No Time to Die (2021) Review, Cast, Plot

No Time to Die is the 25th film about the famous agent James Bond, when it is interpreted for the fifth and last time by the British actor Daniel Craig. Although Danny Boyle was originally announced, the director is Cary Fukunaga, who is best known for his work on the True Detective series, while as many as four people worked on the script, as is the case with blockbusters. After several delays due to the corona pandemic, the film premiered on October 28, and was distributed by Universal Pictures, which took over the rights from Sony Pictures after the film. Specter.

At the beginning of the film, Bond retired for five years and enjoyed a peaceful life in Jamaica. His routine is interrupted by the arrival of his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA, who asks for his help in the search for Wald Obruchev, a scientist who developed nanoweapons for MI6 and who was abducted by Russian criminals. The plot involves a technological weapon that, based on DNA, can precisely target a person, a group of people or the genes of an entire race. It turns out that the mission is much more complicated than it seemed, which brings Bond to the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

No Time to Die review, plot

James Bond movies are traditionally characterized by a more or less stereotyped script or (to put it that way) a certain set of shooting rules, but each time there are certain expectations that come with each new adventure of this secret agent. No Time to Die has gained interest and anticipation with each delay due to the pandemic, and in support of this was the fact that this is the last film by Daniel Craig in this franchise. His replacement is already in high demand, although it can be said that she may have been found in the form of Lashana Lynch, who took on Bond’s code name 007 in this film.

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No Time to Die (2021) Review
No Time to Die (2021) (source:  youtube screenshot)

Craig’s tenure in this franchise was inconsistent and uncertain because the actor threatened to fire after each film, and also because we never had an exact version of what his Bond should look like. He started as a generic action hero, gave us a few flashes of humor that defined the character for decades, and occasionally allowed a stubborn and seemingly untouchable man to show some physical or emotional vulnerability. After his presentation, James Bond no longer has the traditional cold-bloodedness that adorned him, but he gained much more in humanity and relevance during this time.

I liked that the screenwriters changed the formula, expectations and rules of these films. This can be sensed from the introductory scene, which was left without the traditional action spectacle, and instead we get a quiet and sad flashback. In this film, Craig uses the freedom to do whatever he wants with the role, and the script decisively gives him the opportunity to define his Bond variation, which will be the most unexpected – tragic and emotionally most exposed. However, on the other hand, he remains charming, fun and skillful and it is noticeable that he laughs more than in the previous four films combined.

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My impression is that the script was so busy tying the loose ends of previous films, as well as creating Bond’s personal and romantic narrative for emotional effect, that his own plot was placed in the background. The plot is an excuse for the secret agent to return to the real world and reunite with his old collaborators, but the best scenes and the best moments have practically nothing to do with him. I am thinking here in particular of scenes involving Bond and Madeline (Lea Sejdu), whose romance makes up for what seemed shallow in Specter, although Madeline itself was not used as close as it could have been.

The two biggest drawbacks of this film come down to the use of villains. Ernst Stavro Blofeld, when interpreted by Christoph Wolz, is again criminally neglected and I was just sorry that such an actor has so few minutes in the film. As for Lutsifer Safin, he is unequivocally one of the weakest written and realized villains in the Bond franchise. Rami Malek simply did not have what he was working with and his character does not look dangerous at all, although he clearly evoked the tragic background that made him become what he is.

No Time to Die (2021) movie scene
No Time to Die (2021) (source:  youtube screenshot)

No Time to Die there are good sides that include traditional gadgets and aston Martin, cat and mouse games like those scenes in the Norwegian forests, and action sequences that Fukunaga has given a lot of reality to (although opponents still fall like mowed down). Subjectively, the biggest plus of this film is the appearance of the infinitely sympathetic Ana de Armas, who justified every second of her appearance in the scenes in Cuba, and I was simply sorry that she was no longer in the film. Also, I must state that I did not even notice that the film lasts 160 minutes and that it has thus successfully realized its function of escapism.

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No Time to Die is by far the most spectacular Bond film to date, but it is certainly a decent and satisfying epilogue to Craig’s tenure that finely combines all aspects of this actor’s nonconformist interpretation that made the famous undercover agent become the character we will care about over time. Final rating: 7/10

NO TIME TO DIE cast and characters

  • Daniel Craig as James Bond
  • Ana de Armas as Paloma
  • Rami Malek as Lyutsifer Safin
  • Léa Seydoux as Madeleine
  • Lashana Lynch as Nomi
  • Ralph Fiennes as M
  • Ben Whishaw as Q
  • Naomie Harris as Moneypenny
  • Rory Kinnear as Tanner
  • Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter
  • Billy Magnussen as Logan Ash
  • Christoph Waltz as Blofeld
  • David Dencik as Valdo Obruchev
  • Dali Benssalah as Primo (Cyclops)

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NO TIME TO DIE | Final US Trailer

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