by Caleb Curry/Staff Writer
James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Paloma (Ana de Armas) share a drink in Cuba in No Time to Die.
The 2021 film No Time to Die is the 25th James Bond movie to hit the big screens. Daniel Craig plays the British spy James Bond once again. Craig is seen as one of the series’ best Bond actors, and has acted out Bond for the new age.
No Time to Die is Daniel Craig’s fifth James Bond movie. The film takes place five years after the end of 2015’s Spectre. The film’s main cast include: Daniel Craig as James Bond, Lashana Lynch as Nomi, Léa Seydoux as Madeleine, Rami Malek as Safin, and Ana de Armas as Paloma. The director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, was tasked with the job of closing out the Craig Bond series in an epic way. The movie was filmed all over the world with locations such as Cuba, Jamaica, London, and Italy. The score of the movie is done by the award winning Hans Zimmer. The film began production in 2019 and was set to release fall of 2020; however with the pandemic going on the studio made the decision to delay the film’s release until 2021.
Overall in my opinion the film No Time to Die is a well-made enjoyable film. That being said there are some flaws in the way the story is told, but overall is fun to watch. The problems with the movie come in the length and the characters. The film’s runtime is 2 hours and 43 minutes making it the longest James Bond movie ever. The film however feels about an hour too long; the movie would be much more enjoyable had it only gone for 1 hour and 40 minutes. The other problem with the movie are some of the characters. The antagonist Safin has virtually no development and is thrown into the plot seemingly at the last minute. Nomi is a character that I feel is unnecessary in the movie, her character is not very likeable and in the end does not serve a point in the climax of the movie. The other character that is a problem is Ana de Armas’ character Paloma. Paloma is a well done character; however, the biggest problem is she isn’t in the movie for longer. Although Bond does not need a sidekick or partner the writers gave him one in Nomi, and I think this role would be much better if it was Paloma.
The plot of the movie takes too long to develop. Due to the runtime of the movie, the overall plot of the story takes too long to develop. We know there is a bioweapon, and James Bond needs to stop it, but a true structural antagonist is not made clear until very late in the film. The plot is not a unique idea, it is the typical action hero needs to stop the villain from trying to commit some crime. It is a plot formula that is not original; however, in a movie like No Time to Die it does not detract from the entertainment value the acting and choreography bring.
Despite the flaws in the movie the good far outweighs the bad. The movie is beautifully shot and the plot, while not incredible, is enough to keep the viewer entertained. Daniel Craig gives an incredible portrayal of James Bond. Craig brings a certain aspect to the role that leads to why he is considered by some to be the best Bond yet. Every action scene in the movie is well done with excellent fight choreography. One of the staples of a Bond movie is the song that is written for the opening credits. This film’s song was No Time to Die by Billie Eilish which, like the movie, is not a masterpiece, however it is enjoyable. I think the best part of the movie is the closure it gives for 2015’s Spectre. No Time to Die is built as a finale to the 2015 film, bringing back multiple characters while also introducing new ones. Spectre left so much still to be explored with closure still not given. No Time to Die answers those questions that were left unanswered.
The score is a key aspect in a movie that often goes unappreciated. Hans Zimmer has worked on movies such as The Lion King, Inception, and The Dark Knight. He is well respected and very well known across the film industry, and his work on this movie shows why. The score is upbeat and fast during chase scenes and slow and solemn during serious scenes. The film’s score can give you insight into what is going on in Bond’s head, when he is smooth and in control the score tends to be the typical fun sounding 007 theme. To contrast that, when Bond is out of control and chaotic the score shifts into more of a fast-paced music. When you are watching a movie you often don’t realize how important a score is in the success of a movie. In No Time to Die the score, while subtle, remains to be one of the most impressive aspects of the film.
No Time to Die is far from a perfect film, however it is still good. The movie bodes well for the future of James Bond in the years to come. I would recommend watching the movie in theaters if you get the chance, and definitely as it becomes accessible digitally.