Actually, the secret agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) believed he had finally found his happiness, as Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) could be the one to help him finally leave his past behind.
However, things turn out differently when both are caught up in that same past.
Five years later, Bond has retired from active duty and leads a simple life in between out of nowhere, far from the dangers he faced every day.
There he would want to forget everything. But, suddenly, his old friend, the CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), is in front of him and tries to win him over for a new mission, at the same time, he also receives a visit from Nomi (Lashana Lynch), his successor. In the British secret service.
In fact, Bond’s curiosity is piqued when he learns that a secret laboratory has been broken into. Such a farewell can be very harsh.
At first, Daniel Craig did not even want to reprise the role of the famous secret agent who has delighted the public for almost sixty years.
In between, the filming of the film had to be interrupted several times and when it finally ended, the coronavirus pandemic thwarted all plans: almost none of the major blockbusters was delayed that long in programming.
In between, they even thought about handing it over to a streaming service after all. Then, of course, there were the discussions about how the character of Bond could develop and, therefore, the series, if there is any future for such a primal figure in the history of cinema.
In principle , it does not seem that the official 25th part of the series of agents is going to break new ground.
+ Back to the past
In fact, “James Bond 007: No Time to Die” is obsessed with her own past in many ways.
The fact that the film picks up on the events of its direct predecessor, Specter, was to be expected. But Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s first appearance as an MI6 agent, with which the previously rather unhappy series got back on track, also plays an important role.
The most beautiful reminiscence centers on an ostracized James Bond; George Lazenby, who retired after a chapter: in 007 on Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), James Bond marries and Louis Armstrong sings We have all the Time in the World. Before the end credits, Bond was still holding his newly betrothed bride in 1969, shot down by Blofeld’s henchmen.
There is no time for love. Not for Bond. And when Bond and Swann drive down a scenic, winding mountain road together, there’s no need for the interleaved “we’ve got all the time in the world.” Not to mention the gallery of the ancestors, which is featured prominently later.
Such crowded and unsubtle fanservice can, of course, quickly turn into something embarrassing and clunky.
In fact, sometimes you get the feeling that the director and co-writer, Cary Joji Fukunaga, was more interested in a better Bond than in telling his own story. And yet, James Bond 007: No Time to Die is more than just a lap of honor at the end.
On the one hand, familiar elements are unearthed over and over again, such as the absurd gadgets of Q (Ben Whishaw); some of the scenarios are also quite familiar. But Fukunaga, who has been publicly quite critical of early Bond films, partly subverts expectations.
This can be quite funny when a supposedly familiar situation suddenly takes a completely different turn. Or it can be very emotional, with an ending that gives a lot to talk about.
However, unfortunately there are also many scenes that are nothing more than filler material.
This especially applies to action scenes, some of which do not emerge from the story, but simply slip in in some way.
There are some passages in which you have the feeling that the different locations are only there to be able to skimp on the corresponding financing.
This is also seen negatively because James Bond 007: There is no time to die, with a duration of more than 160 minutes, it is already very excessive, too much for a story that does not have so much to offer. The object in question, which is stolen from the laboratory at the beginning of the film, is interesting and remarkably treacherous. However, much of the rest hardly makes sense, neither in terms of the plot nor the behavior of the characters.
+ The action
But, although Craig’s farewell is not the climax one expected, the entertainment factor is correct.
There is a lot of explosive action, sharp exchanges of words, scenarios varied, as well as a traditionally crazy villain, this time played by Rami Malek.
The set is wonderful, both veterans and newcomers have good scenes.
The promising female agents – in addition to Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas also kicks in as an energetic spy – are even so good that the discussion about a female Bond gets convincing arguments.
And yet , It will be the end of “James Bond 007: No time to die” the one that is most remembered, and in which Fukunaga really manages to rethink a flashback with audacity.
Here, the past and the Future, tradition and new beginnings come together in a way that leaves one nostalgic and curious at the same time.
With No Time to Die, Broccoli and Wilson present an old white man in the new world of the 21st century, in which, as M laments, “the enemy is no longer in the same room, eye to eye, but is coming through the ether “, in which women are no longer girls who sacrifice themselves for their James after one night and three minutes, but instead follow the rhythm with claw and even assume the double zero with the seven in it.
This also brings Bond’s own character full circle, returning to his first appearance in 1962, when the agent licensed to kill was the representative of a 19th century empire that He no longer existed in this form, but he made a show of being.
Today, James Bond embodies a type of man who no longer exists, whose pretensions, however, seem stale even to he. And that, after 60 years in the service of the crown, he can finally let go.
“James Bond will return” , as always, is written on the screen after the credits. Daniel Craig definitely doesn’t want to be in it right now.
I am eagerly awaiting the answer to the question of how those responsible for the Bond legacy, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, will shape this reboot.