“No Time To Die” is a perfect finale for Daniel Craig

Latest spy thriller marks the end of an era for the franchise

PHOTO COURTESY/ YouTube Universal Pictures India

PHOTO COURTESY/ YouTube Universal Pictures India

One of many films affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, “No Time To Die” is finally here after an 18 month delay from its initial release date. Daniel Craig, now 53 years old, returns to the iconic role of James Bond one last time in what should be remembered as one of the best 007 films to date.

“No Time To Die” sees Bond, now retired, forced back into action as new villain Safin (played by Rami Malek) attempts to unleash a dangerous new technology on the world. A direct sequel to 2012’s “Skyfall” and 2015’s “Spectre,” the latest installment in the Bond saga wraps up all loose ends in the series, utilizing every second of its near three-hour runtime. In spite of this, the film’s plot never drags and it actually ends rather abruptly, which is unfortunate for fans seeking a grand tribute to Craig and his work. But with this being said, the finale’s story provides plenty of closure to general moviegoers and Bond fans alike.

Craig turns in arguably his greatest Bond performance in “No Time To Die,” though that may be a product of a more emotional, darker storyline. Regardless, he plays an impassioned 007 that we have not quite seen before in the series. In addition to Bond, a number of previous characters return in “No Time To Die” including Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine and Ben Whishaw’s Q, among others. Seydoux turns in a brilliant performance as James’ love interest, forcing him to face the demons of his past while also encountering her own. In addition, newcomers Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas join the fray as Nomi and Paloma, respectively. Contrary to the film’s marketing, both characters are criminally underused and leave audiences begging to see more of them. Malek’s Safin is an intriguing character as well, who is given depth and purpose in the film’s opening minutes and carries a clear motive into the film’s final act.

Though Bond films are generally notorious for their standalone quality, I feel a viewing of “Spectre” is required in order to thoroughly enjoy this finale. Many of the characters, their motives and the film’s overall plot points derive from the events of the 2015 blockbuster, making it a must in order to feel the impact of “No Time To Die.”

“No Time To Die” is now playing in theaters. 2015’s “Spectre” is available on Hulu, while earlier Bond films are available to watch, rent or buy across various streaming platforms.