‘No Time To Die’ movie review: A long, loving goodbye to one of the greatest Bonds

For his swansong, Daniel Craig has thrown in his all — from the running and jumping to the emoting and romance — with breath-taking precision

There is a big fat twist, actually two, in No Time to Die that is bubbling at the tip of my fingers waiting to flow out on the keyboard. All I am going to say is, for those familiar with Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice, the big reveals might not come as too much of a surprise.

There are a bunch of similarities between the 1964 novel and No Time to Die. The working title for Bond #25 was Shatterhand, which was the name Blofeld had taken in the novel, while chilling in the Garden of Death with its many poisonous plants on the island of Kyushu. Safin (Rami Malek) the deranged, slithery, scarred psychopath in No Time to Die is operating out of an abandoned World War II base on a remote island between Russia and Japan… and his lair has a poisonous garden too.

Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas in a still from the film 

At a bottom-numbing 163 minutes, Daniel Craig’s swansong as the secret agent might be a bit long and sagging in parts, but overall, it delivers. All that we expect from a Bond movie is there in generous doses. Action, car chases, the beats of Bond theme playing softly like the thump of a heart, the title sequence, the hair-raising pre-title sequence, the Ken Adams-inspired lair, and the exotic locations from Italy and Norway to Jamaica and the secret island, are all present and correct.

The movie picks up where Spectre (2015) left off with Bond (Craig) and Madeleine (Léa Seydoux) relaxing in Italy after neutralising Blofeld (Christoph Waltz). When Bond tells Madeline they have all the time in the world, alarms bells have to ring; wasn’t that what he told Tracy on their wedding day in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, just before she was shot?

Also Read | Goodbye, Daniel Craig: How the actor became bigger than the character James Bond

Bad things and men happen on cue, which sees Bond bid goodbye to Madeleine and drop off the grid in Jamaica till his good friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) of the CIA, asks his help to find a kidnapped scientist, Obruchev (David Dencik), who naturally is working on some world-altering bio-weapon.

No Time to Die

  • Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
  • Cast: Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Rory Kinnear, Ralph Fiennes, Rami Malek, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, Billy Magnussen
  • Story line: James Bond has to confront past demons and present threats
  • Duration: 163 minutes

For his swansong, Craig has thrown in his all; looking super-hot in a tux, casual clothes or tiny shorts. He does all the running and jumping and punching with breath-taking precision. And then there is the emoting — who would not melt as he says the ‘L’ word projecting an aching degree of longing from his baby blues? Incidentally, apart from the L-word, in only the second time in a Bond movie, (after The Living Daylights) M drops the F-bomb (!).

The gang is there in full strength from Ralph Fiennes (M) and his chief of staff Tanner (Rory Kinnear), to Ben Whishaw (Q) and Naomie Harris (Moneypenny). Apart from Malek, newcomers include Ana de Armas as the charming CIA agent who helps Bond in Cuba, Dali Benssalah as the henchman with a weaponised body part, and Billy Magnussen as the irritatingly gung-ho secret agent Logan Ash.

Lashana Lynch is extremely relatable as the tough-as-nails yet anxious Nomi, the new 007. And James Bond is renumbered 7777 in You Only Live Twice after his near-breakdown following Tracy’s death — just saying.

No Time to Die is a long and loving goodbye to an actor who revitalised the franchise. Now we can spend the next many years discussing the ending and placing bets on who will wear the tux and holster, and gun the Aston Martin DB5 to yet another mind-blowing adventure.

No Time to Die is currently running in theatres

 

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