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Daniel Craig Says Goodbye to Bond in ‘No Time to Die’ (Review)

Daniel Craig’s final screen appearance as James Bond was delayed over and over again.

Pre-production on the film began back in 2018 with Danny Boyle (‘Slumdog Millionaire’) hired for the director’s chair. He left the project that fall over “creative differences” with the producers and MGM ended up going in a new direction with Cary Joji Fukunaga (‘True Detective’) taking over. Shooting ended up taking place in mid-2019 with a theatrical release scheduled for fall 2020.

Then, of course, COVID-19 derailed things even further and caused an extra bit of havoc with this production wherein the incredible theme song from Billie Eilish actually got released and won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media six months before the film ended up even coming out. After several shuffled release dates, it finally hit American theaters in early October.

All of that to say, ‘No Time to Die’ was worth the wait. Newly available on home video, Craig’s fifth and final outing as 007 loses a bit of steam in the final act but contains multiple exhilarating action sequences including an insane chase through the streets of Havana, Cuba, that add to its rewatchability.

Fukunaga and cinematographer Linus Sandgren decided to shoot on film instead of digital and actually utilized 65mm IMAX cameras for some of the biggest scenes. The result, especially when viewed at home in 4K Dolby Vision, is simply breathtaking.

As the film starts, we pick right back up where we left Bond at the end of ‘Spectre.’ He’s enjoying a little downtime with his girlfriend Madeleine (Léa Seydoux) in southern Italy when Spectre assassins hunt them down. Let’s just say it’s a good thing that Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 is bulletproof and can handle cobblestone streets.

We flash ahead to an all-too timely plot about a terrifying virus being unleashed from a secret lab with plans to weaponize it. Our big villian this time around is played by ‘Mr. Robot’ star Rami Malek. As Lyutsifer Safin, he’s a nasty terrorist with a mission and isn’t about to let Bond get in his way.

The rest of the supporting cast, which includes Jeffrey White, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Lashana Lynch, and ‘Knives Out’ breakout star Ana de Armas, really help to flesh out the journey, but Craig remains the main attraction. Whoever lands the role for the next installment of the franchise, truly has big shoes to fill.

While we won’t know how this film will fare at the Oscars (and it certainly is likely to earn a Best Original Score nod), it has already qualified in 12 categories for the 2022 BAFTAS (Britain’s Oscars) including Best Film, Outstanding British Film, and Leading Actor.

Punctuated by a massive Hans Zimmer score and a sharp screenplay that got punched up by ‘Fleabag’ creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, ‘No Time to Die’ allows Daniel Craig to close out his reign as Bond on a high note.

‘No Time to Die’ is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD and can be purchased or rented from all digital providers.

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