No Time to Die (2021)

no time to die poster 2021 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Completely different feeling James Bond film

Heavily tied to Spectre which wasn't a very good film

Movie Info

Movie Name: No Time to Die

Studio: MGM/Universal Pictures/Eon Productions

Genre(s): Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  September 28, 2021 (Premiere)/October 8, 2021 (USA)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

no time to die rami malek mask

A super-villain in the making

James Bond (Daniel Craig) has given up 007, but the ideal life with Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) is quickly destroyed.  Now years later, Spectre has resurfaced, and Bond is pulled back into the mix to shut them down…but someone might beat Bond, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), and the new 007 Nomi (Lashana Lynch) to the punch.  A dangerous new weapon has been unleashed on the world, and Bond could be the best chance to stop it.  Time is running out, and Bond has no time to die!

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, No Time to Die is a James Bond action adventure spy thriller.  Following Spectre in 2015, the film is the twenty-fifth entry in the James Bond series.  It features the theme song by Billie Eilish “No Time to Die”, and the film faced released delays due to production problems and the COVID-19 outbreak forcing the film’s original release from November 2019 to be pushed back to October 2021.  The movie received Academy Award for  Best Original Song (“No Time to Die”) with nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound.

no time to die blofeld chistoph waltz

Blofeld is back! I’m sure he’s going to do something cool…or not

The Daniel Craig run on James Bond has been a long, strange trip. It is different take on a classic character, and Craig himself often publicly fought against the Bond role through the course of the films.  Craig’s Bond movies feel like an entirely new creature with many of the classic Bond traits.  This entry, good and bad, is a culmination of Craig’s run on Bond…and does some entirely different thing than you’d expect in a Bond film.  Due to story aspects, a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review.

Craig’s storylines largely tied together, and this one is heavily tied to Spectre (with additional nods to Craig’s first outing in Casino Royale).  I saw Spectre in the theater and once afterwards, but I did feel a bit unprepared for what was going on (largely because Spectre was kind of forgettable).  It would be worth brushing up on Spectre at least before watching since it is largely tied to it.

no time to die 007 lashana lynch daniel craig

It’s war of the 007s

Like many Bond movies, there are pacing problems.  The long runtime felt padded and a few of Bond’s excursions felt a little unnecessary and could have been cut.  The movie crawls but begins to really race near the ending.  There is a sense of dread that hangs over the whole film and the final and shocking ending almost feels like a punk.  You think Bond’s not dead and that he’ll show up on a beach somewhere…separating himself from the family he can never see or touch (like Cruise’s relationship with his girlfriend in the Mission: Impossible movies)…but he’s dead…and it is really jarring since it hasn’t been done in a Bond movie.

Craig’s time has passed and that plays into the plot.  There are frequently parts of the movie where his character looks old and tired (Moore legendarily played Bond too long and it showed).  As an actor he was tired of the role and the factoring in of this exhaustion to the character really gave him stuff to work with.  I like Seydoux, but I feel that some of Craig’s other leading women would have made better “final girls” than Swann. Rami Malek was creepy but felt underplayed, and the appearance by Christoph Waltz made sense but also was a huge time taker.  I liked Lashana Lynch as the all-new, all-different 007 and it was good that Jeffrey Wright, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, and Naomie Harris all got in on the finale.  Ana de Armas is a scene stealer as the young agent, and I wish she had stuck around longer.

no time to di james bond dies daniel craig

Guess I do have time after all!

Visually, the show has some great set-pieces, but it doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of Craig’s earlier films. Bond is often all about exotic locations, beaches, snowy depths, and the danger that comes with them…and No Time to Die didn’t have enough of this aspect of Bond. The ending largely takes place in a dark and dingy missile silo and it just isn’t as cool as a big underwater base or a space station…even if it is more realistic.

The tying of the stories together always felt like a response to the Jason Bourne movies which were high-octane Bond movies with continuing plotlines. This put Bond on the defensive and No Time to Die is the be-all-and-end-all type of Bond. A new Bond and new direction will be tough to explore after this run since it feels very definitive and this could set up the perfect means to experiment with different Bonds who aren’t the typical white male Bonds that have made the franchise. Love it or hate it, Daniel Craig and No Time to Die breaks the James Bond mold…and the future is limitless.

Preceded By:

Spectre (2015)

Related Links:

The 94th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response