Starring: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Running Time: 163 mins
No Time To Die is a British film following James Bond as he comes out of retirement to assist MI6 in its mission to bring down a madman who has seized a biological weapon, threatening the safety of the entire globe.
A delightfully familiar Bond adventure, No Time To Die is by no means the most original blockbuster you’ll ever see, but it blends all the classic tropes of this legendary franchise with a smattering of new ideas, delivering a consistently fun watch from start to finish.
At nearly three hours long, No Time To Die is by far and away the longest Bond movie, but it’s not exactly overlong. While the first half of the film does drag in places (particularly before the opening titles), there’s never really a dull moment here, even though the film does take a while to get where it’s going.
After trying something a little bit different in its opening act, No Time To Die really gets into its stride when all of the familiar faces find themselves together on a classic Bond mission. From weapons that threaten the safety of the world to villainous island lairs and everything in between, there’s no denying that this film has all of the classic 007 tropes down perfectly.
So, while it may not be breaking the bank when it comes to new ideas, No Time To Die delivers the classic Bond fare in tremendously entertaining style, particularly as the action ramps up in a genuinely thrilling final act.
Beyond the familiar plot, however, No Time To Die is injected with a lot more emotional depth than we’ve come to see from Bond films in the past. Building on Bond’s relationship with Madeleine Swann from Spectre, the film leans heavily on some more melodramatic plot points, seeking to tug at your heartstrings as you watch Daniel Craig shine as Bond for one last time.
Apart from the fact that serialised Bond movies still don’t sit right with me in the context of the whole franchise, that emotional depth isn’t always as convincing or effective as the film wants it to be, and it’s the blockbuster action which really gets the blood pumping at its best moments.
The performances too are strong throughout, with Craig once again on top form as Bond, and co-stars Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and more also delighting, as do Ana de Armas and Naomie Harris in shorter appearances. Rami Malek is fine as the main villain, although hardly on the level of some of the more threatening adversaries we’ve seen during Craig’s tenure as Bond.
There is good humour throughout the film that doesn’t cheapen the grittier side to Bond we’ve seen in the Daniel Craig years, although No Time To Die still isn’t quite as charming an ode to 007 as Skyfall, even if it takes the franchise to new heights from an action perspective, and features a few nice nods to Craig’s first appearance as Bond back in Casino Royale.
New editions in classic franchises like this are often subject to extreme micro-analysis, and while No Time To Die isn’t exactly the most exhilarating Bond film you’ll ever see, it is a lot of fun from start to finish.
It’s action-packed, entertaining, and full of all the things about Bond that we’ve loved since 1962, and serves as a thoroughly enjoyable way for Daniel Craig to see out his tenure as the legendary super-spy. So, that’s why I’m giving No Time To Die a 7.7 overall.