'No Time to Die' Until You See This Film - A Spoiler Review

Daniel Craig has definitely left his mark on the character of James Bond; he will leave the franchise as possibly the most popular Bond. There will always be fans who prefer other actors take on 007, but Craig has shone a spotlight on the more human side of the character in a way the other actors did not. No Time to Die is an incredibly well-made film that keeps the action coming while also delivery an emotional story that does right by its characters. The film stars Danie Craig returning as James Bond for a final time, Lea Seydoux coming back as Madeleine, Lashana Lynch as Nomi, Rami Malek as the villainous Safin, Jeffrey Wright returning as Felix Leiter and Christoph Waltz returning as Blofeld. The film is a sequel to Spectre, I am not sure if someone could enjoy No Time to Die without seeing Spectre first. So much of No Time to Die is taken from Spectre that it elevates Spectre while also fixing some of Spectre's mistakes. Knowing it was Daniel Craig's final film as James Bond it lends a melancholy to the film as I was watching it, I think Craig is the best Bond we have ever seen in the role, and I am not looking forward to the post-Craig era. The film has some twists and turns in the plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end credits roll. I am not saying this is a perfect film, but it is a fantastic looking film, and the action is incredibly well choreographed.

Getting ready to watch No Time to Die I decided to do an article where I ranked the 24 Eon produced Bond films and after only one watch I can say easily it would be in the top five. No Time to Die will likely make it into the top three when I get to see it a few more times, Spectre also would move up the list too. The thing that No Time to Die does so well is it manages the usual humor with the more emotional story they are telling. I am curious who will be cast as the next 007, I have no preference because after watching Daniel Craig's five films it is hard to picture someone else in the role right now. I will be curious if they do a clean sweep and start anew with all of the characters they have introduced (M, Q and Moneypenny) or if they keep that continuity and have them return with a new 007. I will save the spoilers for the recap and the conclusion, but I will say the movie left me very satisfied and if you have been a fan of the Daniel Craig 007 films then you will not be disappointed. 


The film opens with a flashback to an event in Madeleine's past, Safin the villain of the film arrives at her family home to kill her father, Mr. White. Safin fails to get Mr. White since he is not there, but he kills Madeleine's mother while Madeleine escapes. Madeleine falls through the ice into a frozen lake, but she is saved by Safin. We then jump to the present where we see Bond and Madeleine in Italy, they are enjoying life after the events of Spectre. Bond goes to visit the Vesper Lynd's tomb, but he is ambushed by S.P.E.C.T.R.E. assassins and just manages to get away. Bond goes back to the hotel where he and Madeleine are staying, Bond believes she betrayed him to S.P.E.C.T.R.E.. They leave the hotel and are chased by the assassins until they are cornered, Bond then uses the weapons in his car to get away. Madeleine and Bond escape and make it to a train station where Bond puts her on a train and tells her she will never see him again. 

The film moves forward five years, and we see an attack orchestrated by S.P.E.C.T.R.E. on a secret laboratory that works with dangerous biological weapons. The attack leads to the kidnapping of one of the scientists who is also appears to be working with Safin. Safin is watching and notifies the scientist Obruchev (played by David Dencik) about the impending attack. Obruchev is taken by S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and the rest of scientists are killed, the attack was about getting Obruchev and the virus he created. Bond is retired and living anonymously in Jamaica until he is approached by Felix Leiter and Logan Ash (Billy Magnussen). The CIA would like Bond to help them in getting Obruchev who they say is in Cuba working with S.P.E.C.T.R.E.. Bond turns them down, but on his way home he encounters Nomi who turns out is the new 007 and she tells him to stay out of her way. Bond intrigued by taking on S.P.E.C.T.R.E. goes to Cuba to assist the CIA, he meets his contact an inexperienced agent named Paloma (played by Ana De Armas). Paloma brings him to a party, it is Blofeld's birthday and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is celebrating, but Bond is walking into a trap. The party is for Blofeld, but it is also for Bond, they will use the virus Obruchev made to kill him. Obruchev who is working with Safin betrays S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and uploads their DNA into his virus thus making it lethal for S.P.E.C.T.R.E. members only. Bond escapes as everyone starts to die, Obruchev is attempting his escape, but Bond and Paloma stop him. Nomi arrives and takes Obruchev as Bond and Paloma are busy fighting the guards. Paloma then gets Obruchev back from Nomi and Bond causes a distraction that occupies Nomi and allows Paloma, Obruchev and him to escape. 

