No Time To Die: End of an Era

Audrey White, Sandscript Author

Daniel Craig’s epic final appearance as iconic British spy, James Bond, in No Time To Die hit theatres on October 8th. 


The opening scene of No Time To Die immediately added a grave intensity that captured my attention so effectively, I barely noticed that the classic introduction had been delayed. After reviewing the introduction of Spectre, it seemed to be lacking when compared with the ferocity of No Time To Die


Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, No Time To Die featured the following actors: Daniel Craig (James Bond), Lashanna Lynch (Nomi), Lea Seydoux (Madeleine Swann), Rami Malek (Safin), and Ana de Armas (Paloma). Craig’s previous appearances as James Bond include Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), and the latest addition, No Time to Die (2021). 


The cinematography and location choices are noteworthy and striking. The destinations and general film had a gritty and sharp look to it. One scene that stood out to me was when Bond accompanies his love, Madeleine Swann, to the romantic Matera, Italy. The picturesque viewpoint of the audience highlights the blazing fires dotted across the ancient, stony architecture. It is explained in the film that the people write their secrets on a slip of paper and cast them into the fire. Another part of the scene in Italy which stood out to me was during the car and motorcycle chase when Bond, seated upon a motorcycle, flies up a cobblestone wall and races past large groups of people as he is being pursued. 

During one particular scene, Bond visits the Vesper’s mausoleum- the resting place of a woman he loved dearly. While paying his respects, the mausoleum explodes, sending Bond aback and with a temporary hearing loss. The noises around Bond during this moment were muffled which I found to be an exciting touch to the movie.

Additionally, in another scene, Bond attends a mission in Cuba with CIA agent, Paloma (Ana de Armas). Paloma’s character acts quite bubbly and sweet yet fights skillfully. Though this scene was only a piece of No Time To Die, I enjoyed the friendly chemistry and witty banter between the two characters which reminded me of Bond films from past decades. I do wish that Paloma made more appearances throughout the film, instead of appearing once in the scene in Cuba. 


Most James Bond films act as independent stories with a slight progression of an overarching plot-which has mentioned Spectre, the antagonist organization in the franchise, in older films. However, with Daniel Craig as Bond, five movies with the main focus set upon the dynamic of Bond and Spectre, progress into a completed and definitive era- the Era of Spectre.

No Time To Die wrapped up loose ends of previous Daniel Craig films, such as the Vesper storyline and promptly concluded the era of Spectre. In my personal opinion, Craig does not follow the traditional James Bond role. Past actors who have portrayed James Bond such as Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierce Brosnan provided the vintage adaptation of the essence of Bond’s character- glamor, intrigue, seduction, vice- Craig contrasts in this way. Craig’s adaptation of Bond encapsulates a man who is rather cold and edgy in personality and efficient in his business. On the whole, past Bond actors have added playfulness and charm to the secret agent, yet Craig has made his own path in the role of Bond.


No Time To Die was dramatic and unexpected, compelling and independent. I enjoyed the elements such as Bond’s high-tech car equipped with gadgets, as well as the reappearance of Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright). The story is wrought with twists and turns that simply left me speechless. 

Each Bond movie must have a malicious villain. Rami Malek portrayed Safin, a former assassin of Spectre and a warped villain. His skin is wrinkled due to a poisonous gas, and Malek’s representation of a damaged, vengeful man is incredible and unsettling. His portrayal of Safin made me very uncomfortable in terms of his moral character which made this villain authentic.


Each film within the James Bond franchise has a title song that correlates to the film’s title. The title song, No Time To Die, was performed by Billie Eilish and Hans Zimmer composed the film’s score. The song was rather solemn and arguably reflective. The introduction that played during the song showcased references to past Bond films such as playing cards from Casino Royale. With references during a pensive song, the tone of finality was firmly expressed. The pair of the song and film only added to a balance between the emotional tale unfolding onscreen. 


One aspect of No Time To Die that I found to be somewhat unusual was that Bond did not have a direct connection to the antagonists. Bond did not engage in direct conversations or actions towards Spectre. There was not as much connection between the villain and Bond which has been done many times before- instead, Bond’s connection to the villain was indirect, through his significant other, Madeleine Swann.

The acting was realistic and enjoyable to watch. I was so absorbed and focused on the movie that I forgot that I was watching a movie. I was captivated by the plot, the seamless acting and dialogue, and the magnitude of what was occurring before me.

As much as I did enjoy this film, I felt that the plot could be seen as too broad. Much was accomplished during 2 hours and 43 minutes of run time, and the pace did not feel rushed as I intended. Many new elements were added to the film which altered its course of action. If this film were shorter, the plot would feel rushed, but the development of the plot was well done.

  Over the weekend of the release, No Time To Die has made $56 million, despite being postponed three different times due to COVID-19. No Time To Die was an evocative experience for Bond fans, myself included and I believe it was well worth the wait. This film presented unanticipated events and changes and it served to be a stirring and sentimental resolution for this James Bond era.