I wouldn’t be alone in saying Brit Daniel Craig is the most charismatic, entertaining James Bond since the late Sean Connery.
But while Spectre was an overarching disappointment in the franchise, Craig’s final outing No Time To Die reverses those mistakes and then some.
A resonant, high-stakes entry into this legendary collection of films, every second we had to wait for this one to hit theatres was worth it.
Director Cary Joji Fukunaga – known for the incredible first season of True Detective – infuses this one with plenty of action, intrigue and more heart than I’ve seen in a Bond outing since 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
While the story threads in an admittedly overlong two-hour-and-forty-five minute film sometimes get lost, and some character motivations are downright confusing, No Time To Die has one hell of a presence.
Craig gives a vibrant final performance, and female leads Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch and Lea Seydoux are all spectacular. With wonderful supporting turns from stalwarts Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright and the fantastic Ben Wishaw as Q, Bond is ushered into the 2020s in style.
Following the events of Spectre, Bond has left the service, but he’s lured back in after a villain plans to obliterate humanity with dangerous new tech. It all has a connection to Blofeld, our villain from Spectre, but Bond isn’t sure how.
An underutilized character, though, is the villainous Safin, played by Rami Malek. The Oscar winner is fantastic and bone-chilling through every second of his runtime, but he often isn’t given enough time or depth to work with.
Given the villains are two-pronged with the return of Christoph Waltz – an always-welcome actor – the film doesn’t suffer too much, but I think Malek could have been incredible here, if given more to do.
No Time To Die isn’t the definitive Bond picture, but it sure is a wonderful swan song for star Craig, and sets pieces for a new franchise story.