LONDON – The James Bond film No Time To Die may debut 18 months later due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but most critics have said it was worth the wait.
Critics have praised Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing after a 15-year tenure as a suave British secret agent, which began with Casino Royale in 2006.
Originally slated for release in April 2020 and delayed three times since, No Time To Die held its world premiere in London on Tuesday, in the presence of its stars and the British Royal Family.
“This is the more grounded version of #DanielCraig and – dare I say it? – the most intimate of #JamesBond with a powerful, unexpected and very emotional payoff. Def worth the wait!” Tweeted the film critic Scott Mantz.
Giving the film five stars, Kevin Maher of UK newspaper The Times said it was “better than good. It’s beautiful”.
“Craig has been a divisive figure at times during this five-movie stint, from his initial cast… to his austere performance style to his off-screen rants about the iniquities of the gig,” he wrote.
“Yet all sins are forgiven here. He is a towering charismatic presence from the opening image to the closing shot, and he bowed out in a formidable and moving style.”
Costing around $ 200 million (S $ 272 million) to produce, No Time to Die sees Bond come out of retirement to help track down new villain Safin (Rami Malek), who is armed with deadly technology.
“Craig’s latest film as a British intelligence diva is an epic barnstormer… delivering pathos, action, drama, camp comedy… heartbreak, gruesome horror and outrageously old-fashioned action. stupid, “wrote The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw.
He also awarded it five stars.
However, some criticized the script and the length.
“… Craig’s path to momentous departure is drowned in intrigue; it’s so complicated and protracted that you might find yourself going through a lot of the nastiness,” wrote David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter.
“Even so, it’s unlikely to be a breakup for many Bond finalists… Even though the two and three-quarter hour runtime is a chore at times, it ultimately hits the mark.”
Clarisse Loughrey of The Independent gave it three stars.
“(Director) Cary Joji Fukunaga made a smashing action flick… it’s just a shame it’s a Bond flick,” she wrote, adding that it sounded “oddly anti-climatic” given the hype.
The film features 00 Agent Nomi, played by Lashana Lynch.
“Malek isn’t the only newcomer making his mark, as Lashana Lynch impresses as Nomi,” wrote Ian Sandwell of Digital Spy. “Quick with one-liners and adept at stunts, she’s instantly sympathetic and develops a fun friction with Bond. “