There’s no time to say good-by! Daniel Craig’s ‘extravagantly rewarding’ (and unapologetically woke) Bond swansong is described as’slick, sleek, and emotional.’ No Time To Die has received five-star reviews.
After an 18-month Covid-caused delay, the premiere of No Time To Die – Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond – took place on Tuesday at the Royal Albert Hall, with Craig appearing alongside co-stars Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux, and Ana de Armas to introduce critics and stars alike to the Cary Joji Fukunaga-directed blockbuster.
The Daily Mail’s Brian Viner rated Bond’s 25th film as “daring, gripping, and combustible,” saying that “the thunderous ovation that rocked the theatre as the end titles rolled was not misplaced.”
‘[No Time To Die is] an explosive, tense, daring, and most of all surprising adventure, toying with our preconceptions about the world’s greatest secret agent and exploring his personal life more intimately than ever before,’ Viner said, gushing: ‘[No Time To Die is] an explosive, tense, daring, and most of all surprising adventure, toying with our preconceptions about the world’s greatest secret agent and exploring his personal life more intimately
Viner informed readers that despite the film’s 163-minute runtime, “the furious pace hardly slackens.”
Regarding Craig’s fifth and last outing as Bong, which was shot after Time’s Up, Viner asks, ‘Is there now a danger of the character tipping too far away from the cruel ladykiller of yesteryear, becoming 00-woke?’
‘There is, indeed. ‘However, one of the most impressive aspects of this thrilling film is that it feels forward-thinking while remaining true to the spirit of Bond.’
‘This is a serious film, and it will seriously blow you away,’ Viner said.
Other critics were as moved by Craig’s farewell act as Bond, with The Guardian bestowing five stars on the movie and critic Peter Bradshaw calling it as’startling, exotically self-aware, hilarious, and confident.’
Empire gave No Time To Die four stars, calling it a “exciting entrance” into the 007 universe and asking viewers to “raise a martini” because “it was worth the wait.”
The Evening Standard gave it four additional stars, while The Times gave it five for Craig’s ‘extravagantly fulfilling’ final portrayal of Bond.
In its four-star review, The Sun advised spectators to ‘strap up,’ while the BBC gave the film five stars, remarking that ‘No Time To Die caps up the Craig era with remarkable ambition and aplomb.’
When the credits rolled, though, The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey was less pleased, calling Craig’s ‘final hoorah’ ‘disappointing and weirdly anti-climactic’ and awarding it only three stars.
Another publication, Digital Spy, gave the film four stars.
Craig talked with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Royal Albert Hall before the showing.
Billie Eilish, Rami Malek, author Phoebe Waller-Bridge, director Cary Joji Fukunaga, and Naomie Harris also attended the star-studded premiere.
The film’s release was delayed numerous times owing to the coronavirus outbreak, so it’s been a long road to Tuesday night’s premiere.
The film was originally slated to be released in April 2020, however it was moved back to November before being rescheduled for April 2021 due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The release date was finally announced for September 30 in the United Kingdom, followed by October 8 in the United States.
Daniel and some of his co-stars were on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky before of the film’s premiere to discuss it.
Daniel, who has starred in five Bond films over the course of 15 years, told Chris, ‘After the last one, I assumed that was it.’ ‘I can’t do any more of them,’ I thought.
‘I took a break and we spoke about what we wanted to do with this last film and how large we wanted to go, and it seemed right, and I just got really thrilled about it, and I can’t wait for people to see it.’
‘I saw a preliminary version of it about a month after we completed, and it’s incredibly awful since there are no special effects or anything.’ When you see that version of it, all you can hope for is that it makes sense, and it does.
‘Once you have the effects and the music, Hans Zimmer has done the soundtrack, and it’s absolutely wonderful.’ ‘The plot is cohesive.’
‘Everyone is really giving amazing performances, and I think it’s incredibly extraordinary,’ says the director.
When asked about the film’s forced delay owing to the pandemic, the actor stated, ‘It’s odd enough with a movie, when you finish it and you put it out and you kind of like, ‘Woah, I hope it’s decent.’
‘But when there’s a two-year lag between finishing it and releasing it, it simply adds to the strangeness.’
‘I was in Baltimore doing a movie when I found out I got the role of Bond,’ he says. And I was at Whole Foods, doing my weekly shopping, strolling around with a cart full of food, when (producer) Barbara Broccoli called and said, ‘Over to you, kiddo.’
‘So I got my trolley and pushed it silently down an aisle, strolled into the booze department and bought a bottle of vodka and a bottle of vermouth, a glass and a shaker, took it home and drank it, and then went out and drank probably three more vodka martinis.’
‘When you think about it, it’s pretty sad.’ But I must have had a strange expression on my face because the bartender kept asking what was going on, and I replied, ‘I can’t tell you!’
Daniel recently highlighted the franchise’s outmoded James Bond plotlines, such as the concept of glamorous disposable so-called Bond girls.
In an interview with Lorraine Kelly, he remarked of the spy series, the newest instalment of which, No Time To Die, was released this week, that ‘you’ve got to adapt’ to the times.
‘Certainly, a lot of what happened in the previous films is problematic now… different times, but we didn’t want to lose the essence [in the new picture].’ It’s still a Bond film.
‘I’ve been allowed free rein to have an impact on it, but I’ve never forgotten that.’ We can have all of the fundamental components and things that people have liked over the years, but you have to adapt.
‘One of my main concerns is that all of the characters, especially the women, must be clever and believable.’
Daniel also revealed to Lorraine that he was overtaken with emotion while filming his farewell sequence as Bond.
‘Everyone showed up – all the department heads walked down, and I thought to myself, ‘Oh God, I have to make a speech, this is my worst fear.’ I struggled to keep it together as it all spilled out at once.
‘All of those folks I go to work with every day, especially on this film, the collective effort was so tremendous and meant so much to me that everyone put in that hard work – that’s what I’ll miss so much,’ she says.
No Time To Die is the 25th film in the Bond franchise, and it follows Bond after he has left active service and is living a peaceful life in Jamaica when his old buddy Felix Leiter, played by Jeffrey Wright, from the CIA shows up begging for assistance.
Bond returns to the field after leaving his seemingly perfect life with Madeleine (Lea Seydoux) to face Safin (Rami Malek), who is armed with a new hazardous technology that could harm the planet.
Producer Barbara Broccoli has already foreshadowed what fans might expect, stating that the film would provide a satisfactory conclusion for Daniel Craig’s Bond.
‘It’s a culmination of everything that his representation of the character has been through, and it ties together all the storylines,’ she stated on the official James Bond podcast. ‘I have to say, it’s a really epic film.’
Daniel took over as Bond from Pierce Brosnan in Casino Royale in 2006, and went on to act in Quantum of Solace in 2008, Skyfall in 2012, and Spectre in 2015.