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No Time To Die Reaches The Heights That The Cast And Crew Were Aiming For

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We’ve been expecting you Mr. Bond, and for quite some time now as after countless delays the anticipation has grown higher for Daniel Craig’s final 007 mission. His fifteen years as Bond has created such an impact to this British Icon and to define and describe his tenure throughout these films Craig has given rich and emotional performances. Then you get to his first 007 outing in Casino Royale were they establish that this bond is more edgy and harder than previous incarnations. He’s used as a weapon, murdering people in grayscale bathrooms in an epic opening montage. Three more films followed soon after, Quantum of Solace (which was a hit or miss) , Skyfall (The one that made $1.109 Billion), No Time to Die picks up from the end of Spectre with Bond on holiday with the apparent love of his life Madeleine (Lea Seydoux).  



However there are secrets between them, trust issues especially since Vespa Lynd’s (Eva Green) shadow looms over them, reminding us on how much she truly meant to Bond. Both Madeleine and James are still being haunted by the demons from the past. 

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Retirement doesn’t last long though as his peace in Jamaica is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous technology. 

Nineteen months is certainly a long time to wait for a martini or Heineken, but I’m pleased to say that Craig’s finale or Swan-song if you will was truly worth the wait. It had me shaken, stirred and on the absolute edge of my seat. It’s a breathtaking emotional conclusion to Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond with a very human but eerily timed story. Cary Joji Fukunaga has crafted a Bond film that certainly takes brave, bold and bombastic choices with the character’s narrative arc. It’s a franchise that has spanned for nearly 60 years and has gone through many incarnations but still keeping the familiar themes like action and espionage. Craig’s era as 007 took a risk by shaking things up and No Time To Die, the 25th Bond film is deeply tragic and heartfelt. So prepare yourself to be shocked and unsettled as this labour of love is a hefty 2 hours and 43 minutes. 



Craig truly excels in his final outing as 007, he fully embodies the character with his classic one-liners and vintage gadgets from Q. He gets to show off different sides to his Bond that we’ve never seen before as in No Time To Die he feels more human with a powerful, emotional performance. during his tenure his bond has gone from being reckless and careless, he then takes the journey through Skyfall which I believe makes him mature and he eventually becomes the lethal assassin we see here. Thanks to Daniel’s involvement and input into the franchise he became a producer and has certainly shaken up the Bond formula by writing and having his say in the stories. Craig also gets one of the most standout action sequences, a brutal one-take on a staircase. 

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No Time To Die does not waste a single character as each bring something to the film and to Bond himself. Léa Seydoux returns as Dr. Madeleine Swann, the way she is written in this film is very different from Spectre, expect a totally different side of the character as she brings the heart and innocence. Can she be trusted, who knows, but her return as a lead next to Bond feels just right. It’s important to see bond in love again because he had this relationship with Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale but she betrayed him. Seydoux gives a beautiful and emotional performance and truly has some beautiful moments opposite Craig. 

Lashana Lynch has so much confidence as Nomi another 00 Agent, she is simply here to do her duty and job she does best. Nomi is a dangerous operative for Her Majesty’s Government who carries a license to Kill and let me tell you, she is not afraid at all to use it. 

However it’s Ana De Armas as Paloma who stole my heart. She is criminally underused but with the little time she has, she manages to convey sassy, feistiness, panache and tons of beauty. She has an infectious smile and passion which makes this CIA operative a worthy ally to Bond. Would definitely love to see more of her character whether a movie or a streaming series. 

Jeffrey Wright returns as Felix Leiter, the film is able to continue the partnership that both agents started in 2006. Billy Magnussen also provides a comical performance as another CIA agent. David Dencik as Obruchev, the scientist caught up in all this definitely offered the comic relief and Henchman Dali Benssalah as Primo aka Cyclops brings something new to the role. 

The Mi6 team have returned also slightly underused and many have now become background characters to the story, listening in from HQ. Though I feel without them, Bond would be helpless. Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Rory Kinnear as Tanner are both great talents. You also get to see more of Ben Whishaw’s Q who outfits the 00 agents with equipment for use in the field. Q being openly queer is a fleeting moment when we get to see more of his personal life as bond and Moneypenny visit him which is seen in the trailers. this truly gives hope for more queer representation in the future. 

Ralph Finnes is at the centre of MI6 as M, it’s a challenging role since his introduction in Skyfall but he brings the power and enthusiasm in every scene as that what a leader is all about. 

Finally we have Rami Malek as the evil Lyutsifer Safin, who certainly was quite unnerving. He is one creepy and disturbed villain who has little few words, so he’s definitely a silent killer. Though not having much screen time as a bond villain his actions loom over certain characters even when he’s not on screen. Malek gives a haunting and chilling performance which is reminiscent of classic monster performances such as Claude Rains’s Phantom of the Opera and Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. Safin is up there alongside Mad’s Mikkelesen’s Le Chiffre and Javier Bardem’s Silva. Though out of the Craig era villains, Safin is probably the most dangerous man Bond has faced. 

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Christoph Waltz returns as SPECTRE leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld, he truly gets under Bond’s skin with his manipulation and after the explosive confrontation between the two in Spectre, Blofeld is now confined to a chair in a high-security prison. The interrogation scene is such a highlight but it’s the fact that Spectre is somehow still one step ahead of bond, which made me wonder what is Blofeld up too. Another favourite sequence of mine is a glamorous party in Cuba that goes horribly wrong. 

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Fukunaga’s direction and style are certainly unique as he brings the camera up close and personal. my favourite has to be the opening titles and the uniqueness of the iconic gun barrel. Cinematographer Linus Sandgren gives Bond a genuinely modern feel, such as the rustic Italian villa, neon nightclub, haunting forests and the minimalistic concrete style of the villains lair. 



Hans Zimmer’s score is packed full of thrills, Bond references and jam-packed full of emotion. His score sits perfectly well with the likes of John Barry and David Arnold. Its huge with full on orchestra and featured soloists as Zimmer goes one step further by incorporating Monty Norman’s iconic Bond theme in phenomenal new ways. 

Overall No Time To Die reaches the heights that the cast and crew were aiming for and it ultimately does exactly what it was intended to do, which is to round off and draw the curtains on Daniel Craig’s era with tremendous gratitude.

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