No Time to Die proves well worth the wait

Daniel Craig’s final Bond film is a fitted conclusion to his record breaking fifteen year tenure. Packed with set-piece action and outrageous stunts, there’s more than enough to keep fans of old-school 007 movies happy. But there’s also pathos, romance and just enough humour to keep followers of Craig’s incarnation satisfied as well.

Director Cary Fukunaga keeps the pace up throughout, making light work of its running time, while solid support from Rami Malek and Christoph Waltz (two villains for the price of one) makes for marvellously cartoonish fun. The plot, as we’ve come to expect from the franchise, is as convoluted as it is preposterous, ticking off all sorts of Bond tropes is a knowing and whimsical way.  Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Roy Kinnear and Naomie Harris are shoe horned into a crowded roster of talent that adds Lashana Lynch (as the other 007) to the home team, while Ana de Armas steals the show with her high-kicking rookie agent.

As you would expect, this is globe-trotting spectacle, but it’s still worth pointing out how beautifully those backdrops have been filmed by Linus Sandgren. Coupled with a reliably soaring score from Hans Zimmer it all adds up to an event movie that is so rare these days. Perennially delayed during lockdown, it’s both heartening and a relief that it turns out to have been worth the wait.