‘No Time To Die’ Review: Daniel Craig’s Final Mission As James Bond Is A Success

Daniel Craig IS James Bond.

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Daniel Craig has created an extensive legacy during his tenure as James Bond. While some are mixed on a few of his films as 007, the franchise arguably features some of the best spy films to ever exist. What all started with 2006’s Casino Royale has led up to the upcoming final Craig-era Bond film titled No Time To Die. When the 25th Bond film was first announced no one knew that it would be the last time we would see Daniel Craig suit up as James Bond. But as more details were revealed on the film like it being helmed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and the title, things started to become a bit more clearer.

No Time To Die would go on to announce that some familiar faces would return for the finale of the Daniel Craig series, including Lea Seydoux, Jeffrey Wright, Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Ben Whishaw and Christoph Waltz. The cast would also feature some new faces like Ana de Armas, Billy Magnussen, Lashana Lynch and Rami Malek, with the latter playing the film’s mysterious villain, Safin. The film had a lot of pressure riding on it as the previous entry, titled Spectre, wasn’t received all that well. The goal was for No Time To Die to reinvigorate as well as end the franchise on a high note. And if you analyze the marketing campaign, No Time To Die looks like a pretty incredible time at the movies. Earlier this week, I got the chance to attend a screening for Daniel Craig’s final James Bond film and I have to say that it did not disappoint.

If you liked Casino Royale and Skyfall, then you’re going to love No Time To Die. The Daniel Craig starrer features several elements from both films and implements them so fluidly that you almost forgive Quantum of Solace and Spectre. In fact, you might have to go back and rewatch those as well. When the films starts out we’re met with beautiful cinematography from Linus Sandgren (First Man, La La Land) and it looks absolutely fantastic in IMAX. We find Bond immediately after the events of Spectre as he’s trying to start a life with Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann and that’s exactly when things start to get interesting. The film is a bombastic showing of what a spy thriller can be in 2022 and I have to say that I was absolutely floored by the ending. Craig delivers a masterful swan song performance in No Time To Die and his co-stars don’t hold back either.

In No Time To Die, I believe, Daniel Craig delivers his best performance yet as James Bond. He’s nothing short of spectacular and embodies everything that his version of James Bond is and should be. There was one line that Craig delivered in the film that almost brought me to tears.  Lea Seydoux returns as Madeline Swann and she’s the perfect match for Craig’s fiery super sleuth. I don’t think there is anyone better to share the screen with him. The film features several other great performances. Jeffrey Wright’s Felix Leiter and Billy Magnussen’s Logan Ash both shine and I almost want to see the former in a solo spy film set in the Bond universe. We also get introduced to Lashana Lynch’s Nomi, who has taken over James Bond’s designation as 007. Lynch is great throughout. The actress embraces her Jamaican heritage, which is one of the greatest bits in the film, and I think that people will love her by the end.

While No Time To Die features a ton of other great performances, a good James Bond film is nothing without its villains and this so happens to have two. Christoph Waltz is back as the infamous Ernst Stavro Blofeld and you would think that a man in prison wouldn’t be able to cause any trouble. That’s totally not the case. Waltz delivers the same “man-behind-the-curtains” performance he gave in Spectre, but this time it kinda feels like the stakes are higher, especially when we’re introduced to Rami Malek’s Safin. Malek is known for playing characters that are a little creepy but his role as Safin just solidifies that. He’s cold, tactical and maintains a blank face, something that makes his villain unpredictable. Safin has a past with multiple characters which adds up to a a lot of fun for viewers but a headache for Bond. No Time To Die is a masterclass of spy filmmaking. I will definitely go see it again on the biggest screen possible.

Overall Thoughts: Daniel Craig’s No Time To Die is the perfect finale for the actor and has one of the best endings I’ve seen in a James Bond film. Its strong points are its masterful cinematography, performances, direction and story. Cary Joji Fukunaga was the perfect choice to direct the final installment in the series. I would definitely recommend going to see the film in theaters and on the biggest IMAX screen you can possibly find. No Time To Die is an absolute triumph for the franchise.

Rating: 8/10

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Nathaniel Brail

Nathaniel Brail

Running things at HH. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @NateBrail