Review: No Time to Die – An emotional send-off for Bond

Bond is one of Britain’s longest-running and most culturally identifiable film franchises. So, when ‘No Time to Die’ was postponed from the silver screen myself and other filmgoers were more than disheartened. When a new Bond was eventually released, along with other big names such as Shang-Chi, I felt this was an exciting post-Covid rebirth for the film industry.

‘No Time to Die’ was unfortunately Daniel Craig’s last film which, unlike others I have talked to, didn’t make me too melancholic. I think Craig leaving after this film felt suitable and gave an overall feeling of contentment to the film. 

The film included a lot of Bond tropes such as the Bond woman, car chases and weird British civil service bits. I think these are often fun and exciting to watch but I felt they were a little overdone at this point. The film also felt a bit joke-y at times, and, although the jokes were funny, I felt some of that tone was a bit misplaced in a film with a serious topic area.

I did enjoy how the story felt more about Bond’s age and how one might deal with the end of a career for Her Majesty’s Secret Service. This somewhat made up for the very tropey villain arc and other strange story structures.

When watching the film, I felt that I was somewhat underwhelmed by some of the casting and acting choices. I felt that elements of Craig’s performances, although very good, were a bit odd at times – specifically Craig’s monologue scene with Blofeld (Christoph Waltz). I also felt that the casting of Rami Malek as the new Villain Lyutsifer Safin felt a bit off. Although Malek’s performance was superb and hit a lot of emotional beats, I felt as though the performance lacked oomph. 

One of many international Bond locations: The idyllic Phang Nga Bay bestowed ample scope for the Francisco Scaramanga’s lair in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

For the most part, the cinematography of the film, thanks to Linus Sandgren, felt immensely cinematic and lush. The overall Hollywood quality of the film pulled through and I was giddy again to look at expansive European landscapes on the big screen.

In conclusion, this film was a joy to watch. It was a rollercoaster of crazy set-pieces, car chases and the general alpha-ness of Craig’s performance. It’s a beautifully shot film with an emotional ending and it’s packed full of fun for all the family. 

Rating: 6.5/10

Image Credit: BBC/Universal Pictures