No Time to Die (2021)

Bond (Daniel Craig) has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter 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 new technology.

NO TIME TO DIE is the last of the Daniel Craig Bond movies and, at 2 hours and 43 minutes it’s way too long. It’s as if the filmmakers have tried to cram everything possible into the movie. Despite its tendency to get bogged down in complexities at times it’s entertaining.
Daniel Craig is as good as we have come to expect throughout his tenure as 007. And he is suitably tired and worse for wear as he fights villains and global threats.
Speaking of villains, Rami Malek’s Lyutsifer Safin, is unoriginal and seems to hark back to cliched villains of yesteryear.
But there are some refreshing aspects of this latest Bond outing. First, there is the more respectful attitude towards women. Their characters are strong and Léa Seydoux, who plays Madeleine, Bond’s love interest, is excellent.
Second, Bond has feelings and a level of vulnerability, and loves someone rather than seeing women as a sex opportunity. This deepening of his character is so much more satisfying than previous iterations. I hope some of these characteristics will be developed further in future episodes of the franchise.
There are, of course, lots of set pieces with some spectacular action. The cinematography is luscious.
NO TIME FOR DIE is ok and the fresh directions it takes in terms of character development and relationships are positive. The story is average but, of course, if you are a 007 fan, you will definitely want to see it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

(In cinemas in Australia – check your movie guide for your local show times.)