The wait to see Daniel Craig’s final act as James Bond ended after No Time To Die was finally released. Fronted by Cary Fukunaga, No Time To Die has attracted the attention of film audiences, not only because of the big name of the James Bond saga, but because this film is Daniel Craig’s farewell to release the role of agent 007 which he has held for 15 years since his debut as Bond. at Casino Royale.
The Bond film franchise itself, since its debut, has become a trendsetter, a business of intrigue and absurdity that roams the world. Actions to complete the mission to prevent dangerous global threats combined with a little humor are the formula and the main selling point. Not surprisingly, before the Craig era, this franchise seemed to run in place, minimal innovation, even more often played in a storytelling corridor that tends to be safe. Although, the role of Bond itself has been played by many actors before Craig, it’s okay to think of their personification as the same Bond character.
However, since Daniel Craig took over the role, the James Bond franchise has begun to redress, to significantly adapt its offerings to the demographics and formulas of today’s successful franchises. Starting with Casino Royale, which successfully laid a solid foundation for a new Bond image, even though it almost slipped in Quantum of Solace, Craig’s version of Bond continues to metamorphose with stories that each installment takes greater risks.
It’s no secret that No Time To Die’s journey, James Bond’s 25th big screen adventure and actor Daniel Craig’s final appearance as 007, wasn’t easy for a variety of reasons. Craig’s previous film, SPECTRE, received mediocre consensus reviews, and it’s been reported that Craig was reluctant to return to complete some of the story elements that were left open in the film. That still doesn’t add to the impact of the pandemic that has devastated world activities.
This delay and the selling point of Craig’s last time as notorious secret agent Ian Fleming, plus now the studio has nearly two years to tweak and fix things if things go wrong. Does the end result live up to the hype? The answer is yes… and no.
No Time To Die opens with a slightly different scene from many of Craig’s other Bond film openings, showing the tragic origins of a young Madeleine Swann and a mysterious masked man named Safin (Rami Malek). Fast forward to 2015 and after the events in SPECTRE. Bond (Craig) and Madeleine spend a romantic getaway together, and maybe for a moment they may have a chance to live a semi-normal life, before an attack shatters those hopes, and makes Bond decide to separate.
5 years later, Bond, who has retired, is visited by his old friend, Felix Leiter, who asks for help completing a mission. Bond’s decision to help Leiter then confronts Bond with Safin, which means he gets into Madeleine’s past conflict. When Bond and Madeleine get back together, Bond realizes that this time his attempts to save the world may come with personal consequences.
No Time to Die is everything one could expect from a final act film, ending all the open storylines of the previous films and paying homage to those who influenced Bond’s life along the way. Craig imbues a character with a lot of emotion and weight, creating a presentation that talks about the betrayal, heartache, and exhaustion of a man who has endured all of this. The film balances Bond as someone who despite trying to live a normal life, but when he returns to the middle of the action, it’s as if he never really left.
For an important entry in the Bond franchise like this, there’s surprisingly little action in it, and the action scenes there feel like they finish as quickly as they started, except for the final sequence that might try to make up for the rest of the film. At 2 hours 43 minutes, this is officially 007’s longest-running adventure film, and sometimes it really does.
Apart from the somewhat problematic script that causes the casting of the main antagonist character to appear weak, No Time To Die, in general, contains many aspects as expected, which will make hardcore Bond fans feel nostalgic. Whether it’s regarding the classic iconic cars of the franchise that are back, or regarding Bond’s interactions with his MI:6 counterparts who seem to develop and find a little more maturity with each character.
In terms of acting performance, Craig and Seydoux who became the main heart of this film managed to present a very convincing chemistry and their character development as a whole. What makes No Time To Die feel solid to be dubbed the most emotional Bond film.
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, Bond’s presentation this time seemed to increase the scope of the production even further towards a cinematic epic-like feeling rather than just a standard action film. It’s hard not to give away important plot twists and talk about the fates of both old and new characters in this chapter, but the writer didn’t want to spoil the surprise. Suffice it to say, by whatever yardstick you’re judging a Bond film, it has it all, including the most exciting ending of the 25 films in the entire franchise, as well as exciting and challenging prospects for the future direction of the 007 franchise.
No Time To Die starts showing in Indonesian cinemas on September 30, 2021