With No Time to Die, despite being new to the Bond franchise, director Cary Joji Fukunaga has created an exquisitely shot, magical mystery tour back through this Bond’s illustrious career.
The plot, though in some places slightly tenuous, catches the late onset maturity of Craig’s Bond. The film provides possibly the most frightening threat of his tenure in what feels like an attempt to root the film in a reality that resembles this one.
Though there are aspects of hilarity in previous Bonds (not always intentional), this picture took a much lighter tone in compared to the macho overtones of the other films. This creative decision pays off and provides a sound conclusion which, unlike Pierce Brosnan’s send off, gives Craig a deserved and dignified exit.
After the disappointment of Spectre’s straining plot and underwhelming climax, the addition of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s writing talents provide a new take on Bond. A subtler, nostalgic sentiment shadowed the character throughout, helping to move away from the passé misogyny, alcoholism and shirtlessness we have come to associate with Craig’s Bond. Just as a warning, all the women do stay fully clothed in this one.
Whilst the villain has a rather predictably tedious backstory, Rami Malek does provide a genuinely unhinged performance whilst maintaining an ego that could believably produce the faults that led to his unavoidable downfall. Instead, vague, and often confusingly pointless plot detail means the film can drag. Not to mention its enormous run time of 2 hours 43 minutes.
However, by humanising Bond, reclaiming locations from films-gone-by and quietly referencing past iconic scenes, No Time to Die finds its greatest successes. Though it stands as a fabulous piece of cinema on its own, a re-watch of Daniel Craig’s tenure is recommended to retrieve all the allusions and motivations of the film but not required. However, for the more emotional viewer, a box of tissues is a must.
Written By Orla McKee.