A fond farewell to Daniel Craig as James Bond. NO TIME TO DIE is not only a great finale to Craig’s reign as the infamous spy but may be the franchise’s most poignant and heartfelt film. Here is our Gadi Elkon’s full review of the last Daniel Craig James Bond movie.
In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
The run of Daniel Craig as 007 James Bond has opened the franchise to dive into the origins of Ian Fleming’s masterwork. The longevity and expansion of the Bond universe with Craig and the new incarnations of M, Moneypenney, and Q has truly been a treat. We literally went back to the start of Bond’s “career”. Now I’ll go ahead and say this film isn’t my favorite Bond and not even my favorite as Craig as 007, but the sentimentality is the most refreshing of all the films. The way in which closure is tackled in this film allows for many fans to have a moment we’ve never been able to feel in a Bond film. Where the franchise goes from here is certainly in the air but at least we know Bond went out the way he should.
I’ll start by stating the runtime is a bit daunting at first glance but Cary Joji Fukunaga’s direction has created such a nice pace that the film doesn’t seem to lag. Even in the more emotionally driven plot elements the film always seems to have a timely need for action to speed us along. I’d go so far as to say that even in a near 3 hour film we don’t get as much of the juicy role Rami Malek dives into as our ultimate evil villain Lyutsifer Safin (hmmm Lucifer Satin?). If anything this diabolical mad man is as much a mystery at the end as his spooky intro.
The real treat of the movie though is the strong nature of the women behind and in front of camera. Whether its seeing Barbara Broccoli bring her dad’s producing legacy into a new era or the slight touch of Phoebe Waller-Bridge on this film’s script the Bond world is more than just a male fantasy. Granted I’m still torn up they replaced Dame Judy Dench for The One Who’s Name Cannot Be Spoken aka Ralph Fiennes as M. Not that Ralph isn’t a quality M but Dame Judy was freaking awesome as Bond’s handler. The series though benefits from Naomie Harris’ subtle performance as MoneyPenny and spoiler Lashana Lynch’s famed number spy role is kickass. No Time To Die though shines best when either Lea Seydoux is on screening being all mysterious and compelling or when Ana de Armas steals every breath as Paloma. Ana is a star!
Speaking of Legacy this film not only gave James his farewell but also said goodbye to Jeffrey Wright’s CIA fella Felix Leiter and left a lot of questions about how Bond will live on past No Time To Die. There are always names flying around of WHO will be the next Bond. Tom Hardy has gained a lot of recent steam even though Richard Madden, Idris Elba, and Dev Patel would all fit the suit a lot better, in my opinion. And even Q weighing in saying a gay or bi Bond would be a step in a new realm for 007. Personally I hope Barbara and the Bond franchise dives into Lashana being a lead figure in a stand alone film. No matter where our favorite spy ends up there is no doubt that Daniel Craig stamped his way into the constant debate of who is the best James Bond.
Anyways the film is out in theaters so jump in your silver Jag and go see it!
Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Written by: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge from characters created by Ian Fleming.
Selig Rating: 4 Stars
Running Time: 2 hrs 43 mins
Theatrical Release: Out In Theaters now.
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, and Ralph Fiennes
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
4 Stars – Good movie
3 Stars – OK movie
2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.