Bond brings Obruchev to Leiter and Ash who are on a boat in the middle of the ocean, it is on the boat that Ash reveals he too is working for Safin. Ash shoots Leiter and then locks Bond and Leiter in the engine room before setting off an explosive that will cause the boat to sink. Bond tries to save Leiter, but Leiter knows he is dead and tells Bond to finish the mission. Bond escapes the sinking boat and gets picked up by a passing freighter before arriving back in London. In London, Bond returns to MI6 to meet with M, they argue over M backing a covert biological weapon facility. Bond then asks Moneypenny for help; he wants to visit Blofeld who is locked away. Madeleine is working as a psychiatrist to Blofeld, and Safin visits her reminding her that he saved her life. Safin asks that she put the virus on herself and then touch Blofeld, Safin's family was killed by Mr. White on Blofeld's orders. Bond is recruited back to MI6; Bond tells Nomi to locate Ash, if they can find Ash then they might be able to find Obruchev. Madeleine then reunites with Bond as they visit Blofeld, but seeing Bond makes her feel guilty and she attempts to leave, but Bond grabs her arm and unknowingly infects himself. Blofeld tells Bond that he arranged the attack in Italy five years earlier and that Madeleine had nothing to do with it. Bond then strangles Blofeld before he is stopped, but it is too late as Blofeld is infected and killed by nanobot virus. Madeleine then disappears, but Bond knows where she went. Bond at arrives at Madeleine's family home where he meets her five-year-old daughter Mathilde. 

Madeleine and Bond reconnect with Bond now knowing Madeleine is innocent, he tells her he loves her, and they spend the night together. Madeleine tells Bond that Mathilde is not his daughter, Bond either not believing or caring proceeds to look after her. Bond learns about Safin's threat to Madeleine, and he vows to protect them from Safin. Nomi tracks Ash, but it leads her to where Bond is; Bond then puts Mathilde and Madeleine in the car, and they depart. They encounter Safin's men, and they fend them off, but their car is destroyed, Bond gives Madeleine his gun and leads the remaining assassins away from them. Bond then kills Ash, but Madeleine and Mathilde are taken by Safin, and he escapes with them in his helicopter. Safin has taken Madeleine and Mathilde to an island that was a World War II chemical manufacturing plant formerly run by Safin's family. Safin is mass producing the nanobot viruses on the island, his grand plan is to use the virus to start a new world order. Bond and Nomi head to the island and successfully infiltrate it, but they find out that Safin is mass producing the nanobots. They locate Obruchev, and while Nomi places explosives and babysits Obruchev Bond goes after Mathilde and Madeleine. Bond finds Mathilde with Safin who is holding her hostage, he asks for Bond to disarm himself and submit to Safin. Bond does, but then he pulls out a hidden gun and kills Safin's guards. Safin though escapes with Mathilde into a hidden tunnel, until she bites him, and he leaves her to die without his protection. Madeleine and Bond find each other and then they locate Mathilde who was hiding under a table. Bond brings them back to Nomi who has since thrown Obruchev into a pool of acid, Nomi then leaves the island taking Mathilde and Madeleine with her. Bond stays behind to open the missile silo doors so that the British Navy can fire missiles and destroy the base and the nanobots. There is a bunch of boats that are making their way to the island, the boats are bad guys who are going to buy the nanobots from Safin. With the buyers closing in, Bond has little time to open the silo doors and destroy the nanobots before the boats arrive. 

Bond makes it to the control room where he opens the silo doors, as he makes his way to the shore the doors start to close again. As Bond heads back to the control room he is shot by Safin, Bond gets up and takes Safin down. Safin knowing, he cannot beat Bond in a fight infects them both with a virus that will kill Mathilde and Madeleine. Bond out of frustration quickly kills Safin and makes his way back to the control room and he re-opens the silo doors and tells M to launch the missiles. M knowing that Bond has no intention on leaving the island reluctantly gives authorization to launch. Bond then speaks with Madeleine one last time; he reaffirms his love for her and tells her that she has all the time in the world. Madeleine tells Bond that she loves him, and that Mathilde is indeed his daughter, they say goodbye for the last time as the missile strikes the island annihilating both the facility and Bond. Back at MI6, M, Moneypenny, Nomi, Q and Tanner drink to Bond. Madeleine now driving Bond's car with Mathilde beside her tells Mathilde that she will tell her the story of James Bond as the film comes to a close.


The last act of this film was incredibly emotional for me, when Bond did not leave the island with Nomi, Madeleine and Mathilde I knew then he was going to die. I did not want to spoil anything in the opening two paragraphs of the review I neglected to mention that the plot of the film was very flimsy. I was listening to the James Bonding Podcast's review of No Time to Die, and they mentioned heart and brain. There are parts of this film that appeal to the heart, but there are parts of the movie that will bother your brain. The movie is a tug of war between the heart and the brain, the plot is very far from perfect, and it does not make a lot of sense. Safin does not work as a villain because he never got enough screen time to feel threatening, and I did not understand what his plan was. After killing S.P.E.C.T.R.E. I know he wanted to start a new world order, but I did not know how he planned to do that (I assume using the nanobots) and I did not know why he wanted to change the world. Rami Malek was disappointing as Safin; his character was underwritten and was not interesting in the slightest. Malek's performance and the plot surrounding him was the weakest part of the film, everything else worked for me except for Safin. I think Safin could have been more interesting had Malek gone bigger with his performance and really chewed the scenery. I am not sure if Malek's performance was him or if that was a creative choice by others; either way it did not work for me. Despite the villain being underwritten and uninteresting the film was still very good; it was so strong on other levels that Safin being boring did not hinder my enjoyment of the movie.

