No Time to Die

Lee Marcel, Editor-In-Chief

Daniel Craig officially retired his arguably most iconic role in the 5th installment of his James Bond saga: ‘No Time To Die’. While the movie was delayed for more than a year and a half, I believe that it was well worth the wait, especially if you consider yourself a Bond fan. If you haven’t watched this movie and you plan to, stop reading now, because this review contains MAJOR spoilers for the movie.
The movie opens with the flashback to when Madeleine Swann, Bond’s current girlfriend played by Léa Seydoux, is a little girl. Safin, who we’ll talk about later, comes to her French home looking for Mr. White, but instead finds her. A chase ensues, and she falls through the ice and into a freezing lake. She’s all but dead until Safin saves her.
The main plot of the movie is a little hard to follow, but here’s the general idea. Safin, the main villain played by Rami Malek, wants revenge on Spectre and Mr. White after they killed his family. To do this, he steals a weapon created by the government that targets people’s DNA and plans to use it to kill all of Spectre’s agents. Bond works with the new 007, as well as Felix to retrieve the weapon, and chaos ensues.
I think this plot was decent. While it was a little hard to follow, this movie was definitely made for long-time Bond fans. If you haven’t watched the previous movies, the references to Spectre and Mr. White won’t make sense, and therefore the plot is confusing.
The action in all of the scenes were brilliant as always, and the fact that Daniel Craig did most of his own stunts made it even more impressive. While James in the beginning of the movie was the retired, love-sick old man that he desperately wanted to be, he’s quickly pulled back into MI6 and becomes the action-loving, quick-witted Bond we all know and love.
I also enjoyed the Madeleine backstory, and I appreciate that by the end of the series, Bond finally had a family in Madeleine and Mathilde. What I didn’t like about it was Safin’s involvement, which barely makes any sense. In the flashback, Safin is a grown man and Madeleine is a small child. But when they reunited (around 30 years later), Safin has barely aged a day, and is confessing to her that he has been in love with her since he saved her from dying all those years ago. Because the love is not reciprocated, he kidnaps Madeleine and her child, who we later learn in Bond’s daughter.
While I hope I don’t need too into why it’s extremely problematic for Safin to fall in love with
a child, his seemingly nonexistent aging presents many plot holes and even took me out of the movie at times. Perhaps if Rami Malek’s performance had been better, I would have let it slide. Except it wasn’t, he portrayed Safin as a calm, cool, and collected villain, which if done correctly can send a chill down anyone’s spine. However Malek’s performance was extremely forced, and when I watched him on the screen all I could think was “he’s very obviously acting.” That’s not always a bad thing, but paired with the brilliant acting done by Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux, it just felt out of place
The end was bittersweet, and to me, absolutely heartbreaking. When Safin reveals he used the weapon on both him and Bond so that neither of them could touch Madeleine again, I immediately knew he was going to die. This was the first time in James Bond’s long history that he actually died, and I think this was a fantastic way to go. At the end, there’s no question who is going to continue 007’s long legacy: Nomi, played by Lashana Lynch. As a long-time Bond fan, I’m excited to see how they continue his story without him, but I’m rooting for Nomi to return.