Daniel Craig has completed his fifth 007 and it is a stunner; initially not a fan, missing the debonaire, dark suaveness of his predecessors: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan; Craig was more of an ale guy, no way “shaken, not stirred”; after his third, “Skyfall” his fair, steely-eyed muscularity convinced me that he was imminently plausible as James Bond; “No Time To Die” will garnish his fate and iconery. Here is a seasoned Bond, weary of villain vetting, completing the mission with aplomb a “same old”, “been there, done that” approach; he’s accessible, a man capable of love, fearlessly romantic and compellingly human.
Director Cary Joji Fukunaga and Cinematographer Linus Sandgren, commence with the same titillating, thrilling, breathtaking rouses audiences have grown to expect; knowing our man will triumph, lessens the tension; sweeping landscapes, glorifying tourist attractions worldwide. Mini roles, stringently defined, flirt with spectacularity: Lea Seydoux, “Madeline Swann”, as Bond’s lover, capitalizes on her cunning fragility to ward off the untoward; Rami Malek, supremely demonic “Safin”, soars; Ana de Armas, “Paloma” is dazzling in her role as neophyte “agent”; comforting “regulars”: Ralph Fiennes, “M”, Naomie Harris, “Miss Moneypenny”, Ben Whishaw, “Q”, Jeffrey Wright, “Felix Leiter”, and Christoph Waltz, the quintessential paragon of maniacal “Ernest Stavro Blofeld”, incorrigibly flawless.
Unlike the myriad of forerunners, in “No Time to Die”, 007 long after the credits have dimmed, reality’s return, rests comfortably in the halls of super savers, due to Daniel Craig’s introspective, brilliant depiction of a “man for all seasons”, profoundly gifted, leaving a legacy of “majesty” resonating for the remainder of time.