the film. A narrative thread that incorporates the film’s central theme, might be another way to see it. Bond (Daniel Craig) and Madeline Swann (Lea Seydoux) actually being happy helps make the emotional gut punch of their forced departure all the more weighty. It was necessary to set up what comes . . . A smart move to shift five years into the future, and then eventually reunite Bond and Swan (Lea Seydoux), as they must confront Blofeld (Christoph Waltz)
What plays out over the course of No Time To Die is a slow build up to an explosive and memorable climax. The film’s very much a love story, but with enough action to keep things “Bond”. Quite a shift from the other films, including Craig’s previous four (that we ranked, recently). A fine villain in Safin (Remi Malak), helped to give No Time To Die a creepy edge, and haunting quality to it, too.
A superb performance from Daniel Craig. For example, he manages to get the complexity of Bond across, which isn’t easy. Craig marries the brawn and brutality with the fragility with absolute poise. This finale to his tenure will mean that he leaves big boots to fill.
Amongst the strong support cast is the wonderful Lashana Lynch. She holds a great deal back in her performance as Bond’s replacement, which is important as her character could well be vital going forward. Not easy to match Craig’s presence, but she does.
Remi Malak does exactly what the “big baddie” should, and steals scenes from the movie’s central star. He was genuinely menacing.
Stunts and Action
The pre-title sequence for No Time To Die ended with a fantastic sequence. Consequently, we see Bond leaping from a bridge, and then being hugely outnumbered. But the true power to it was the sudden explosion. That stunt put us in Bond’s mind, and showed us much more vulnerable Bond. So, it was great to see that sort of consideration pulled off with absolute perfect timing. truly impressive.
Throughout the film we see Bond take on many adversaries. What’s great to see is that whilst he’s slowing down, due to age, he’s not out yet . . . The fight scenes remind us that Bond is human, and that his attitude is mostly what’s allowed him to come out on top, time after time. The choreography is tailored to make this point. Also, we get a couple of wonderful car chases, which are always awesome.
No Time To Die won’t be the film that many have waited for. Yet, choosing to be bold and tie up the arc begun with Daniel Craig’s incarnation of Bond unquestionably seemed the right choice. Facile characters and one dimensional stories are no longer enough, and the Bond franchise must move with the times. The way this film plays out proves it’s ready to. Something between a stepping stone to the future and the final chapter in a five film arc might be a good way to read this movie. Craig gives a memorable final outing as the iconic super spy . It may be his last, but the movies will certainly go on. Rest assured, that James Bond will return . . .
This week’s May The Verse Be With You celebrates the release of No Time To Die, with thematic special ‘Shaken, Not Stirred’
- Stunts and Action9.5
- Incidental Music10