- Without sharing any spoilers, audiences will be shocked by Daniel Craig’s franchise exit.
- Craig himself delivers a strong final performance while Ana de Armas is a scene-stealer.
- “No Time to Die” opens in theaters on October 8.
“No Time to Die” marks the 25th movie in the beloved James Bond franchise and in some ways it’s very much a by-the-numbers Daniel Craig-era Bond movie: grounded action, serious tone, and lush photography.
But at the same time, the movie feels very different.
The female characters aren’t just there as eye candy — that’s especially the case with Lashana Lynch’s character Nomi, who is a 00 agent. And the most glaring difference is the movie’s shocking ending, which I won’t give away here, marks the first time the Bond franchise has ever done something like it.
When it comes to swan songs for the actors who have played James Bond I still think Roger Moore went out on top with 1985’s “A View to a Kill” (what can I say, I’m an ’80s kid). But if audiences react positively to “No Time to Die,” Daniel Craig may go down as having the best James Bond exit ever.
Director Cary Joji Fukunaga shows early on this won’t be your typical Bond movie
“No Time to Die” opens with an introduction to the movie’s villain, Lyutsifer Safin, which is played with creepy perfection by Rami Malek. Set in a house in a wintery setting by a frozen lake, Safin comes with a rifle in hand to the home of Ernst Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) to get revenge for him killing Safin’s family. Instead, Safin finds just Blofeld’s wife and daughter, Madeleine. Safin kills Blofeld’s wife but Madeleine fights back and ends up shooting Safin.
In a creepy Michael Myers shock, Safin surprisingly is still alive and in a panic, Madeleine runs out to the icy lake and falls through. But instead of letting her die Safin saves her.
We then flash forward to Madeleine now grown up (Léa Seydoux) — the same Madeleine that Bond ran off with at the end of the 2015 movie “Spectre.”
The opening is beautifully executed by director Cary Joji Fukunaga with tension and gorgeous looks. It’s one of the rare times in the franchise where we don’t open with Bond doing something spectacular. And it’s the first indication that Fukunaga is going to take us someplace different from other Bond movies.
But don’t worry Bond loyalists, it doesn’t take long before the movie gets into some thrilling action. In this case, through the narrow streets of an Italian village as Bond and Madeleine try to escape members of Spectre.
The sequence also treats us to one of the best uses of Bond’s Aston Martin car in the franchise as many of the famous gadgets are used.
Bond is convinced Madeleine betrayed him as he learns she’s the daughter of Blofeld, and it leads to Bond joining Her Majesty’s Secret Service one last time as a threat by Safin could lead to a DNA-killing virus.
Ana de Armas is such a scene-stealer, you’ll wish she was in more of the movie
De Armas plays CIA agent Paloma, who Bond works with when he ends up in Cuba.
To say de Armas was born to be a Bond girl would be an understatement. She has not just the striking beauty but the talents and athletics to wow the audience. And she does just that.
Her part in the movie is brief, but she makes the most of it as her playful performance across from Craig is one of the lightest moments of the movie, giving the audience a rare feel of the Bond movies of decades gone past.
De Armas also plays her character with a bubbliness that’s almost a tease of how she might go about playing her next major role: Marilyn Monroe in the Netflix movie “Blonde.”
The Bond franchise has set itself up with an interesting decision to make going forward
As you may have heard, “No Time to Die” marks the final movie in which Craig will play Bond, so now the question of who will be the next 007 intensify. Well, in this movie there already is one. Lashana Lynch’s Nomi character is the new 007 after Bond went off-grid.
Lynch certainly isn’t shy of the spotlight and she seems very comfortable playing a secret agent with the most famous call number of all time. So have the Bond producers found their 007 without telling anyone? Bond producer Barbara Broccoli recently insisted that Bond would always be a man.
But, if they go and name someone else, how does that look for Lynch and her character? Is it right to dangle the 007 label only to suddenly pull it from her? I have a feeling this won’t be the last time you hear about this.
Daniel Craig has a strong performance to mark the end of his Bond career
Craig came on as James Bond with loads of controversy. With his blonde hair and striking blue eyes, many felt he was the wrong look for the iconic role. But Craig paid the haters no heed and made the part his own. You have to put him in the conversation as one of the best Bonds ever thanks to the intensity he brought to his movies.
Though you always knew he was going to walk away at some point, it still feels a little shocking that his time in the tux is through, but for his final performance, he does deliver some of his best work.
Courtesy By INSIDER