Daniel Craig gave a great performance, after how unhappy he was during the production of Spectre I was shocked to see him come back for one last 007 film. Craig gave a powerful performance that gave the character closure that no other actor was given in their final performance as Bond. James Bond has never died before; it was a bold choice that fits with the story they have been telling in the Daniel Craig 007 films. There is no way Bond was going to have a happy ending, his life was full of death, and he always pushed himself to the brink of death to complete his mission. Bond got to die a happy man, he found a woman to love, and he has a daughter, with him and Safin gone his family will be safe. The Daniel Craig series has been the most unique in Bond history, the films have all had connections to the earlier films in the series. Skyfall seems to be the outlier as that film seemed to tell a story that relied very little on what happened in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Daniel Craig's Bond will go down as one of the toughest, but also as one of the most sensitive Bonds. Craig could be so brooding and angry, but in certain parts we see the sensitive come out and it makes the character feel more relatable. Connery had the toughness and coldness, but he never seemed particularly sensitive; Connery was in a lot of ways the closest actor to the version of Bond from the novels. James Bond in the novels was a bit of a sociopath, which makes sense considering the job he was doing. Craig took the toughness of Connery's portrayal and added a layer of sensitivity to his performance that I always connected with. Craig's version of Bond could be cold and ruthless too, but that was often as a result of him being hurt and turning that hurt into fire. I will miss Craig's Bond; I have no idea what type of Bond we will see next; but for me Craig will be my favourite Bond actor.

The supporting cast around Daniel Craig was also fantastic, I would like to spend some time talking about their performances. I did not care for Lea Seydoux's character of Dr. Madeleine Swann in Spectre; I found her character to be a petulant child at times. In No Time to Die I think we got to see Madeleine's toughness and her imperfections. In the marketing for the film a lot of attention was paid to the secret Madeleine was keeping from Bond, after only one viewing I did not understand what the secret was. The secret was that she was pregnant, I was guessing it would be something more sinister, so I never saw the pregnancy coming until Mathilde made her first appearance on screen. Seydoux's performance really won me over in this film, I felt the chemistry between her and Craig in this film which was something I felt lacking in Spectre. Lashana Lynch's Nomi (new 007) was a great addition to the film, I would hope if they brought back the same supporting actors for the new Bond film that Lynch should be included. I could see Lynch having a role in future Bond films as another 00 agent that will work with the new Bond. Nomi had the charm of 007, but she also started out seeming like she had something to prove. I would gladly watch a spin-off series or film(s) on Nomi, it would be a shame if her character was only a one and done. There are two characters who I wish were given more screen time and they are Logan Ash (Billy Magnussen) and Paloma (Ana De Armas). Billy Magnussen was a scene stealer in Game Night, and I was hoping he would get more screen time, especially when it was revealed he was working for Safin. Logan Ash had some interesting quirks, but his motivations were never revealed, and he was killed off rather quickly. Paloma was a lot of fun and the Cuba segment of the film felt like the most typical James Bond movie part of the film. Paloma was a scene stealer because she played the role of being a new agent who seems to be both very eager and very good. Ana De Armas was great in both Blade Runner 2049 and Knives Out, she breathed a lot of life into Paloma in such a short time. Paloma is another character who I wouldn't mind popping up in future Bond films. In Die Another Day they attempting to set up Halle Berry's character with a franchise, I think Paloma showed enough that she might make a fun character to build around, but it would have been better if Jeffrey Wright's Felix Leiter was still alive. The performances are one of the main reasons I think No Time to Die is a top three Bond film, they all did such a great job to make this film special.

I think you can be fairly certain that I will be giving No Time to Die a positive review, with only one true gripe I think we have seen something truly unique and special. I am going to give No Time to Die a 9/10, it is a great ending to the Daniel Craig, and I could not be happier at the final film in the Craig series. The only Bond film that even comes close to the cinematography of No Time to Die is Skyfall, this might be Academy Awards nomination work. The score by Hans Zimmer (one of the best composers working) was also very good, he used a lot of themes from other films and his score gave the film an added emotional weight. There were a lot of nods to previous Bonds film from lines of dialogue ("we have all the time in the world"), to cars (Aston Martin V8 Saloon from The Living Daylights). There was also a fun moment when Bond threw his visitor's badge into the garbage can like he used to do with his hat to the hat rack. I know not everyone will be a fan of No Time to Die, but I will say that is worth a viewing especially if you are a fan of the Daniel Craig films. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you will leave a comment with your thoughts on the film.

1/Post a Comment/Comments

Post a Comment