No Time To Die is a fitting send off for Craig’s Bond, but falters with an uninteresting villain


MGM & Universal

James Bond’s retirement is interrupted when business from his past comes calling.

Elliott Austin, Staff Writer

On October 8th, the newest movie in the James Bond franchise, No Time to Die, was released. The movie finally arrived after numerous delays. The fifth Bond movie featuring Daniel Craig as James Bond and the 25th total, audiences were promised something huge. Well, director Cary Joji Fukunaga and his team did an admirable job, with a few rough spots in between.

James Bond is now living in idle retirement, until CIA agent Felix Leiter comes knocking. A scientist working on a top-secret bioweapon has been kidnapped, setting off a string of events that could spell the end of the world. The movie clocks in at an astounding 2 hours and 43 minutes, the longest 007 movie yet. The runtime isn’t always justified, but it never felt like it was too long. The only times the film felt dragged out was when it would shift gears to the longer emotional sections. This version of Bond, late into his career, has more or less stopped his womanizing ways and settled down with Dr. Madeleine Swann, played by Léa Seydoux. A decent portion of the movie is spent with the emotional conflict of these two characters, as Bond still has issues with trust. Having a more mature Bond is great, but it feels that these scenes were often melodramatic and added a false sense of tension. It makes sense for the more serious Bond these movies try to embody, but it failed to make me invested in their drama. The rest of the movie is filled with incredibly well-shot (and extremely PG-13) action scenes and stunts which is definitely worth seeing in the theater if that’s your cup of tea.

The main plot of the movie revolves around a mysterious man connected to Swann’s past (played by Rami Malek) and his plan for world domination… or destruction? It’s not very clear. That’s the biggest issue with this installment: the main villain is one huge question mark, and not in an interesting way. Even when his goals are finally revealed, the audience is left truly wondering what he was trying to accomplish. It’s not played for laughs like other Bond villains in the past, where the over-the-top nature was the point. The villain is treated as someone to be feared, yet his plan is such an enigma that it failed to make audiences care. This is a complete waste of Rami Malek, who is a fantastic actor that was given very little to work with.

M, the head of MI6 (the British secret service), played by Ralph Fiennes, helps Bond and team throughout the movie, while also being somewhat at odds with James. In this film, M has allowed the creation of a bioweapon that has the potential to wipe out entire ethnic groups, done with the intention to “protect his country.” He is initially criticized for this but the movie ends with zero punishment for him or anyone else involved. This isn’t unsurprising for a franchise built on defending the dwindling British empire, but it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth after the film is over.

Despite all the issues this movie absolutely has, No Time to Die is ultimately a serviceable sendoff to this era of James Bond and an enjoyable theater experience, with plenty of good-looking action scenes and intense moments.