Daniel Craig’s James Bond swansong No Time To Die has been met with glowing reviews and praised as a fitting end to the actor’s time as 007.
The long-awaited film – also starring Lashana Lynch, Ana De Armas and Lea Seydoux – is out this week after multiple pandemic-enforced delays.
And it was worth the wait, according to reviewers.
The Times awarded the film five stars.
Reviewer Kevin Maher said No Time To Die is “magnificent” and delivered on the potential Craig’s first Bond film Casino Royale teased in 2006.
Swedish cinematographer Linus Sandgren was praised for making the movie “visually astonishing” while Craig’s performance was also celebrated.
Maher said: “He’s a towering charismatic presence from opening frame to closing shot, and he bows out in terrific, soulful, style. His, perhaps, is an impossible act to follow.”
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Robbie Collin also gave No Time To Die a glowing five-star review.
He praised the “sensationally thrilling and sinister prologue” and described the film as “often very funny indeed”.
Collin wrote: “The mood is often closer to the perkier passages of the Connery films, and the humour feels contemporary and British: the Phoebe Waller-Bridge script polish evidently yielded the desired result.”
Another five-star review came from the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw.
Craig’s final Bond outing is an “epic barnstormer”, the reviewer said, with director Cary Joji Fukunaga delivering the film “with terrific panache”.
Bradshaw compared No Time To Die to the Marvel and DC superhero films, adding: “No Time To Die is startling, exotically self-aware, funny and confident, and perhaps most of all it is big: big action, big laughs, big stunts and however digitally it may have been contrived, and however wildly far-fetched, No Time To Die looks like it is taking place in the real world, a huge wide open space that we’re all longing for.”
Writing for the PA news agency, Damon Smith gave No Time To Die an 8/10 rating.
He compared the film favourably to the final movies of previous Bond actors, writing it “ends the losing streak in spectacular and moving fashion”.
Smith said: “No Time To Die is the most emotionally satisfying chapter under Craig’s guardianship and the subtle nods to the past 20 years sever some ties to the past and provide exciting opportunities for reinvention in the future. Bond will return and he or she will be a better person for it.”
The Sun’s Dulcie Pearce gave No Time To Die four stars out of five.
She said Craig “exits the franchise with a bang”, reserving special praise for the “simply spectacular” stunts.
However, Pearce found fault with the film’s run time of two hours and 43 minutes, writing “there are times you want to get a defibrillator out and give it a much quicker pulse”.
She added: “The storyline feels like there were too many cooks, but it still tastes familiar enough to be craved.”
Empire magazine also gave No Time To Die four stars.
Reviewer John Nugent wrote: “This is a Bond film that dutifully ticks all the boxes – but brilliantly, often doesn’t feel like a Bond film at all. For a 007 who strived to bring humanity to larger-than-life hero, it’s a fitting end to the Craig era.”
Writing in The Independent, Clarisse Loughrey gave the film three stars out of five.
She said: “What’s most disappointing about the film is how uneventful the whole thing feels.”
Remi Malek’s performance was underwhelming, according to the review, which states the Oscar-winner “gives almost nothing to the role beyond his accent and stereotyped disfigurement makeup”.
But Craig’s performance was a fitting end, Loughrey wrote.
She said: “He is brilliant in No Time To Die, in a way that outshines everything around him. His granite-carved features crumple in just such a way, always at the right moment – his Bond contains an ocean of battered emotions trying to reach the surface.”