No Time To Die Review: A Fitting Farewell to Daniel Craig as Bond

James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Paloma (Ana de Armas). Credit: Nicola Dove/MGM

Daniel Craig has been James Bond since 2006 with Casino Royale, a film that became an instant hit with fans and critics alike while cementing Craig as a household name. The actor’s time as the British agent spanned 15 years, with No Time To Die marking his fifth and final film. Although Casino Royale is still my top Bond film featuring Craig, the latest film is a dramatic and fitting finale.

Cary Joji Fukunaga was tasked with directing No Time To Die, which is a lot of pressure considering this is a farewell Bond film for Craig. There’s a more emotional side of Bond that involves friendship and love, and it’s nice to see this caring side of the 00 agent. Yet it could still have benefitted from more impactful moments since it never really gave us that emotional gut-punch. Of course, some fans may not be interested in seeing this side of Bond, who’s known to be cold and suave.

M (Ralph Fiennes), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Tanner (Rory Kinnear). Credit: Nicola Dove/MGM

The film follows Bond in retirement enjoying his life in Jamaica. Felix Leiter, who’s played by Jeffrey Wright, asks him for help as they try to track down a scientist who has the power to change the world, and not for the better. Léa Seydoux returns as Madeleine Swan, and her past has come back to haunt her. There’s a moment in Spectre where she talks about her hatred for guns, and it plays out in the film. Swan has more of a prominent role, and it greatly affects Bond’s psyche.

The Villain

Rami Malek as Safin. Credit: Christopher Raphael/MGM

Rami Malek is Lyutsifer Safin, a terrorist leader who has a vendetta against Spectre. In typical Bond villain fashion, he does have physical scars, and it’s the reason why he wears a mask. As a villain, he doesn’t seem as terrifying or intimidating. This is especially the case early on in the film, and he felt more like a side character due to the focus on other plot points. As with each Bond film, the villain always has some cool technology they have to do evil things. Fans of the video game, Metal Gear Solid, will instantly see the similarities between this tech and FOXDIE, and it’s really cool to see this executed in the film.

The Cast

The standout is Ana de Armas as Paloma, a CIA agent who helps Bond on a mission. She’s charming and a lot of fun to watch on screen, too bad her role was very short. Lashana Lynch takes over as the new 007 agent after Bond retires, and she does a solid job with her role, but it’s nothing too captivating. Christoph Waltz reprises his role as Blofeld, and his potential as the iconic Bond villain was definitely wasted.

Daniel Craig as James Bond and Christoph Waltz as Blofeld in No Time To Die. Credit: Nicola Dove/MGM

No Time To Die is the conclusion to Daniel Craig as James Bond, and it’s a grand farewell to the secret agent. This does remind me of The Dark Knight Rises, seeing a version of the protagonist getting a definitive ending. Craig is definitely one of my favorite Bond actors, and it’s going to be sad to see him move on from the franchise. It’s inevitable that fans and audiences will be waiting in anticipation to see who’s going to be the next Bond.

Final Reaction

No Time To Die is a fitting farewell to Daniel Craig as James Bond, and the drama is one of the best I’ve seen in the franchise. Ana de Armas is certainly a standout as a new addition. The film would have been a lot better if she had more screen time. As for where this ranks in my Craig as Bond films, Casino Royale is still the top dog. Although No Time To Die easily ranks up there.

4/5 Atoms

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