'No Time To Die' Is A Bittersweet Send-Off To Craig's Role In The Franchise
By Sal LoCicero | October 14, 2021
Fifteen years ago, MGM reinvented the James Bond franchise and casted Daniel Craig as the next actor to portray the character. When ‘Casino Royale’ debuted in 2006, everyone became ecstatic about the casting. Daniel Craig’s debut changed how many viewed James Bond and to this day, ‘Casino Royale’ is considered one of the best Bond films of all time, and one that changed the game for future installments.
Two decades later and we now have ‘No Time To Die’. It’s a miracle that Craig’s last outing made it all the way through the final cut; given how much trouble weighed on this feature after the release of Spectre (2015). With a new director filling in, ‘No Time To Die’ was able to continue on after production hell. Despite its uneven plot, the movie gives a fantastic send-off for Daniel Craig’s Bond that is very bittersweet. Combined with both drama, humor, and action, this is a movie meant to be seen in a cinema. In fact, part of No Time To Die is a homage to cinema and its impact in our daily lives.
Running at approximately 2 Hours and 43 Minutes, director Cary Joji Fukunaga managed to explore everything leading up to the main event without convolutions. Without Fukunaga, this would’ve been a disaster. The story tackles a bunch of situations that involve Bond and his past missions, and because of that, the extended runtime is perfect. It allows the structure to flow smoothly.
Daniel Craig gives another terrific performance, as does the remaining cast. Additional supporting cast members; such as Rami Malek and Ana De Armas are just as good. Ana De Armas is truly a standout despite the limited screen time she is given. Her charm adds much brightness to the film’s frequent intensity.
As far as action goes, Fukanaga directs some of the most riveting sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat. The cinematography is the main reason why this movie looks and feels different compared to ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Spectre’. Both movies were filmed by two legends (Roger Deakins and Hoyte Van Hoytema). Linus Sandgren does not rank among Deakins and Hoytema as the best cinematographers. Sandgren mimics their precious work, especially in the final act. How the finale came about seemed more obvious rather than shocking. It leaves the viewer with too many unanswered questions as to what’s next?
‘No Time To Die’ may not be the strongest entry in the franchise, however, when it comes to giving Daniel Craig his send-off as James Bond, that is when this feature is at its best.