No Time to Die is a spy film and the twenty-fifth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions. This is Daniel Craig’s fifth and final portrayal of a fictional British MI6 agent, James Bond. No Time to Die is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga from a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service with MI6 and is recruited by the CIA to find a kidnapped scientist, which leads to a showdown with a powerful adversary. I thought the movie was great, I just didn’t understand the reason for the ending.
No Time to Die opens with a young Madeleine Swann (Coline Defaud), who witnesses the murder of her mother by terrorist Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) in a failed attempt to murder her father Mr. White. Madeleine shoots Safin, but he survives. She flees onto a nearby frozen lake and falls through the ice, but he rescues her.
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In the present, after the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), Bonds arch enemy and foster brother, Madeleine (Léa Seydoux) is in Matera, Italy with James Bond (Daniel Craig). “Spectre” assassins ambush Bond when he visits Vesper Lynd’s (who was the love of his life) tomb. Though Bond and Madeleine escape the assassins, he believes she has betrayed him and forces her to board a train out of Matera, ending their relationship.
Five years later, MI6 scientist, Valdo Obruchev (David Dencik) is kidnapped by Spectre. With the approval of M (Ralph Fiennes), Obruchev had developed Project Heracles, a bioweapon containing nanobots that infect like a virus upon touch and are coded to an individual’s DNA, rendering it lethal to the target and their relatives but harmless to others. Bond has retired to Jamaica, where he is contacted by Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) and his CIA colleague Logan Ash (Billy Magnussen), who ask for Bond’s help finding Obruchev. Bond initially declines, but after Nomi (Lashana Lynch), an MI6 agent and his successor as 007, tells Bond what Project Heracles is, he agrees to help.
Bond goes to Cuba and meets Paloma (Ana de Armas), a CIA agent working with Leiter. They infiltrate a Spectre meeting to retrieve Obruchev. Still imprisoned in Belmarsh, Blofeld uses a disembodied “bionic eye” to view the meeting and release a nanobot mist to kill Bond, but it kills all the Spectre members instead, as Obruchev had reprogrammed the nanobots to infect them on Safin’s orders. Bond captures Obruchev and rendezvouses with Leiter and Ash, who is discovered as a double agent working for Safin. Ash kills Leiter and escapes with Obruchev.
Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), M’s secretary and Bond’s ally, and Q (Ben Whishaw), MI6’s Quartermaster who outfits “00” agents with equipment for use in the field, arrange a meeting between Bond and Blofeld to find Obruchev. Safin coerces Madeleine to infect herself with a nanobot dose to kill Blofeld, with whom she has been in contact since his imprisonment. When Bond encounters Madeleine at Blofeld’s prison cell, he touches her and unknowingly infects himself with nanobots before she leaves. Blofeld tells Bond that he staged the ambush at Vesper’s tomb to make it appear as if Madeleine had betrayed him, continuing his vendetta against his former foster brother.
The above is just an introduction to the continuing story of No Time to Die. There are many surprises as well as unpredictable events right down to the end. The special effects were spot-on, as it usually is in James Bond films. There are plenty of fight scenes, car chases, deaths, betrayals, and plot twist. This is Daniel Craig’s last James Bond movie and it runs for almost three hours. I found No Time To Die entertaining and a very well done action packed drama. As I mentioned at the beginning of this critique, I really don’t understand the reason for the ending, however, it is what it is! I did hear that there will be a new James Bond (TBA) sometime in the near future. We won’t know who will be playing him but several candidates are being considered. As of 27 January 2022, No Time to Die has grossed $160.9 million in the United States and Canada and $613.3 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $774.2 million. It was the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2021. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes sampled 402 critics and judged 83% of the reviews to be positive, with an average rating of 7.30/10. The site states “It isn’t the sleekest or most daring 007 adventure, but No Time to Die concludes Daniel Craig’s franchise tenure in satisfying style.” No Time to Die is streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Apple TV, or Google Play for $6. Billie Eilish performed the theme song –Check It Out!
[NO TIME TO DIE is Oscar-nominated at the 94th Academy Awards for BEST: Sound, Video Editing, and Original Song — Totaling 3 Oscar Nominations]