No Time to Die, rated PG-13
No Time to Die is the pandemic delayed 25th film in the James Bond series, and the fifth and final film with Daniel Craig starring as 007 James Bond since 2006’s Casino Royale. My all-time favorite actor playing Bond is Sean Connery, but Craig is a close second. The film was directed by Emmy winner Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective) and written by Fukunaga, Neal Purvis (Spectre, Skyfall, Quantum of Solace, The World is Not Enough, and Casino Royale), Robert Wade (Spectre, Skyfall, Quantum of Solace, The World is Not Enough, and Casino Royale), and Emmy winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), based on characters developed by Ian Fleming. The film, which features exotic locales, great cars (especially the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera), car chases and gun fight battles, as well as numerous nods to previous Bond films, was entertaining, but did seem long at 163 minutes.
Since my wife LOVES the cars, here’s the list:
- Aston Martin DB5
- Aston Martin V8 Vantage
- Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
- Land Rover Defender
- Jaguar XF
- Range Rover Sport
- Toyota Land Cruiser Prado J90
- Triumph Scrambler
- Aston Martin Valhalla
- Maserati Quattroporte
SPOILER ALERT *************
The film opens with a flashback of a masked killer seeking revenge for the killing of his family. He kills the mother, but saves a young Madeline, who falls through the ice on a lake after a chase.
Years later, Bond and the grown-up Madeleine, played by Léa Seydoux (Spectre), are lovers, but he believes she has betrayed him in Italy, so they part ways. (Note: my wife thought the 15 year age difference was a bit creepy.)
Five years later, Bond has left active service with MI6 and is a living a peaceful life in Jamaica. Then old friend Felix from the CIA, played by Emmy winner Jeffrey Wright (Angels in America) recruits him to help rescue MI6 scientist Valdo Obruchev, played by David Dencik, who has been kidnapped. The scientist has developed the secret “Project Heracles”, a biochemical weapon that targets a person by their DNA.
There is a wild shoot out in Cuba, featuring Paloma, played by Ana de Armas (Knives Out), a classic Bond-girl, who teams up with James. Although her role is limited in this film, I would expect we might see more of her in the future.
By this time, Bond has been replaced by Nomi, a new 007, played by Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel). Two-time Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient, Schindler’s List) is back as M, Emmy winner Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal), as Q and Oscar nominee Naomie Harris (Moonlight) as Moneypenny.
Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds), returns from Spectre as the villain Blofeld and Oscar winner Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), plays the primary villain, Lyutsifer Safin.
There is little of the humor, and creative gadgets that you would expect from Q and that you would expect in a Bond film. Content concerns include some adult language and a few abuses of Jesus’s name. In addition, there is one scene where sex outside of marriage is implied.
The excellent musical score was by Oscar winner Hans Zimmer (The Lion King), and the theme song by Billie Eilish won a Grammy award before the film was released. As compared with previous Bond theme songs like, “Live and Let Die”, we both thought this one was just mediocre.
No Time to Die was the first film I can say that I was really looking forward to since the theatres re-opened. I felt that the script was complicated, and I recommend that you watch the previous films in the Bond series, especially Spectre, to better understand this film. Although the film fell a bit short of expectations for me, it was still entertaining and a fitting closure to the Daniel Craig era.