And just like that, fifteen years plus of Daniel Craig’s James Bond is complete, and I have to say, what a way to go.
Retired and trying to live a peaceful civilian life after years of doing the 007 thing, No Time To Die sees James Bond (Daniel Craig) suddenly thrust back into a world he thought he left behind. Chasing a new madman around the world who has the capabilities to specifically target and eliminate people with prejudice, Bond must sacrifice more than he ever has to save not only the world but the people around him that he cares about most. Full of action, thrills, and a few character developments well worth watching, Bond is back, and in the case of this iteration of the franchise, going out with a bang is more literal than ever.
I love me some James Bond. Whether it’s Daniel Craig, my generation’s James Bond in Pierce Brosnan, the OG Sean Connery, or any of the other actors that have lent their talents to the role over the decades, watching a 007 film up on the big screen is very rarely an unworthy experience. And now, almost 15 years after his debut as the character, Daniel Craig’s time has come to an end, and luckily this film doesn’t squander the moment.
Being more than a bit let down by the last 007 entry, Spectre, I went into this one skeptical but ready to embrace whatever the filmmakers had up their sleeves. Postponed over and over again thanks to the pandemic and the need for audiences to see Craig’s final outing up on the big screen, I’m happy to report that not only has this film met my expectations, but it’s successfully pulled off something that no other James Bond movie has accomplished, as it truly signals an end for an era of films that fans have more or less adored throughout.
Outside of the other two fantastic Daniel Craig Bond films in Casino Royale and Skyfall (Quantum of Solace and Spectre can sit in the corner and think about what they’ve done), No Time To Die is hands down the most exciting Bond film of the bunch. Feeling far more James Bond-y than Daniel Craig’s other entries while giving the character something to chew on outside of all the gunfire and Bond girls, this sequel is a fitting send-off, at least until this series is revived again in a few years.
Directed well by Cary Joji Fukunaga, it’s immediately apparent that this outing has a lot of ground to cover, and while it’s a bit slow in spots, the script does a lot to keep things moving and continually exciting. The set pieces are big, the action loud, and although I really need to reconsider my stance on how I feel about Rami Malek not just as the villain in this, but as an actor overall, No Time To Die has a beating heart to it that encapsulates the long and winding journey of Daniel Craig’s Bond both inside and out of the movies.
So although it’s true the film is a bit too long and the villain a bit underwhelming, I have to admit that I really enjoyed this adventure through and through, despite some slight missteps along the way. This latest chapter in the Book of Bond may finally be coming to a close, so here’s hoping No Time To Die is a sign of better things to come for whoever steps into this iconic role next, and for that, I wait with bated nerd breath.
A Proper Send Off