NO TIME TO DIE review

James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Paloma (Ana de Armas) in NO TIME TO DIE, an EON Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios film Credit: Nicola Dove © 2020 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

No Time to Die Isn’t Your Dad’s Bond Anymore

Generations have been captivated by James Bond movies over the years. The womanizing, martini-drinking secret spy of Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Over the last 50 years, other than the main actor playing Bond, not much has changed. Sure, the spy tech has gotten better, and the film quality has as well. But the movies always offer fans the same type of action-adventure mixed with a little womanizing.

That is, until No Time to Die – a movie that is bringing James Bond into today’s world and issues. The movie, with a whopping 2 hour and 43 minutes run time has been delayed since the beginning of the pandemic is finally heading to theaters next week. And the 25th Bond movie isn’t the same James Bond we’ve seen over the years. It seems that even Daniel Craig has matured into the role as the movies have gone on as well.

Is the Old Bond Dead?

NO TIME TO DIE review
Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) in NO TIME TO DIE

We’re not talking dead like the countless times James Bond has died and come back again in movie after movie. But the style of Bond that has made the franchise isn’t the same anymore. Yes, you still have the car chases, the gunfights, the bad guy you love to hate, and beautiful women – but all of it is approached differently. We almost expected some change in the character since it’s the first post Me Too movement James Bond film, but we didn’t expect so many things to change.

In No Time to Die, Bond is retired (yes again) and trying to move on with his life. We see that his “give a crap” has pretty much run out as he stands and lets bullets fly around him without reacting. The character has grown a heart and it is put on full display. He still has the same effect on women that past versions have but it isn’t his main character trait that he relies on in the film. Instead, Bond treats them as equals and sees them as more than just tools to do a job, or that are just there for sexual gratification.

So is Bond dead? Maybe the womanizer portion is – but the spy is still there ready to do his duty and protect the world.

The Women of No Time to Die

NO TIME TO DIE review
Paloma (Ana de Armas) in Cuba in NO TIME TO DIE

In past Bond films, women were there as set dressing, to be used, and to sometimes be physically abused. Their characters wouldn’t pass the Bechdel test if there were even two women in the scene. But what about in No Time To Die? Do they serve more of a purpose than to just build up Bond’s existence?

This one is a bit harder to decide, Paloma is in the film for a very short purpose and is there to help Bond out. Their interactions are genuine and not just shop talk, and her fighting skills are on par if not better than his. But her purpose is hardly anything more than helping the mission. If we look at Madeline Swann, is more developed but even her interactions with Nomi are only about James Bond. So on the very surface – the film wouldn’t pass that.

That being said, the approach to women in No Time to Die is a lot different than any other Bond film of the past. They have personalities, backstories and aren’t solely reliant on Bond to exist. They’re not set dressings to be sexualized, and even intimate moments are treated better without putting the women’s bodies fully on display.

Fear not Bond Fans, you’ll still have plunging necklines and beautiful women, but they’re a lot more complex – like real women.

Villians That Are Almost Relatable – Sort Of

NO TIME TO DIE review
Safin (Rami Malek) in NO TIME TO DIE

What would any Bond movie be without the bad guy? Safin has a tragic back story and is hellbent on revenge. Which, anyone in a similar situation could probably relate to that thought. However, like pretty much every other Bond villain of the past has countless riches and funds that can help him create a super toxin to exact his revenge. The ridiculous amount of wealth and random workers he has within his evil factory is shocking – but apparently, everyone needs to work somewhere.

So, does every super villain have endless riches? Or is every rich person secretly evil and we just haven’t figured it out yet? Either way, Rami Malek plays Safin well, it’s almost like he’s meant to play a bad guy.

Who Will Be the Next Bond?

NO TIME TO DIE review
Nomi (Lashana Lynch) is ready for action in Cuba in NO TIME TO DIE

Bond is retired, and he assumed his “Double 0” number would be as well. But No Time to Die reveals that it is just a title that is passed on. Sure, he’s still James Bond but that doesn’t mean he’s the only 007 out there. That leads us to the question – so what does this mean now for the franchise? We know that Daniel Craig is retiring from the role after this movie, but we don’t know who will pick up the banner next. There are some very big shoes to fill, and we know that Ian Flemming had more tales to tell. And if the 007 can be given to anyone, will there be more than one in the next film? The possibilities are endless at this point.

Overall, we don’t have much to complain about after watching No Time to Die. The movie is a fun ride from the opening sequence until the end. The main threat being a chemical pathogen that can cause mass deaths and be targeting may hit a little differently than when the movie was originally shot pre-pandemic. But with interesting characters, a bit of an updated Bond, and a tad of a softer side – it seems that No Time to Die turned the Bond Franchise into something that is more than just an action movie.

No Time to Die is only in theaters on October 8th, but we’re sure we’ll see James Bond on our screens again very soon.

Overall Rating:

Five Star Review

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About No Time to Die:

NO TIME TO DIE review

In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be a far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

Starring Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, with Jeffrey Wright, with Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes as ‘M’

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