After being postponed because of the pandemic, No Time To Die released in theaters this week ! More than a year after the first trailer, I was finally able to watch Daniel Craig’s last James Bond movie. There is plenty of things to say about the movie itself but also Daniel Craig’s legacy as agent 007 from Casino Royale in 2006 to No Time to Die in 2021. Was it a good movie ? Where do I rank it alongside Craig’s 007 movies ? Was it a good James Bond era ? As I said, plenty of things to discuss so let’s go !
No Time To Die, the conclusion we needed
I have to say that despite being very confident for this last opus, I somehow had that fear because I didn’t want Daniel Craig to end his James Bond career with a bad movie, especially after 4 decent movies (and even excellent when it comes to Skyfall), but turns out I wasn’t disappointed. I loved this movie ! Skyfall will always be my favourite movie, but this No Time To Die is clearly a good one. I appreciated the incredible number of references to the past James Bond movies, especially the opening credits that obviously reminded me of 1962 James Bond VS Dr.Noa nd the first action scene with a lovely car chase that included the very famous Aston Martin DB5. But No Time To Die is not only references to the James Bond saga. The movie perfectly included the elements that made all the success of the Daniel Craig era, which means movies with a deeper story than just gadgets, explosion and a vilain. The movie conclude the story started in 2017 Spectre, but also, the life of this version of James Bond, started back then in 2006 Casino Royale. Just like Skyfall and Spectre, the movie goes deep into Bond’s personal story, as this time the focus is around the character of Madeleine (interpreted by Léa Seydoux) and her personal story, a personal link closely linked to Bond’s personal story and to a unknown worldwide threat that James Bond, Madeleine, the MI6 and its new 007 agent (perfectly interpred by Lashana Lynch) will have to discover and eliminate. The movie is well written and surpringly calm as the movie takes time to slow down in order to tell its story with only 3 main actions scenes, actions scenes that are well managed and not too long.
This deep story side that has been mainly introduced in Skyfall before being resumed in Spectre and now No Time To Die finds in this last opus its perfect ending as the movie takes the time to say one last goodbye to Vesper Lynd, (James’ first love who tragically died in the first movie, a death that has been haunting James Bond for a long time) before diving into the main and last story, linked to Madeleine’s past. Once again, we had an all-time casting with Ralph Fiennes and Lashana Lynch perfectly playing their roles of M and 007, Léa Seydoux playing a Madeleine that in my mind, was a way better character than what she was in 2017 Spectre and of course Daniel Craig giving everything in has to 007, for the last time of his acting career. To this I’m adding another great soundtrack and obviously the opening credits performed by BilLie Eilish.
The movie wasn’t better than Skyfall, but it’s probably the perfect mix between the classic James Bond movies (with the use of plenty of gadgets) and this deeper and darker version of James Bond brought by Daniel Craig in 2006. The action is well managed, the long time 007 fans will appreciate a lot of small references to the saga, references that fits really well into the movie and participate to the movie quality. Despite having some defaults like going too fast on some details of the plot, or a rather disappointing final fight with the vilain (Safin magnificently interpreted by the talented Rami Malek), the movie as a whole is good, and probably better than its predecessor Spectre. Finally, it’s the last moments of the movie that has been the greatest surprise in my mind, an end that despite being sad, is a logical conclusion to this James Bond era but moreover a beautiful way to say goodbye to 15 years of James Bond for Daniel Craig. And I’ll stop here regarding the end ’cause this is starting to look like a spoiler…
To summarize, I loved the movie. It’s what I was waiting knowing that this would be the end of the road for Daniel Craig. The movie have defaults and it’s not the best of all the 5 movies but it’s clearly a good one. The movie beautifully conclude 15 years of another James Bond era and this what I was looking for : a decent ending for a great actor who embodied James Bond with heart and passion.
Daniel Craig, the best James Bond ?
I’m going to be clear : YES. The incredible quality of Sean Connery’s James Bond and somehow a bit of nostalgy will always make him one of the greatest James Bond but it’s clear that Daniel Craig is a next level and it will be hard to produce new James Bond movies of such high quality. The actor himself and the way this James Bond is written is the perfect mix of this Britishness we’re waiting when it comes to a character like James Bond but also a man who’s getting more and more tired movie after movies, missions after missions. Each movie had a great casting, each movie was well realized, and these movies had a depth in their stories that James Bond never had before. This depth and this more personal story gave to this James Bond a human side that in my mind, was very welcomed as it added another dimension to these movies (especially in Skyfall and this last opus, No Time To Die).
So, yes, the Daniel Craig era has been in my mind, the best James Bond era, and I’m glad I grew up with this one, even if I can’t wait to see who will be the next Agent 007 !