REVIEW: Daniel Craig’s James Bond Faces His Endgame in ‘No Time To Die’

Oct 7, 2021, 10:48 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — He’s the super-spy who needs no introduction, because we know his name:  Bond. James Bond.

After 15 years with Daniel Craig in the lead role, the fifth and final chapter of his amazing run, “No Time To Die” is finally in theaters.  Fans have been waiting almost two years for this as its original release date was Thanksgiving of 2019, but production delays during filming got it pushed into early 2020. Then the pandemic hit just a few weeks before it was supposed to come to theaters in April 2020, which caused MGM to delay it twice more before finally locking on and staying with an October 2021 release.

I actually think this delay may have worked to the fans’ advantage, because what a final chapter it is for Daniel Craig’s version of Bond!


Five years after the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), James Bond has left active service as a secret agent and is living the retired life in a beach house in Jamaica. However, his peace doesn’t last long before he’s approached by his old friend from the CIA, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), who tells him they need help finding a missing eastern European scientist.

When it becomes apparent that the scientist has been abducted, and that he may be involved with a project being run by Bond’s old MI-6 boss M (Ralph Fiennes), Bond must decide if he’s willing to return to active service and put his life on the line once again to help save the world.

If he does, he’ll have to cross paths with allies and enemies, both old and new, as well as confronting a villain whose schemes, if successful, could mean the death of millions.


Craig hasn’t lost a step in his action scenes, which include a motorcycle chase, multiple car chases, and hand-to-hand battles with a variety of people.  Nor has ability to switch from a naturally suave demeanor at one moment, to blazing intensity the next.  It still feels like he’s Her Majesty’s sledgehammer as he charges, often recklessly, into deadly scenarios, rather than a precise surgical scalpel–which is what set him apart from past versions of Bond.

His surrounding cast is excellent.  In addition to those already mentioned, Léa Seydoux returns as Dr. Madeleine Swann, as well as Ben Whishaw as Q and Naomie Harris as Moneypenny.  Joining them are newcomers Lashana Lynch, as Bond’s tough-as-nails replacement in the Double-0 program, Ana de Armas as Paloma, a CIA operative in Cuba (that we’ll hopefully get to see more in the future), and Billy Magnussen as Logan, a straight-arrow CIA agent who gets a nickname from Bond that will be hilarious to many Utahans.

James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Paloma (Ana de Armas) in
an EON Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios film
Credit: Nicola Dove

And then there’s the villain. Oscar-winner Rami Malek joins up as the bad guy, Safin, who has a connection to someone from Bond’s past (but honestly, at this point in Daniel Craig’s run, pretty much EVERYONE seems to have a connection to Bond’s past.)

Rami Malek (Safin) on the set of
an EON Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios film
Credit: Nicola Dove

Malek does a good job of portraying someone psychotic and unpredictable, but also with a detached numbness to reality that adds an extra-creepy layer.  I actually thought, up until the final sequence of the movie where he kind of went sideways, that he was very a well-written character and one of the better Bond villains in all of the 25 movies.

Speaking of the 25 movies, “No Time To Die” spends a lot of time trying to connect many story threads from at least the past five movies, as well as paying homage to Bond films even further in the past, including a song that goes all the way back to one of the first (and least-remembered) movies in the series.

But writers , , Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Cary Joji Fukunaga (who also directed the movie) seemed to be intent on picking up and finishing off every single story thread from “Casino Royale” on—hence the reason I thought it felt like “Avengers: Endgame” in that regard (in addition to the similarly crazy-long run time of 2 hours and 45 minutes).

The plus side of the long run-time is that we get extra time to enjoy a story that I found in general to be exciting and epic, with many emotional moments—not just for Bond, but for other characters as well, and for those of us viewers who may also be James Bond fans.  We had to wait a long time to watch this denouement to this Craig’s run in the series, which many consider their favorite version of Bond, so not being in a rush to end the movie too quickly may actually be appreciated.


“No Time To Die” is rated PG-13 for scenes of violence and action, some brief strong language, suggestive materials and suggestive images.  Honestly, there wasn’t any content more worrisome than the usual Bond movie contains, so if parents are OK letting their kids watch the others, they’re probably good here too.

On that subject, it really helps to have seen most, if not all, the previous four Bond movies (“Casino Royale“, “Quantum of Solace“, “Skyfall” and “Spectre“) to fully appreciate this final chapter.  If you don’t have time for all that, at least watch 2015’s “Spectre” to give yourself a refresh and proper lead-in to this movie.

