No Time to Die.

Cary Joji Fukunaga is at the helm for Daniel Craig’s last outing as Bond. Bond has retired after putting an end to the threat of Blofeld and we find him enjoying life with Madeline (Lea Seydoux) in Italy where they are casting away their secrets before heading off into their future. But it’s not as easy for a double-0 to retire as he’d like and he soon finds himself in a battle to save the world from the perfect weapon which is in the hands of Rami Malek’s Safin.

We’ve waited a long time for No Time to Die and the question, of course, is it worth the wait? Well, it’s not perfect, over sentimental at times and suffers from over exposition, sometimes sounding like a computer game as the next mission level is explained, but that doesn’t matter.

It had two jobs, be a cinematic experience and give Daniel Craig the send off his predominantly excellent Bond deserves. And Fukunaga nails it, giving us a fantastic Bond movie.

The quibbles I mentioned are minor in what is an action packed, cinematic epic of a film. Does it do something new with the franchise? Not particularly, what it does is take all the Bond tropes, and his kitchen sink and puts it all on screen. Malik’s bad guy has been seen plenty of times before “another in a long list of angry little men”. The world domination plan is suitably over the top, the gadgets are plentiful and even the bad guy island lair makes an appearance. All those things make it feel a real celebration of Fleming’s super spy.

The action starts high paced and remains intense throughout. And amazingly for a film that is 163 minutes it never drags, you could even say it flys by

The supporting cast are very much supporting, Seydoux as Madeline is the most visible. Lashana Lynch, as Bond’s replacement has fun moments as does a brief Ana De Armis cameo. Malik does what he can with a fairly paper thin bad guy. But this is all about Craig and he makes the most of it, great set pieces, dry humour and most importantly, he’s allowed to explore some humanity in Bond, which does bring something new.

The pressure on No Time to Die is significant, but it delivers completely, giving a thoroughly enjoyable cinematic epic. It’s a fantastic Bond movie and a wonderful way for Craig to end his time as 007. I loved every single one of its 163 minutes and if you’re going to see it, see it on the big screen, it and you deserve it.

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