Film Review: No Time To Die

Daniel Craig returns as James Bond for a final time in the 25th Bond film, No Time To Die.

This film features many plot points linking back to the previous Bond film, Spectre to tell its story, which helps give it a sense of cohesiveness. Warning: spoilers ahead.

The action and the way the film is shot are both fantastic. However, the plot itself is confusing and the characters do not land especially well.

This film is very much a sequel to Spectre, which is no bad thing. The organisation serves to kickstart the plot of the film, disrupting Bond’s idyllic love life with Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann, that he began shortly after the end of that film. Christoph Waltz reprises his role as Ernst Blofeld, to deliver a harrowing scene.

These help to tie the films together, and build off information the audience should already be aware of. This makes rewatching these films somewhat easier, as the audience doesn’t have to learn new characters for each new Craig film.

The action in this film is brilliant to watch. It’s best piece of action is the car chase in the middle of the film, as it utilises a sense of urgency to push the chase forward. The opening set piece in Italy is also memorable, with Bond jumping off a bridge similar to a Mission Impossible film.

There is plenty of Bond technology and gadgets that the audience will be familiar with, such as the machine guns in the Aston Martin, to a watch that delivers an electromagnetic pulse. The last one is used to dispatch an enemy in a particular gruesome way. This action is also shot well, displaying the action in a clear way whilst still showing off the stunning locations. 

Unfortunately, the action is dragged down heavily by a confusing plot. The villain, Rami Malek’s Safin, has incredibly basic motivations regarding Bond and Madeleine that could have been explored a lot more in the film. Safin also has a much bigger evil plan, to use DNA targeting poison to destroy the world? The film doesn’t make it 100% clear, which is a shame given the run time of nearly three hours for the film. This run time does feel its length, particularly in the scene before the second car chase, and could have been cut down. 

The film could have also been clearer in terms of some of the setup to the action. For the second car chase, it is not clear to the audience (until much later in the sequence) whether it is the new 007 or the villains chasing Bond.

Speaking of the new 007, it is unsure why she is in the film. She does not get a lot to do apart from annoy Bond, and fails to save Bond and Madeleine from being chased by Safin and Logan Ash. She does little to challenge Bond’s womanising ways, arguably Ana De Armas’ Paloma does a better job, and is in the film for less time – she should have had a bigger role. 

Daniel Craig also feels like he has finished with the franchise. He does not show a lot of emotion matching the words that he says, and his death at the end does not have the impact that is intended, for two reasons. Firstly, the character is quite emotionless in the film, thus making it hard for audience attachment, and secondly because the audience knows that James Bond will get a reboot in a few years time. 

Overall, No Time To Die brings out impressive action for Craig’s last performance, but the plot and characters fail to live up to the same standard. The film is by no means a disappointment, but the lacklustre plot and characters mean that Craig’s last Bond film doesn’t go out on a high, instead just down the middle of the road. 

No Time To Die is available to watch in cinemas.

Rating: 6/10

By Kieran Burt

Feature image: MGM/ Eon Productions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *