For the 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die is the final film of the Daniel Craig era. His saga of Bond has been more distinct from previous iterations. His portrayal did away with a handful of tired tropes and subverted the status quo elements.
This latest film is very much in that same league. It toys around with the James Bond formula and presents a thrilling and serious end for the character. Even if it starts settling a bit quickly, it’s still a decent final note for the character’s run to come to a close.
James Bond (Daniel Craig) finds himself trying to get away from it all. Having imprisoned Spectre’s leader of Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), he takes a vacation with his recent love interest of Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). But spies rarely get much time to relax.
It isn’t long before Bond is tracked by the remnants of Spectre through a mountain town. Chases and explosions follow him as he zooms around for survival. But how long can he keep doing this?
Bond comes to the realization that this will never stop. Realizing the pattern, he quits being a secret agent. Everything from his missions to his love interests is cut out of his life.
A World Without Bond
Bond’s departure, however, won’t be for too long. MI6 does try to carry on without him. Agent Nomi (Lashana Lynch) takes on the title of 007. Blofeld, despite being imprisoned with great security, still operates Spectre in his own remote ways.
Despite hiding out from the spy life, Bond’s CIA friend Felix (Jeffrey Wright) comes knocking for a job. The job seems simple enough to retrieve a case. However, it gets more twisty than he realizes.
A Complex Conspiracy
Bond becomes entwined with a twisty plot of deception. Spectre is trying to fight back against MI6 but they’re foiled. Someone is manipulating a bioweapon to murder many.
But MI6 is remaining tight-lipped about this bioweapon they clearly know about. This development brings about double-agents who are conspiring against MI6 and Spectre. And Bond doesn’t know who to trust.
A Boring Bond Villain
The mastermind behind all of this is Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek). He’s kept vague and mysterious for a reason. His intention merely seems to be cleansing the world of bad people.
There’s an environmental aspect to his character that is almost mercifully unexplored. Trying to stress that humans are destroying the planet is nothing new. It can also be more sympathetical to the point where bond would be the villain.
Lyutsifer seems to have come Japanese theme going. He has a zen garden of sorts and wears a kimono. Little of this is explored as more of the character scenes feature him delivering predictable platitudes.
The Old Bond Climax
Speaking of the villain, his scheme and hideout seem way too standard. He has a hidden lab in an island base that can only be accessed by a combination of boat and jet. By the time Bond enters the base, the film settles for running and gunning.
Even though Lyutsifer has a unique garden, his base seems rather cold. This is, of course, by design but it’s also playing to the villain’s fancy base. Given that he has a bit of theme going, it’s surprising to see the cold concrete nature of the rest of his base.
The Sublime Subversion
Thankfully, this Bond film actually takes some risks. This is not just in the climax for its rather surprising end. It goes all around in bits and pieces.
This can occur in big ways with Nomi, a black woman, taking on the mantle of 007. In small ways, Q (Ben Whishaw) is seen preparing for dinner on a same-sex date. There’s plenty of examples of how Bond is modernizing.
Probably the best aspect is how the Bond girl is utilized. Ana de Armas shows up as CIA agent Paloma in a stunning dress and heels. She not only doesn’t sleep with Bond but goes the extra mile of kicking major ass.
Some Tropes Never Die
Of course, there’s still room for some classic Bond antics. His indestructible car comes equipped with miniguns in the headlights. His entrance to a secret island involves piloting a slick-looking aircraft.
You also have your standard thrills of espionage. Bond routinely battles his superior of M (Ralph Fiennes) with great insult. There’s even great tension between Bond and the villain as they stare down and shoot down each other.
A Real Arc
The Daniel Craig Bond films have been known for giving the character more of an arc. This film is no exception. Bond seriously comes to resolutions about his future and what he wants.
Some of these choices seem rather predictable though. Since this is the last Craig film, anything is possible. Sure enough, there’s a lot of developments unloaded for the character in his seemingly final adventure.
At this point, this subversion seems perhaps too standard. I appreciate the film taking this darker and more contemplative route. Yet I can’t shake this feeling that the slate will merely be wiped clean with the next entry.
Conclusion: No Time To Die
For being Craig’s last Bond film, there’s a satisfying nature to its conclusion. Enough risks are taken with Bond even if they are safe for such an entry. It also inhabits much of what makes Bond great by shedding most of what doesn’t.
It’s thrilling enough and complex enough to be highly engaging. Even the lackluster villain can’t quite ruin the thrill of Bond’s minigun armed car. Gotta love those over-the-top Bond toys.
What did you think of No Time To Die? Is it the best of the Daniel Craig era of James Bond movies? How does it compare to Venom: Let There Be Carnage? Let us know in the comments below.
No Time To Die
The 25th Bond film takes a few more risks and delivers a solid finale.
- Exciting Action Sequences
- Takes More Risks With The Franchise
- Classic James Bond Class
- Boring and Uninteresting Villain
- Not As Subversive As Could Have Been
- Standard Climax Despite Surprising End