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No Time To Die Film Review

Review by Paul Bowler.

No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as the worlds most famous super-spy is finally with us at last, and it looks set to be 007’s most blockbusting adventure yet! As well as being the milestone 25th film in the Bond franchise, which began with Dr No in 1962, No Time To Die is also purportedly one of the most expensive Bond movie every made.

Picking after the events of Spectre (2015), where Blofield (Christopher Waltz) was captured and Bond had wandered off into the sunset with love-interest Dr Madeleine Swann, played by French star Lea Seydoux, No Time to Die finds that Bond and Madeleine have started a new life together in Italy. Although Bond’s left his spy days with MI6 behind him, Madeleine is still harbouring secrets of her own, and Bond’s own troubled past eventually makes them go their separate ways. 

Five years on and Bond is in Jamaica, retired and drowning his sorrows, that is until his old CIA contact Felix Leiter (Jeffery Wright) seeks his help. Christopher Waltz’s sinister Blofield may be behind bars, but he’s not without influence, and his nefarious henchmen on the outside are still eager to do his bidding – namely Primo (Dali Benssalah).

There’s also a new nemesis in the form of Safin, brilliantly played by Rami Malek, a deadly psychopath with his own agenda who also shares a past with Bond’s lover Madeleine. Bond reunites with M, played by Ralph Fiennes, along with old colleagues Ben Wishaw’s trusty quartermaster Q, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, and some new faces including the fearless and funny Cuban CIA agent Paloma, played by Ana de Armas, and Lashana Lynch as new double-oh-agent Nomi who stepped up to the plate when Bond was out of the frame. With new working practices at MI6 to contend with, Bond must learn to adapt as he struggles with his role in the ever changing asymmetric world of modern warfare and high-tech espionage, whilst dealing with the return of Madeleine, and finding a way to stop his enemies from unleashing a deadly bioweapon on the world. 

The multi-layered storyline brings this era of Bond full circle in a plethora of action, gadgets, intrigue and glamour. Daniel Craig gives one of his most powerful performances yet as 007 runs a gauntlet of brutal action, frenetic chases and emotional turmoil that will no doubt galvanise his legacy as one of the best Bond’s of all. He’s ably supported by a superb cast, who each get their moment in the spotlight, and Director Cary Joji Fukunaga stylishly orchestrates the international scope of the globe-trotting narrative, rich characterisation and the big action set-pieces with consummate ease. Add to that the rousing score by Hans Zimmer and a terrific theme tune written by Grammy winner Billie Eillsh and you have a movie that is sure to be everything that fans could’ve hoped for in Daniel Craig’s swansong as Bond.

No Tine to Die features some stunning locales, including those filmed in the hillside city of Matera in Italy, the Caribbean where Bond tries to escape his life at MI6, and an exciting chase in Norway. Filming also took place on the Faroe Islands, along with scenes short in the UK at the 19th century  Ardverikie Estate and Cairngorms in Scotland, and London. There’s the usual quota of stunts, fights and shoot-outs to leave you shaken and stirred, including a fantastic sequence with the iconic Austin Martin where Bond and Madeleine are attacked and pursued by their enemies, there’s a dramatic chase across a frozen lake as well, and even a record breaking explosion for one particular stunt.

The pandemic might have seen the film pushed back three times from its original 2020 release date, but its been well worth the wait. At just over two hours and 43 minutes long, its a film with a lot of ground to cover as it races into its thrilling final act, but the story never drags, and the exciting break-neck action ensures No Time to Die brings Daniel Craig’s era as Bond to a close in fine style. 

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook