No Time to Die: Five Reasons You’ll Love It
Even the most casual of film fans will no doubt be aware that we are, by now, well overdue a new James Bond film.
Production on the 25th film in the ever-popular James Bond canon was scheduled to begin as far back as 2018 when the first of a series of delays was caused by the departure of the film’s original director, Danny Boyle, and his subsequent replacement by the man behind Beasts of No Nation and the It reboot, Cary Joji Fukunaga.
More changes came even as the film began shooting, with the arrival and almost immediate departure of one of the film’s intended cameo stars, Grace Jones, who bailed after a disagreement about her role, and the arrival of Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge as a writer, reportedly to add a little more zing to some of the screenplay’s dialogue.
And then, of course, the pandemic. Originally slated to arrive in cinemas back in November 2019, Boyle’s departure forced an initial postponement of the film’s release until April 2020, by which time almost every country in the world had gone into lockdown, forcing the closure of cinemas.
Happily, though, after a few false starts and release date changes, the day is finally upon us.
No Time to Die makes its long-awaited arrival in cinemas today (September 30) and sees Daniel Craig reprise the role of James Bond for one final time, bringing an end to a story arc that began back in 2006 with Casino Royale and providing a final send-off for Craig’s 007.
Here we find a retired Bond once again pulled back into the web of Spectre – and the world of MI6 – by a plot masterminded by the incarcerated Ernst Stavro Blofeld and a new, deadly enemy played by Rami Malek.
Alongside Craig for his ride into the sunset are several favourites from his era as Bond, including Ben Whishaw as Q, Ralph Fiennes as M, Christoph Waltz as Blofeld, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Jeffrey Wright as CIA agent Felix Leiter, as well as some impressive new additions in Ana de Armas and Lashana Lynch.
With the film in cinemas now we caught an early screening and rounded up five reasons why No Time to Die was well worth the wait…
Daniel Craig may be leaving the role, but he’s every bit as good as ever…
The story of Bond over the last few films has seen a battered and bruised 007 in the twilight of his career, and while the role has certainly taken a few chunks out of Daniel Craig over the years, that’s largely because of the commitment he puts into the role and that certainly continues here.
Barely 15 minutes of the film have elapsed before we’re treated to Bond casually pulling off one of the most stylish motorcycle jumps you’ll ever see on the big screen, before nonchalantly dumping the bike at a hotel concierge’s feet with so much swagger you can’t help but crack a smile.
Rami Malek is one of the most impressive villains yet…
One of the best things about the Daniel Craig era has been the calibre of villains he’s faced, from Mads Mikkelsen’s chilling, blood-crying gambler Le Chiffre to Javier Bardem’s sinister former MI6 agent Raoul Silva – and that’s before we even get to Blofeld himself.
Rami Malek’s vengeful antagonist Lyutsifer Safin stands up with the best of them, partly due to the fact that we get more of a glimpse behind his motivations, making him more three-dimensional, but also because Malek delivers a magnetic performance from the moment he appears.
Lashana Lynch is the film’s secret weapon…
There will plenty of speculation over the coming months as to who should be the next actor to step into Bond’s shoes, but as far as the fictional No Time to Die goes MI6 has already found its next 007 in Nomi, played to impressive effect by Lashana Lynch, who looks every inch the deadly operative the role requires.
Putting aside all the arguments about whether the next Bond should be played by a female, or a black actor, or both – if the producers were to decide to go down that route, then Lynch would be a very strong candidate indeed on this evidence.
If the run time seems a little long, it certainly doesn’t feel that way...
At 2h 43 mins No Time to Die is the longest Bond film yet, but a with well-paced storyline and plenty of big action set-pieces to keep you glued to the screen, the time just flies by.
It’s a fitting end to Daniel’s Craig’s run in the role of Bond...
After a string performances that have arguably been the some of the best since Sean Connery first donned the famous tuxedo in Dr. No, Craig deserved a fitting send-off in his final swing at the role of Bond, and despite the film’s troubled path to the screen it certainly delivers on that front.
Without wanting to reveal too much, No Time to Die brings down the curtain on Craig’s era in a way that is both surprising and surprisingly moving. Cleverly, it also leaves open several possible paths down which the producers could take the Bond franchise next.
No Time to Die is in UK cinemas now - you can also pre-order your copy on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD here in our online store.