Daniel Craig says goodbye to the iconic James Bond in this nearly three-hour epic conclusion to the Craig-era arc of the franchise.
Now retired from his long running mission as His Majesty’s Secret Service Agent 007, James Bond is living a happy life in Italy with his new love, Madeleine Swann. However, she feels she cannot go on with him until he lets go of his former love, Vesper Lund, who was killed a few years back. Finally realizing his love for Madeleine, Bond is ready to let go. However, he soon learns members of SPECTRE have returned and learning Madeleine may be connected, he decides to let her go once and for all.
Five years later, Bond returns to London and learns that Nomi, a fellow MI-6 agent, is now the new 007. When his old friend Felix asks him for help, Bond reluctantly heads to Cuba to rescue Russian scientist Valdo Obruchev, who has created a new virus based on nanotechnology. With the help of agent Paloma, Bond successfully completes the mission but learns that contact Logan Ash is now working for someone bigger than Blofeld, his archenemy. However, Bond soon learns that an old connection may be the key to discovering who kidnapped Obruchev. Things get more complicated when Bond is now infected with the new “virus” and he must a way to not only save those close to him, but himself as well before it’s too late.
For fifteen years, Daniel Craig became the iconic agent James Bond with Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre. Originally reluctant to return to a final film, Craig finally relented and takes the lead in an epic conclusion that does for his James Bond arc like Endgame ended the first epic arc of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
At a whopping two hours and forty-five minutes, this is the longest Bond film in the franchise and one of the best. We see Craig’s Bond now retired for five years after Spectre and reeling from the loss of his past love while attempting to stick to his relationship with current love Madeleine, played by Lea Seydoux. However, the opening of the film is a flashback scene involving Madeleine and how her past is connected to the film as a whole. The film’s opening action sequence is exhilarating, and it seems like with each film, the stunts and action get better and better. The action here leads to shocking revelation that Madeleine doesn’t stick around until much later in the film.
The middle of the film involves Bond slowly going back to what he does best because he feels he has no other option. Forced into a classic rivalry with Blofeld, reprised by the great Christoph Waltz, Bond finds himself having to rescue a scientist who has a new virus based on nanotechnology. This leads to a stellar scene in Cuba and the brief but impactful appearance of Paloma, played by Ana de Armas. We get to see Paloma not only help Bond, but gets in with some firepower and even a brief fight scene.
Jeffrey Wright makes the most of his screen time as Felix, the man who brings Bond out of retirement despite the misgivings of M, played by Ralph Fiennes. Lashana Lynch makes for a welcome addition as Nomi, the new 007. She has her issues with Bond, but ultimately realizes the only way they can stop the villains are by working together. Ben Whishaw’s Q is once again the comic relief of the film. Billy Magnussen pulls off the double cross very well in the role of Logan Ash, who was thought to be a contact but reveals his true intentions later on.
However, the film’s highlight is the performance of Rami Malek in the role of central villain Lyutisifer Safin. The enigmatic villain comes into play as a complete mastermind. From his opening scene, which one can guess is connected to the story involving Madeleine and provides the main twist involving the plot, which leads to a reunion between James and Madeleine which brings in an even more shocking revelation, which leads to an exhilarating and jaw-dropping third act.
No Time to Die is an epic James Bond movie that is a proper conclusion to an amazing arc involving Daniel Craig as one of the greatest 007s ever. Rami Malek makes for a perfect final villain and the action is one of the best in the franchise.
WFG RATING: A+
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents an EON Productions in association with Danjaq Inc. Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga. Producers: Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. Writers: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge; based on the character created by Ian Fleming. Cinematography: Linus Sandgren. Editing: Tom Cross and Elliot Graham.
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright, Billy Magnussen, Ana de Armas, Christoph Waltz, David Dencik.