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Film REVIEW: No Time to Die - ★★★★★

Updated: May 19, 2022



Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukanaga - based on James Bond by Ian Fleming

Stars: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes.


James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

The film received generally positive reviews, with many considering it to be a fitting conclusion to Craig's role as Bond, and has grossed $525 million worldwide, making it the fifth highest-grossing film of 2021.


In Cinemas Now - Rated 12A


Your mission with this post is to learn everything about Daniel Craig's final adventure as 007.

So adjust the cuffs of your Tom Ford tuxedo and prepare for the ultimate Bond-nanza.


MIX UP REVIEWS:

★★★★★



Mylo (Age 13) - ★★★★★

'I thoroughly enjoyed the film as it was action packed an highly entertaining. You can't go wrong with James Bond. Like all of the film's in the franchise there was a good villain with evil plans and great motives. The villain was especially good in this film and the acting was superb. As you may know Daniel Craig has announced that this is his last appearance a Bond and it was a brilliant end to his run. The film carries on the story from the previous film Spectre and there are some characters that stay on as well. There are also some new characters that are really great. If you like action movies with great characters and a fascinating story then you will love No time to die. I give this film 5 stars.'


Hollye (Age 11) - ★★★★★

'What an amazing movie!! Daniel Craig brought so much to the complex character of 007, bringing emotion as well as the usual swagger of Bond. One minute you would find yourself crying and the next laughing at a James Bond quipp. I would highly recommend this movie and encourage you to bring some tissues, because trust me, you will definitely need them. I give this movie 5 stars.'



Have you seen it yet?



 

No Time to Die - at a Glance - Bond 25 in a nutshell

  • No Time to Die is the 25th film in the James Bond franchise. It’s the current 007 Daniel Craig’s fifth and final adventure as Ian Fleming’s MI6 superspy, and promises to add to his incredible highlight reel as cinema's signature secret agent.

  • No Time to Die was originally due for release 4 March 2020 before being pushed back three times. However, the final change to the release date was brought forward to 30 September 2021.

  • No Time to Die is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (Jane Eyre). Fukunaga is the first American director of an (official) Bond film. Irvin Kirshner directed Never Say Never Again but that isn’t in the official Eon canon.





  • No Time to Die’s script is written by series veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade – who’ve written every Bond film since 1999’s The World is Not Enough – along with Fukunaga. At Daniel Craig’s request, the brilliant Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Killing Eve) was brought in to add polish and humour.

  • No Time to Die will have a runtime of two hours and 43 minutes (163 minutes). That’s 13 minutes longer than Spectre, officially making it the longest Bond film to date.

  • At 18, Billie Eilish is the youngest artist to record a Bond song. No Time to Die – co-written with her brother Finneas O’Connell – won a Grammy on 14 March 2021.

 

No Time to Die plot - What's the new film about?


If you've studied the action genre, you'll know that however grizzled and gristly they get, our heroes never stay retired.


Take James Bond (Daniel Craig) in No Time to Die. After a punishing career spent foiling a long line of metal-toothed, pincer-handed maniacs, 2015's Spectre saw 007 quit the spy game, choosing a future with Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) over continued service to M, Queen and Country. No Time to Die kicks off several years later. Bond is cooling his heels in Jamaica but, intriguingly, it seems he and Swann are no longer together...


Before you can say ‘submersible Lotus Esprit’ Bond’s palm-dappled solitude is shattered by a visit from CIA agent and long-time compadré Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) with news of a vanishing act by scientist Waldo Obruchev (David Dencik). Leiter needs someone he can trust to hunt Obruchev down and, with the entire CIA failing to make the grade, Bond is his hail-Mary pick.


Naturally, Bond’s in, but when his investigations surface a sinister and hyper-intelligent puppet master by the name of Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), a simple manhunt explodes into a deeply personal mission to neutralise a global plot that could kill millions.


Bond may well end up wishing he’d stayed in his hammock on the beach. While for film fans, that's our cue to grab the popcorn, sit back, and settle in for another 007 action-fest.


 

No Time to Die cast and characters - Heroes

DANIEL CRAIG (Knives Out) is James Bond.


We've known Bond since 1962's Dr No, through a total of 25 films and with eight actors taking on the role of Ian Fleming's iconic MI6 spy. But in his final outing (capping the longest ever run as James Bond by an actor) Daniel Craig dives into the 'flaws' that drive 007 ("I always had a secret idea," he says, "of where I wanted to take it").

But this isn't just a man's world.


LASHANA LYNCH (Captain Marvel) is Nomi


Producer Barbara Broccoli has spoken of reflecting the #MeToo movement, and you feel the winds of change in Nomi: a confident young agent who wants Bond off the mission, not lease because, with Bond's retirement, she inherited his '007' agent designation.

That's right! As No Time to Die opens, the new 007 is a woman.

