This Review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser
DIRECTOR: Cary Joji Fakunaga
WRITERS: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fakunaga
STARRING: Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomi Harris, Christoph Walz, Jeffrey Wright and Rory Kinnear
In the last seven years, I have pained over keeping my critiques as spoiler free as possible, and I am bound and determined to keep this one as SPOILER FREE as possible too, as this Swan song (no pun intended) of Daniel Craig’s legacy as Bond, James Bond, deserves nothing less.
Coming in at 2 hrs and 43 mins, with not a minute waisted in my eyes, this 25th installment in the longest running franchise in movie history, takes us off into the sunset with James (Daniel Craig), as he heads off to enjoy a life beyond the British Secret Service, with love interest from 2015’s SPECTRE, the strikingly beautiful, and much younger Dr. Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) in tow. Yet, it seems that the simple life he has been longing for is going to be short-lived, when dear old friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) arrives on the scene, hoping to enlist James for his next big mission. Well, it seems that James’ love life will have to take a back seat for now, while he focuses on helping Felix saved a kidnapped Scientist, and takes on a previous nemesis, and an new creaper villain too, which all ends up being a bit harder than Bond had actually anticipated…
And as Bond films go, this one is so beautifully crafted, with Director and Writer Cary Joji Fakunaga at the helm this time around, that I found myself mesmerized with its visual perfection, every step of the way. And as many times as we endured the extended wait that Covid-19 brought about, repeatedly, before we could gaze upon Craig’s ultimate end as Bond, once I got the opportunity to view the advanced screening last week, and in IMAX, it was most definitely worth every aching minute till it arrived.
I kind of grinned throughout this one too, as I truly wasn’t sold on Craig as Bond for his first go round in 2006’s Casino Royale, as he just seemed to gruff and tumble to inherit this debonaire and super-sexy role. Well, leave it to this fabulous actor to prove me wrong, as with each new go at it as Bond, Craig’s realism, presence and masculinity throughout, had me eating my words. Will he ever replace Sean Connery in my eyes?? NO. But then again, regardless of who they choose next year as the next Bond in line to take on this iconic role, NO ONE ever will!
NO TIME TO DIE also brings to the big screen some additional performances that are top notch, including Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomi Harris returning to their respective roles. Newcomer’s Ana de Armas and Lashana Lynch are both enjoyable to watch too, as they take their cracks at joining the MI6 team. Villain Rami Malek on the other hand, didn’t wow me as much as I was hoping he would with this role, which was the only let down that arose in this film for me. Yet, even with Malek not making the cut, I especially enjoyed for the first time that one of Bond’s ladies made it from one movie to the next, as I can’t ever remember any of his love interests previously, having the good fortune to reappear in a next installment.
Suffice to say, off all of Craig’s BOND films, SPECTRE will always be my favorite, and NO TIME TO DIE didn;t surpass it for me either, but if you have loved this franchise for as long as I have, you owe it to yourself to head out to a theater near you to catch NO TIME TO DIE, on an IMAX Screen is possible, because Craig has put so much blood, sweat and tears into this role for the last 15 years, that he deserves for ALL OF US to spend almost 3 hours of our lives with him on screen, one last time!