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No Time To Die Review Roundup

No Time To Die

The long awaited 25th entry in the Bond franchise, No Time To Die, finally got its premiere at the Royal Albert Hall last night. The first slew of reviews that have appeared online since from various sources are overall positive. Although not all of the reviews were totally positive, the general consensus is that Craig’s final Bond film is an entertaining swansong for the actor.

“It’s Magnificent”

Kevin Maher of The Times gave the film 5 stars, saying: “It’s better than good. It’s magnificent. Craig is a towering charismatic presence from opening frame to closing shot and he bows out in terrific, soulful, style.”

“Gleefully Spectacular.”

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw also gave the film 5/5, describing it as an “epic barnstormer delivering pathos, action, drama, camp comedy, heartbreak, macabre horror, and outrageously silly old-fashioned action. It is of course a festival of absurdity and complication, a head-spinning world of giant plot mechanisms, but is very enjoyable and gleefully spectacular.”

“Extravagantly Satisfying.”

In yet another glowing five-star review, Robbie Collin of The Telegraph thought that: “Cary Joji Fukunaga’s extravagantly satisfying, bulgingly proportioned last chapter to the Craig era, throws almost everything there is left to throw at 007 the series can come up with. We’ve been expecting you, Mr Bond, for quite some time and what a joy and relief it is to have you back.”

“Too Long.”

In a slightly more critical manner, Stephanie Zacharek wrote in Time saying that whilst the film was enjoyable, the 25th Bond movie didn’t entirely justify its significant length.

“At two hours and 43 minutes, it’s too long and too overstuffed with plot – more isn’t always better and it features one of the dullest villains in the series’ history, played by Rami Malek in mottled skin and dumb silky PJs. But forget all that. No Time To Die, its flaws notwithstanding, is perfectly tailored to the actor who is, to me, the best Bond of all.”

“Generic Spy Nonsense.”

The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey was even less critical of the film. She only gave the film a 3/5 score and described it as; “generic spy nonsense.”

“Cary Joji Fukunaga has made a smashing piece of action cinema with No Time To Die – it’s just a shame it had to be a Bond film. What’s most disappointing is how strangely anti-climatic the whole thing feels. Despite Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s much-publicised contributions to the film’s script, No Time to Die hardly feels like the radical feminist rewrite we were promised.”

“Lacking in Pleasure or Real Wit.”

Screen Daily’s Jonathan Romney didn’t enjoy the movie much either, writing that: “It’s certainly a film that breaks many of the canonical rules of the series, though not entirely to dazzling effect. There’s plenty to gawk at and to argue over in this episode, yet No Time To Die is oddly lacking in pleasure or real wit.”

“An Exciting Entry.”

Empire’s John Nugent also wrote about the film’s length, stating that the middle third of the film is “bogged down by plotting and exposition doesn’t justify that heaving run-time.” However, he did go on to say that: “This film does things that no Bond film has ever done, and despite relying heavily on tropes that feel not only familiar but comforting, it is the unfamiliar things it does that make this such an exciting entry.”

“An Entertaining, Affecting and Bold Finale .”

One person that didn’t have an issue with the film’s length, was Digital Spy’s Ian Sandwell. “It’s densely plotted yet snappily paced, meaning that the movie rarely stops for breath before the next big action sequence or another revelation. Further viewings will likely decide No Time To Die’s fate in the ranking of Bond movies, especially as there are definitely moments likely to divide the fandom. As an experience though, it delivers all the spectacle you’d expect from a 007 movie, throws a few surprises in along the way and proves to be an entertaining, affecting and bold finale for Daniel Craig.”

“The Best Entry Since Casino Royale.”

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman praised the film’s cast members saying that: “Craig, his hair chopped into a bristle cut, has mastered the art of making Bond a seemingly invincible force who is also a human being with hidden vulnerabilities. Rami Malek, with mottled skin, an all-seeing leer, and the caressing voice of a depraved monk, makes him a hypnotic creep.”

“The Real Standout is Lashana Lynch.”

Next Best Picture’s Josh Parham praised the supporting cast members in his review, saying: “The real standout is Lashana Lynch and she holds her own marvellously well. The banter she has with Craig is effectively humorous and provides some of the most delightful moments in the film.”

“A Genre-bending Bond.”

Claire Gregory of Sky News claimed in her review that: “No Time To Die is a genre-bending Bond. Fans will be pleased that all the classic lines are delivered, sometimes with such humour that you can’t help but suspect they were improved by Phoebe Waller Bridge’s pass at the script. The film is chock full of tech, explosions, guns and car chases. In fact some of the scenes feel slightly gratuitous, with Daniel Craig getting one last opportunity to do pretty much everything you could ever expect from Bond.”

“It Ultimately Delivers.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney wrote that: “Even if the two-and-three-quarter hour running time is occasionally a slog, it ultimately delivers. It may not rank up there with Skyfall, but it’s a moving valedictory salute to the actor who has left arguably the most indelible mark on the character since Connery.”

“Takes Some Bold Risks.”

Alex Flood of NME gave the film four stars in his review, stating that: “There are issues. Rami Malek’s disfigured Safin is another clichéd, empty bad guy – and while Ana de Armas thrills during one eye-popping party scene, her character is quickly discarded so that other, blander men can take the spotlight. For the most part though, and with so much at stake thanks to Covid decimating cinema, No Time To Die producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson should be applauded for taking some bold risks. The gobsmacking ending, in fact, may be the biggest in Bond history. When the credits finally roll on Daniel Craig’s last hurrah, [the] difficulties fade into the background. If we didn’t know better, we’d say it even looked like he enjoyed himself.”

No Time To Die arrives in cinemas tomorrow on September 30th. We will have a review of Craig’s final outing as the iconic spy on the site shortly after that date, but in the meantime, you can check out our review for SPECTRE here.

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Daniel Boyd

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Daniel is a 26-year-old writer from Glasgow. He loves sci-fi and hates fantasy. He also hates referring to himself in the third person and thinks that bios are dumb.

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