No Time to Die is the fifth Bond film starring Daniel Craig. He held the position of James Bond for 15 years, becoming the actor who has been Agent 007 longer than any other actor. During that time, the image of the universal assassin from the British intelligence service has changed markedly. Craig (who also produced the last two films) has softened the cold-blooded hero, allowing him to be a more emotional spy, attached to the people around him. Perhaps this is what will affect the perception of the new picture - it failed to make the best spy action movie, but the creators succeeded in a heartfelt farewell to Daniel Craig.
The film will probably appeal to those who have seen the previous four Bond movies (in fact, No Time to Die was a direct sequel to Spectre, which it is advisable to review before going to the cinema). Viewers who expect to see an independent story about Agent 007 may be a little heavy-handed during the screening. The screenwriters decided to make quite a number of references to the previous films, as well as bring in familiar characters. Among them is CIA operative Felix Leiter played by Jeffrey Wright (he acted in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) and Bond's half-brother, the villain Ernest Stavro Blofeld, played by Christopher Waltz (who was one of the central characters in Spectre).
The French actress Léa Seydoux, who played Madeleine Swann, James Bond's lover, who has been in the agent's life longer than one mission (which has never happened in the Bondiana before), will appear on the screen again. The new film begins with the backstory of her character, which is also atypical for films about Agent 007, which start with shootouts and chases involving Bond.
In addition, No Time to Die shows Bond's experiences in the incredibly cinematic Italian town of Matera, and then the film moves forward five years - James has completely retreated from spy work, settling in Jamaica. The idyll of seclusion is broken by an old CIA acquaintance who asks Bond to find a scientist involved in the proliferation of biological weapons. So begins an ambitious mission in which he crosses paths with former British intelligence colleagues and meets people from his past for whom he still harbors strong feelings.
The events are not without the terrorist actions of the organization "Spectre", which could not be completely eliminated. However, this time the world is threatened by a new mad villain obsessed with nanorobots - he is played by Oscar-winning Rami Malek. Like the majority of Bondian antagonists, he has to deal with grandiose and foolish plans to enslave the whole world, so no matter how Malek tries to work out the details of the character's presentation, the villain still turns out to be absurd, that is how the story creators made him. By the way, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, of Fleabag fame, was among the film's screenwriters - she was asked to revive the finished material, so she's probably responsible for the jokes glimpsed in the background of saving humanity.
The new film picks up on the thematic changes in cinematography, showing the transition to new realities. James Bond, after being on vacation for a while, returns to missions and discovers that the intelligence community has changed markedly during his absence. He, as a member of the old school, is forced to work with younger and bolder spies. Some of them annoy him a lot (this role goes to actress Lachana Lynch), while others become a good partner (Ana de Armas, who has already played with Daniel Craig in Knives Out).
Whatever missions and people he encounters on his journey, No Time to Die is first and foremost the story of James Bond himself, who has become more human over the years. His special agent skills are still impeccable, but Bond can make mistakes, lose his temper and, oddly enough, become sentimental. Surely if this had happened a few films earlier, audiences might not have taken this turn, but now that Daniel Craig is saying goodbye to the character of Agent 007, the denouement may well evoke an emotional response.
The last Craig film was directed by Cary Fukunaga (he worked on True Detective and Maniac). He directed the chases and shootings without which it's impossible to imagine a Bondiana, but he overdid the talking scenes (No Time to Die is 2 hours and 43 minutes long) which completely overlapped all the plot arcs, but lost the general dynamics.
However, all the nuances with the speed of the story are smoothed out by the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, majestically performed by the symphony orchestra. The movie also features the main musical theme by singer Billie Eilish. It is interesting that this composition won a Grammy award six months before the film's theatrical release.