No Time to Die

It’s worth the wait to see Daniel Craig playing James Bond one last time.

It’s about bloody damn time, if you ask me. “No Time to Die,” which is the last 007 movie to star Daniel Craig, is finally coming to theaters. As you all know, it was one of the first movies to be delayed, given the you-know-what circumstances, and it had left fans in anguish. Now, the time has come, and it was worth the wait. I know that’s what many other film critics have said and will say, but it’s true.

The last four James Bond movies to star Craig we’re “Casino Royale,” “Quantum of Solace,” “Skyfall,” and “Spectre.” The best of the bunch would be “Casino Royale” and “Skyfall,” and “No Time to Die” comes as close to ranking with those entries. It isn’t perfect, because it’s a bit too long, running at 2 hours and 43 minutes, and I’ve heard this kind of complaint from other critics. But on the other hand, it does feature a complex story, a lot of nonstop action, a villain worth liking, and an emotional climax, which I refuse to spoil.

The movie begins with a retired James Bond having a romantic getaway with psychiatrist Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux), who inadvertently gets him in danger. He’s then asked to come out to retirement by his CIA field officer friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) to investigate the kidnapping of an MI6 scientist, who has developed some nanobots, under the supervision of M (Ralph Fiennes). This weapon was supposed to track down the bad guys, not to harm people, M assures us, but it was apparently modified as a deadly virus that spreads upon touch. It’s a lot more complex than it sounds.

Rami Malek plays the new madman Lyutsifer Safin, whose face looks burnt, and murders Madeleine’s mother in revenge for what her father did to his family. He may have something to do with the nanobots. No sh*t, Sherlock!

The returning characters also include Naomie Harris as receptionist Eve Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as the tech guy Q, and Christoph Waltz as the imprisoned Blofeld (the leader of Spectre). And the newcomers include Lashana Lynch (“Captain Marvel”) as the new 00 agent Nomi, Billy Magnussen as a double crosser, and Ana de Armas (reuniting with Craig from “Knives Out”) as a helpful CIA agent.

Of course, there’s always going to be a new James Bond actor, as it’s happened for decades. We’ve had Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan; and as Daniel Craig moves on, I believe we’ll find out next year who the new 007 will be. But for now, I want to share with you readers my review of “No Time to Die.”

It was co-written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga in his first directorial position since “Beasts of No Nation.” Here, he’s made a James Bond movie that gives the MI6 agent his challenges and humanity. Craig closes his character, almost in the same vein as Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in “Logan.” I know they’re not similar, but when they have say goodbye to their iconic characters to focus on many other projects, it can be emotional.

Malek makes an entertaining villain with his tone and personality, Seydoux has her style and passion, Lynch is able to leave her mark on the film with her charisma and flexibility, Whishaw has his witty moments, Wright has a truthful small role, and Fiennes keeps everything in check as M.

Again, it is lengthy (I’m sure a lot of us can agree), but it still has enough popcorn entertainment value, the kind movie-goers are expecting out of “No Time to Die.” Will this bring people back to the theaters or are some not ready to go back yet? We’ll find out when the box office numbers kick in. But in the meantime, enjoy the ride.

Rating: 3 out of 4.

Categories: Action, Adventure, Sequel, Thriller

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