To be or not to be: “James Bond 007: No Time to Die” | Film review

Keine Zeit zu sterben Filmkritik James Bond-007
Daniel Craig mit Ana de Armas in »James Bond 007: Keine Zeit zu sterben« | © 2020 Danjaq LLC und MGM, Alle Rechte vorbehalten / ZFF

Nobody manages to get the world in an uproar before a new film release as unerringly as the 007 franchise. James Bond is a global event that has cinema fans and the press on the edge of their seats. This also is true for “No Time to Die”. Filmpulse Magazine took a look at the secret agent’s latest adventures at the Zurich Film Festival.

“The cast of 007 is changing. Never change what I like to call the James Bond formula: action, humour, exotic locations and pretty girls.” This is how Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli explained the secret of the most successful film series of all time to the international press in 1996 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary.

© Foto: zVg
Cary Joji Fukunaga Director 007 James Bond No Time To Die

Bond director Cary Joji Fukunaga originally wanted to be a professional snowboarder, but ended up studying history. After an internship in a film production, he decided to study film at the University of New York (Tisch School of the Arts). In addition to English, he is fluent in French and Spanish.

Cary Joji Fukunaga had his breakthrough in the US in 2014 as director of the acclaimed HBO crime series “True Detective”. He received critical acclaim and a Primetime Emmy Award for his thoughtful production of the eight-episode first season (2014). A remake of Stephen King’s horror novel “It” fell through due to conceptual differences with the producers. Instead, Fukunaga submitted “Beasts of No Nation” in 2015, an independent film that was touted as a possible Oscar contender and was acquired by online streaming service Netflix.

A lot has changed since then. Even what’s called, in newfangled terms, the brand essence of the agent with the double zero. For decades, Bond was the only cinema hero who learned nothing in his adventures: Bond was and remained Bond – and was a huge success with the audience. All of the other movie heroes had to painstakingly mend their ways through self-knowledge before the happy ending. Only with 007 did the world change, but not the character.

Martin Campbell, Marc Forster and Sam Mendes, along with Daniel Craig in front of the camera, gave His Majesty’s agent an updated DNA starting in 2006. They made sure at the last moment that Ladykiller 007 did not end up on the rubbish heap of cinema history as a relic of the cold war.

Still, anyone who adds a sequel to the James Bond phenomenon as a director today is basically a poor guy.

007 is the servant of many masters these days: under the title of great cinema, a world-famous brand must be rejuvenated, the – compared to the sixties, in which Bond saw the light of the screen – incomparably more complex, but also more diffuse zeitgeist must be taken into account, shitstorms and geopolitical boycotts must be avoided and, last but not least, it must be ensured that investments in the triple-digit million range are still a global bomb business despite the triumph of streaming.

Born in 1977, director Cary Joji Fukunaga has taken on these challenges and the legacy of Albert R. Broccoli with “No Time to Die.”

Fukunaga has delivered a Bond film that is consistent every second. The script and the direction continue the threads of the previous films in a virtuoso manner.

In terms of technical brilliance, the new 007 easily holds its own with “Spectre”, “Skyfall”, “Quantum of Solace” and “Casino Royale”. The same goes for the stunts in this Bond film, which would cripple any mere mortal.

This article was automatically translated into English using AI. If you would like to help us improve the quality, we would be happy to hear from you.

NO TIME TO DIE | Trailer

James Bond 007: No Time To Die

Directed by
Cary Joji Fukunaga
Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Christoph Waltz
Overall impression

James Bond (Daniel Craig) enjoys his life in Jamaica after early retirement in “No Time to Die.” But then he gets the assignment to rescue a kidnapped scientist. This leads 007 on the trail of a mysterious villain (Rami Malek) who is in possession of a new superweapon.

Watch at
nur im Kino
Movie Rating: ★★★★★ = highly recommended | ★ = not worth seeing

But where in the past the license to kill, or simply a new mission on behalf of Her Majesty was enough to let James Bond off the leash, today a “purpose” seems to be necessary for 007 as well. At least, that’s what you might think watching Daniel Craig struggle woefully to save the world. “History is not kind to people who want to play God,” James Bond tells villain Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) in “No Time to Die,” while also immediately drawing the line at his superhero abilities from his younger years. While Bond does what he can to save the world. But unlike before, he can ‘t always do what he does.


The girls in the movie, though, they don’t need to be rescued by James Bond anymore. You save yourself and maybe even save the agent’s broken psyche from going completely to the dogs in the hours of togetherness today. Humour is not to be found in “No Time to Die”.

You can’t turn Bond into someone else overnight. Change the world around him, and how 007 must function in it.
Cary Joji Fukunaga

Daniel Craig manages the feat of being three things at once in “No Time to Die”: an exceptional character actor, James Bond, and himself, Daniel Craig. His counterparts don’t stand a chance against this trinity on screen. Heroes in cinema are only as great as their counterparts. Craig gives the lie to this truism. Still, one would have liked a deeper footprint from Rami Malek and Christoph Waltz. This is also especially true for Ana de Armas in the role of Paloma, who already starred alongside Craig in “Knives Out: Murder is a Family Affair”.


“No Time to Die” is great, and for a Bond film, surprisingly emotional cinema. This film wants to show what only cinema can do.


The makers have succeeded impressively with the visual worlds (camera: Linus Sandgren). Content, not so much. At nearly 3 hours in length, “No Time to Die” is – it’s most reluctant to say – the first film in the Bond franchise that could have been imagined as a three-parter on a streaming provider.


But Daniel Craig’s greatest battle is neither against his adversaries nor against the overlength of this film or the changing genres, including flashbacks. True heroes of today – the climate crisis sends its regards – make the world a better place. James Bond only succeeds in not making the world worse. But perhaps 007 has long since realized this, and therefore – at least as far as his interpretation by Daniel Craig is concerned – is finally going into a well-deserved retirement after this film.

© Video Trailer “No Time to Die”: YouTube / Universal. Quote Cary Joji Fukunaga: Hollywood Reporter, 22.9.21.

About Zachery Z. 48 Articles
Zachery Zelluloid has worked in the entertainment industry. He writes under a pseudonym because he does not wish to violate his contractual obligations of confidentiality, promote the economic advancement of the legal profession, or snub friends. His real name is known to the editors.

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