Review: ‘No Time To Die’ leaves viewers in awe yet frustrated

Actor Daniel Craig’s era comes to a baffling end


Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Back in 2005, small-time actor Daniel Craig was announced as the sixth James Bond and everyone bashed him for being blonde and having blue eyes. “Casino Royale” later came out in 2006 and the movie was praised along with Craig as the best thing that has ever happened to Bond. Now, 15 years later after the praise and success, Craig’s era as Bond has come to an end in the last installment, “No Time To Die.” James Bond’s retirement is short lived after an old CIA friend visits in need of help which later leads him into a roller coaster of revelations. 

Craig’s era as Bond is the most unique out of the rest since a continuous arc is present in all of Craig’s films. Unfortunately, the previous film, “Spectre,” turned out mediocre at best. Its weak script brought it down, leaving the next film to continue where “Spectre” left off. That’s the case with “No Time To Die.” Most of the criticism for the movie can be blamed on “Spectre.” It’s quickly rushed off but it still leaves with a bad taste. The bad taste is the chemistry between Bond and Madeleine (Léa Seydoux) because it’s non-existent due to the lack of exploration. Throughout the film’s runtime, the viewer is expected to care for them through ups and downs but the impact and careness isn’t there. 

One of the many charms of the Bond franchise is the antagonist who can range from great to terrible. Rami Malek as Lyutsifer Safin is one of the more forgettable Bond villains. His acting, while not bad, is odd since Malek uses an inconsistent accent that makes him sound as if he’s bored. His boredness sadly shifts to the viewer as the runtime feels slow and drags on for a while. 

Nevertheless, among the slowness, there’s also such great action sequences. The action set pieces sort of work as a reward for the amount of dragness viewers have to endure. They’re filled with such versatility of creativity and energy. One of the actual memorable things is the whole Cuba sequence with the participation of Ana de Armas who adds more on top of what’s already good. Something that’s been extremely entertaining is how the James Bond films challenge the MPAA PG-13 rating as these films are highly brutal in their action scenes. 

Unfortunately, the movie feels convoluted, yet not so much with the huge amount of characters that are presented. The newest introduction of Nomi (Lashana Lynch) felt like a breath of fresh air. Her chemistry with Bond is more interesting than the love interest herself. They play off each other well and that leads to enjoyable funny lines. One of the least-liked characters is Valdo Obruchev (David Dencik) who comes off as annoying and unfunny. 

Divisive is the best word to describe the viewer’s feeling at the end. The ending of the film, which sticks to one’s mind for a while, will have the viewer debating whether it’s good or bad since it’s just so different from the rest. It’s sort of treated appropriately but is ruined by on-the-nose dialogue. It’s obviously going to be a war zone among the Bond fans with what the film presents to them. 

In conclusion, Craig’s grand finale came off as mediocre but fun. All in all “No Time To Die” deserves a positive 5.5/10. There’s obviously going to be another Bond era to have better films, but that’ll be in at least a decade.