No Time to Die review: Daniel Craig stars in his last hugely satisfying James Bond film

  • Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga; With: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, David Dencik, Billy Magnussen, Ana de Armas, Rory Kinnear. Certificate 12A, 163 min.

In a world without SARS-CoV-2, a year and a half would have passed since Daniel Craig retired as James Bond. Instead, the cinema’s top spy has spent the past 18 months on leave, as successive waves of Covid sweep across the globe.

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But as the end credits always promised, James Bond will return. And the comeback, it finally has it, with Cary Joji Fukunaga’s extravagant and disproportionately large last chapter of the Craig era, throwing almost everything left to throw at 007 that the series can come up with – including , in a bite-sized twist of relevance, a man-made virus threatening to invade the globe.

That’s right: blockbuster cinemas have been relying on them for 18 months to get business out of the coronavirus pandemic hinges on the looming threat of another. This one is called Heracles, is made up of TSTIME-hijacking nanobots, and is stolen from a secret London lab by SPECTER, which plans to use it for obviously nefarious purposes that you imagined could have happened to its creators.

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With the goo on the loose, it’s up to Bond to get it back, but not through his former MI6 handlers.

After a sensational and sinister prologue – by far the longest in the franchise, lasting around 23 minutes – Billie Eilish’s torch song kicks in, and then we’re five years away from James’ retirement in Jamaica, where CIA’s Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) stops by and asks him to round up the rogue scientist (David Dencik) who was complicit in the leak.

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