“No Time to Die” is the pandemic-delayed James Bond movie that notches number 25 in the series. The things that make a ‘Bond’ movie special are all on display, such as fantastic action sequences, beautiful locations and beautiful women. But there is also large tinge of sadness, like a final passing of an era.
James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) has carried over from the prior movie (“Spectre”) a lovely love interest in Dr. Madeleine Swann (played by Léa Seydoux). Swann has secrets from her childhood, and they include a fanatical murderer. James has secrets too, about a prior love (see “Casino Royale”). On a trip to Italy, Bond is nearly killed. He believes Swann had spilled the beans about his location, and he puts her on a train – neverwantung to see her again.
Five years later, Bond has retired from MI-6 and has said goodbye to the Station Chief “M” (played by Ralph Fiennes) and his fellow workers Moneypenny (played by Naomie Harris) and the quartermaster “Q” (played by Ben Whishaw). Bond is living in Jamaica when a top-secret British lab is taken over, and a number of people are killed and Russian researcher is taken. “M” sends a new agent down to Cuba, to where the Russian was taken. This new ‘double-oh’ agent is Nomi (played by Lashana Lynch).
Bond hears from CIA pal named Felix Leiter (played by Jeffrey Wright). He and the State Department guy named Ash (played by Billy Magnussen) convince Bond to help them in Cuba to retrieve the Russian. He is helped by a young agent named Paloma (played by Ana de Armas) – but he runs into Nomi, who on the same mission. The Russian has a way to kill all the secret ‘Spectre’ organization people meeting in Cuba. There is a celebration for Spectre’s leader, whom James Bond put into a high-security prison. Blofeld (played by Christoph Waltz) is a remote witness to the deaths of all of his Spectre members.
Bond escapes with the Russian and delivers him to Leiter. There is double-cross, and Bond is rescued and taken back to England. The Russian asset is gone, along with the deadly technology that he stole from the lab. The only way to find out who is behind it is to get to Blofeld. But the only person to can get to Blofeld is …. Dr. Madeleine Swann. Swann gets a strange visit from a strange man. It is the fanatical murderer from her childhood, the one who let her live. Lyutsifer Safin (played by Rami Malek) has a request for Swann.
The Russian’s deadly tech will be used to kill Blofeld. With Blofeld out of the way, Safin has plans to use this deadly tech on the rest of the world. Now Swann is in danger, and Bond takes her back to her childhood home in Norway. Swann has a young daughter, and this girl is about the same age as the years Bond has been retired. What a coincidence…
They both discover that Safin has taken over a small island near Japan and has a base to make a toxic brew that could wipe out millions. They leave and find out they are being followed by Safin’s forces. Bond keeps them all safe, until he gets overwhelmed and Safin kidnaps Swann and the little girl. James Bond and Nomi (the new “007” agent) prepare with the help of “M”, “Q” and Moneypenny to get onto that island and locate Madeleine Swann and the young child. The Russian researcher will also be there with his entire stock of deadly stolen tech.
Running that operation on the island is Safin, and he is interested in only death for the world. The MI-6 agents have an army of Safin’s forces who will be against them. Safin will play cat-and-mouse with the agents to get them exposed and to take them out. However, James Bond is stealth master of combat. Nomi gets Swann and little girl out to safety, with Bond left behind to take out Safin. Missiles are on their way to the island to destroy Safin’s toxic nightmare. Will they be able to stop Safin and his evil plans? Will Bond prove that he has “No Time to Die”?
“No Time to Die” has seen Daniel Craig now in five movies playing James Bond. This will be his final Bond adventure. This movie is a monument to how well Craig has portrayed Bond and how he has grown in this role. This movie is stuffed (and perhaps over-stuffed) with call-backs and answers to small plot threads from his prior movies. The story lines are a bit too familiar, and the villain is not well defined. The action sequences are directed in a superb style, so Cary Fukunaga deserves to take a bow. The score swells like it should, thanks to Hans Zimmer. The movie is close to being the greatest. But perhaps “Skyfall” beats it out for a better villain.
There might be “No Time to Die”, but there is “Always Time to Bond”!
No Time to Die
Directed by: Cary Fukunaga
Screenplay by: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Fukunaga, Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Story by: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Fukunaga
Based on: James Bond (by Ian Fleming)
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Distributed by: United Artists Releasing
Release date: October 8th, 2021
Length: 163 minutes
MPAA rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, brief strong language and some suggestive material
Genre: Spy Thriller