But the biggest warning is that 2 hour and 45 minute run time.  Make sure you don’t drink too much before or during the movie or the ending could be very physically uncomfortable for you, if you catch my drift.  And that’s only because you don’t want to have to run to the restroom and miss what’s happening, especially on your first time watching it.


Potential bladder issues aside, I think most every James Bond fan will enjoy “No Time To Die”.  Whether it’s because of the long wait, finally getting to see the final chapter of the long-game story that we’ve been following for 15 years, or just knowing it’s Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007, it felt pretty satisfying to me.

It’s not perfect, but it’s exciting, suspenseful, nostalgic and even a bit emotional.  It’s a definitive and emphatic end of an era and a heck of a way to go out for Daniel Craig’s version of James Bond.


If you want to see “No Time To Die”, there’s only one way to do it and that’s in theaters.  There’s even a little message to viewers at the beginning of the movie from Daniel Craig, thanking you for your patience with all the release delays so you could see the movie as it was meant to be seen…on the big screen.

Interested in this movie?  Watch the video at the top of the page for my full, in-depth review & final rating.

Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth is the movie and pop culture guy for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out some of his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Movie Reviews

Javon "Wanna" Walton (left) as Sam Cleary and Sylvester Stallone (right) as Joe Smith in SAMARITAN,...

REVIEW: Stallone’s ‘Samaritan’ stops short of superhero movie success

Sylvester Stallone's latest movie SAMARITAN sees him as a garbage man that a teenage neighbor believes to be a superhero in hiding. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says there are some cool moments that action and superhero movie fans will enjoy, but overall thinks it's good that the movie is only streaming on Prime Video and not in theaters.
1 month ago
(L to R) Thira ‘Aum’ Chutikul as Commander Kiet, Popetorn ‘Two’ Soonthornyanaku as Dr Karn,...

REVIEW: ‘Thirteen Lives’ movie dramatically tells real rescue story of Thai soccer team from flooded cave

In THIRTEEN LIVES, a true story-based movie on Amazon Prime about the rescue of a teenage soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand, director Ron Howard manages to pull off the feat of balancing truth with drama without turning it into a documentary. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it was an emotionally-engaging movie that showcases the triumph of human effort and spirit when we work together to solve a problem.
2 months ago
(L to R) B.J. Novak as Ben Manalowitz and Boyd Holbrook as Ty Shaw in VENGEANCE, directed and writt...

REVIEW: Dark comedy ‘Vengeance’ goes deeper than easy stereotypes for laughs in murder mystery movie

The death of a one-time fling draws B.J. Novak's writer/podcaster character Ben to West Texas to investigate and hopefully turn the story into a career-making podcast in Focus Features' VENGEANCE. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says this dark comedy has some great twists and very funny moments, while also going beyond stereotypes to create real characters.
2 months ago
Michael Cera as “Hank” and Samuel L. Jackson as “Jimbo” in Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank...

REVIEW: ‘Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank’ remakes an adult comedy classic into an animated movie for modern-day kids

A kids animated movie based on the irreverent 1970's film BLAZING SADDLES? That's exactly what PAWS OF FURY: THE LEGEND OF HANK is, right down to having Mel Brooks voice a character. A friendly dog ventures to the land of cats to become a samurai, and finds himself protecting a village that doesn't even want him there. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says its got a great voice cast but keeping your expectations for the movie in check will help you enjoy it more.
3 months ago
The Gray Man (2022) Ryan Gosling as Six. Cr. Stanislav Honzik/Netflix © 2022...

REVIEW: ‘The Gray Man’ is a violent but fast-paced throwback to action/spy movies of the past, with Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling chasing each other around the globe

The new action thriller movie THE GRAY MAN, from AVENGERS ENDGAME directors Joe and Anthony Russo, sees Chris Evans' sadistic mercenary chasing Ryan Gosling's on-the-run CIA agent all around the globe to get back some stolen information. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it's a love letter to spy and action movies of the past, and is very entertaining at times, though it is also quite violent.
3 months ago
(L-R): Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios' THOR: LOVE AND...

REVIEW: Portman, Bale help make ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ more than just another goofy adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, the 29th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sees Chris Hemsworth's Thor have to deal with his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) using his formerly-destroyed mystical hammer and possessing his same power while trying to stop a villain who can kill gods. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it's another goofy take on the character that has some very funny moments, but may not be to everyone's tastes.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
REVIEW: Daniel Craig’s James Bond Faces His Endgame in ‘No Time To Die’