No Time to Die

No Time to Die ★★★★½

Entertaining and surprisingly powerful final outing as James Bond for Daniel Craig.

Fittingly for his swan song, this is full of everything that you expect from a Bond film, but also has the most emotional and dramatic finale to a film in this franchise since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

That movie is on Director Cary Fukunaga’s mind quite a bit, as some memorable dialogue from that movie is used on occasions, while its brilliant theme song is also called back to in the score.

Craig plays Bond with a sort of middle-aged weariness, which is possibly how he feels playing the role, but works very well for the character as he reluctantly does it all one more time.

There are some enjoyable turns from returning faces like Ralph Fiennes, Ben Wishaw and Jeffrey Wright. Rami Malek is an okay Bond villain but nothing particularly special, while Ana De Armas brought some fun and levity to the movie, and it was a great shame she wasn’t given more to do.

The action was very good, with several pursuits in various locations that are thrilling and, crucially and unusually for a modern blockbuster, with action that is easy to follow. The opening scene - a flashback from the past that sets up the main story - is tense and exciting.

I was worried when I saw the runtime that it was going to drag and be bloated, but I never found myself bored or losing interest.

I am a James Bond fan so therefore am already a bit biased, but I really enjoyed it. It’s excellent.

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