"This Time It’s Really Personal"
What You Need To Know:
NO TIME TO DIE packs an emotional punch because of the personal stakes Bond faces. NO TIME TO DIE is packed with exciting action, though some action at the end could be trimmed. The story’s personal nature not only raises the stakes. It also strengthens the story’s moral, redemptive elements. That said, though the amount of foul language is limited, there are two “f” words and two strong profanities. Also, NO TIME TO DIE has intense action violence. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution, depending on age level.
NO TIME TO DIE is the finale to the James Bond movies featuring Daniel Craig, where a retired 007 must save the world and save his one true love from a man-made virus that can target specific individuals with specific DNA patterns. NO TIME TO DIE is an action-filled Bond thriller that packs an emotional punch because of the high personal stakes our hero must face, but it has lots of intense action violence, a high body count and some strong foul language requiring strong caution.
The movie begins in winter in Norway with a little girl in a cabin home with her mother, who’s sleeping on a couch. An assassin enters the cabin, and the girl hides. While she’s hiding, the man kills her mother. The man starts looking around the house. The girl manages to shoot the assassin. However, he’s only wounded and chases the girl outside, where she runs onto the frozen pond near the cabin and falls through the ice. The man shoots his gun through the ice, but it’s only to weaken the ice further and rescues the girl.
Cut to five years ago. The little girl from the first scene turns out to be Madeleine Swann, the beautiful blonde woman whom James Bond rescued in SPECTRE, the previous Bond movie. Bond and Madeleine have grown really close. They’re enjoying a vacation at a picturesque southern port on the Mediterranean in Italy. Madeleine suggests Bond visit the nearby grave of Vesper Lynn, the double agent he loved in CASINO ROYALE. Vesper was killed at the end of that movie by an assassin sent by Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of the terrorist organization Spectre, who’s had a vendetta against Bond. Blofeld had kidnapped Vesper’s boyfriend to force her to help Spectre.
Having learned of Blofeld’s manipulation in the previous four movies, Bond leaves a note on Vesper’s gravesite, “Forgive me,” when he notices a white card with Spectre’s symbol on it. Bond barely escapes a bomb planted at the grave. He races back to the hotel where he and Madeleine are staying, thinking she’s in danger. Sure enough, some Spectre assassins are approaching the hotel. Bond escapes with Madeleine, and a chase ensues. Eventually, they manage to evade the assassins, but Bond thinks Madeleine betrayed him to Spectre. So, he takes her to the train station and bitterly says goodbye.
Five years later, Obruchev, a scientist working for a secret MI-6 lab, defects to Spectre and helps them steal Project Heracles, a bioweapon that uses nanobots to assassin specific targets using their DNA. Meanwhile, Bond has retired from MI-6. He’s living a life of ease in Jamaica, but he’s clearly bored. His CIA friend, Felix Leiter, comes to him for help tracking down Obruchev and the bioweapon in Cuba. Bond at first refuses, but Bond is visited that night by Nomi, the woman who’s replaced him as Agent 007. So, Bond agrees to help Felix.
In Cuba, Bond, Felix and two other CIA agents, a man and a woman, track Obruchev to a Spectre party. They infiltrate the party. However, it turns out to be another trap for Bond set by Blofeld, who’s been secretly communicating with Obruchev from prison. Blofeld has ordered Obruchev to use the bioweapon to kill Bond, but Obruchev is working for the terrorist who killed Madeleine’s mother, a diabolical man called Safin (rhymes with “Satan”). The scientist has reprogrammed the bioweapon to kill all the Spectre leaders at the party instead. That’s just what happens. Bond and Felix then try to capture Obruchev, but Felix’s CIA guy is also working for Safin. He shoots Felix and escapes with Obruchev. Bond tries to save Felix, but Felix dies of his wounds, and Bond says goodbye to the female CIA agent, who was born in Cuba.
Back in London, M, Bond’s former boss, wants Bond to interrogate Blofeld in prison to find out where Obruchev has taken the bioweapon. However, neither M nor Bond know that Safin is the real man behind Obruchev and that Safin now has the bioweapon. Also, it turns out that Bond’s old flame, Madeleine, a psychiatrist, is the only person allowed to speak with Blofeld. So, reluctantly, Bond goes with her into the cell complex where Blofeld is being kept.
It turns out Madeleine has two major secrets she’s keeping from Bond and M. Eventually, at the request of Bond’s female successor, M reinstates Bond as 007, and she and Bond must infiltrate the island lair of Safin, who’s kidnapped Madeleine and one other person important to 007. Can they pull off the rescue and stop Safin from unleashing multiple missiles loaded with the bioweapon, intended to kill millions of people, including leaders of the “Free World”?
All five of Daniel Craig’s Bond movies involve personal issues. NO TIME TO DIE is the most personal of all these movies, and probably the most personal Bond movie since ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE. As such, it packs an emotional punch because of the high personal stakes Bond must face. Naturally, like all the Bond movies, NO TIME TO DIE is also packed with lots of exciting action. However, the battle at the end with all the bad guy’s minions on the island lair is a bit repetitious and monotonous. Some of that action could definitely be trimmed in the script and in the editing process. In addition, the movie’s bittersweet resolution at the very end is likely to be a controversial one.
The personal nature of the character development in NO TIME TO DIE not only raises the story’s stakes. It also strengthens the story’s moral, redemptive elements. As a result, NO TIME TO DIE has a stronger moral, redemptive worldview than some other Bond movies. That said, though the amount of the movie’s foul language is limited, about less than 15, it does contain two “f” words and two strong profanities. Also, NO TIME TO DIE has lots of strong, intense action violence. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution, depending on the viewer’s age level.