The real question is, will she still have the codenmae when the credits roll?


ANA DE ARMAS (Knives Out) is Paloma


Then there’s CIA butt-kicker, Paloma. Described by actress Ana De Armas as “bubbly”, “irresponsible” and “messy” there’s never been a more relatable female character in the Bond franchise. We can’t wait to see her join forces with James.


And as for Bond’s backroom staff, you can set your laser watch by dad-bod action-hero and intelligence chief M (Ralph Fiennes - Harry Potter series) PA-on-steroids Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris - Pirates of the Caribbean series) and fastidious knitwear-aficionado and MI6 gadget-master Q (Ben Whishaw - Paddington series).



 

No Time to Die cast and characters - Villains


Given that Bond’s nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) was taken down in 2015’s Spectre, the world should now be all candyfloss and puppies, shouldn’t it? Well, no.


RAMI MALEK (Bohemian Rhapsody) is Safin


While Blofeld rots in MI6 custody during No Time To Die, a new villain has risen in the form of Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek). If you only know Malek as the Oscar-winning star of Bohemian Rhapsody, prepare to be thoroughly creeped out by his soft-spoken, mask-wearing psychopath, currently setting the internet ablaze with theories that his character is actually Dr No, from the original film.

Intriguingly, Malek doesn't deny it: "I heard that rumour," he told Esquire. "Isn't that an exciting thing to consider?"

It certainly is. Perhaps not incidentally, you see that shattered mask he's seen wearing in the No Time to Die trailers?

It's a dead ringer for those used in Japanese Noh Theatre. Noh, No? Oh no...


CHRISTOPH WALTZ (Alita: Battle Angel) is Ernst Stavro Blofeld


Just becayse Blofeld is behind bars, it doesn't mean he's out of Bond's hair.

As we see in the No Time to Die trailers, Ernst Stavro is still in a position to taunt his superspy foster brother.

What's more, he's more than happy to stir the bubbling pot of intrigue, hinting at a troubling childhood link between Madeleine Swann and Safin.


 

No Time to Die cars: Four Astons and shiny new Landy


It just wouldn't be James Bond in a knackered Citroen Saxo. Brace yourself for automotive overload.

We know from the trailer that the new Land Rover Defender will feature in the mother of all off-road chases, while long-time Bond marque Aston Martin has confirmed No Tome To Die will feature four models from the illustrious British carmaker: Bond's classic 1964 DB5, the current flagship DBS Superleggera (driven by Nomi), a familiar-looking 1985 V8 Vantage Volante and the next-gen mid-engined hypercar, the Valhalla.


We’re particularly excited to see that Bond’s bulletproof DB5 has had a few extra refinements added during its last service. Check out the trailer to see James wasting a bunch of bad guys with Gatling guns that pop out from behind the Aston’s headlights.



For eagle-eyed Bond-watchers, however, the sleuth’s V8 Vantage Volante might be the most tantalising ride of the film: it’s got the same numberplate (B549 WUU) as the car from 1987’s The Living Daylights, so does it still have the pop-out skis and chassis-slicing lasers? Here’s hoping…



 

No Time to Die locations - Where does the new James Bond film take place?



As well as shooting at Pinewood Studios – home to the world-famous 007 Stage, purpose-built for The Spy Who Loved Me in 1976 – No Time To Die globe-trots between Kingston and Port Antonia in Jamaica, London, Aviemore in Scotland’s Cairngorms and the lonely beauty of the Faroe Islands.


The scene where Bond is trapped beneath a frozen lake went down in Nittedal, Norway, but perhaps the best stunt sequence we've glimpsed so far is the chase through the stunning hill town of Matera in the Basilicata region of southern Italy (with a movie-magic detour via the two-tier aqueduct bridge in the nearby town of Gravina).


Let's just hope it all stays stunning after Bond has launched himself off the bridge, skidded a motorbike up the roof of an ancient basilica, and rearranged a lot of stonework with his DB5's headlight guns...

 

No Time to Die - song and soundtrack


From Duran Duran to Adele, the Bond films have always snared the finest contemporary musical talent around to set the mood for the adventure to come. Naturally, No Time To Die also has its finger on the world’s musical pulse, with Grammy-hoarding alt-pop sensation Billie Eilish turning in a slow-burn ballad that the 18-year-old whispers in your ear like a twisted fairytale.



Eilish recalled that No Time To Die took just three days to write in a tour bus crossing Texas – but that waiting for Craig’s verdict was nerve-wracking: “He has a big say in it. He's really involved. He's got to like it before they move on.”


As for No Time to Die’s soundtrack, Dan Romer was originally picked as the composer before leaving the project in January 2020. However, film composing legend Hans Zimmer quickly stepped into the breach for his first-ever Bond soundtrack, bringing friends, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and Steve Mazzaro along as co-composer and producer, respectively.


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