Daniel Craig hasn't made it easy for his successor. It’s well known that No Time to Die is his last outing as the legendary super spy and it could also be his strongest yet.
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Effortlessly suave, brave, funny and surprisingly sensitive, whoever takes over the role from the British star has got seriously big shoes to fill.
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No Time to Die follows straight on from 2015’s Spectre (a rewatch of that could be useful), with James and his new love Dr Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) enjoying their retirement by driving around the spectacular Italian countryside in Bond’s classic Aston Martin DB5 and generally being blissfully happy. But not for long.
The film is out on 30 September
Determined to put ghosts from his past to rest, James soon uncovers secrets that make him question his personal life and go on the run. Yet even five years hiding out in Jamaica can’t shield him from a name he’d prefer to forget: Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
The locations are mouth-watering, the action spectacular and Seydoux’s fellow Bond women - Cuban CIA officer Paloma (Ana de Armas), new ‘00’ agent Nomi (Lashana Lynch) and, of course, trusty sidekick Moneypenney (Naomie Harris) - are the best yet.
Lashana Lynch plays new 00 agent Nomi
They’re smart, streetwise and cool - easily Bond’s equals. Any one of them deserves their own spin-off. Perhaps that’s partly down to Killing Eve’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge joining the film’s writing team?
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No Time to Die is Daniel Craig's final outing as Bond
If some of No Time to Die feels overly familiar (the cars, the gadgets and Rami Malek’s villain in his island lair almost make this a Greatest Hits collection) then it all comes back to this 007 adventure being Daniel Craig’s last.
It wants to go out with a celebration, nodding to iconic Bond traditions along the way. Where the film really delivers though is when it deviates from the formula, providing a few twists that will undoubtedly go down in Bond history.
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A combination like that, told with such style and pizazz (even over 163 minutes) make this a beautiful, occasionally baffling, but truly emotional send-off for the man who brought the age-old series well and truly into the twenty first century.
James Bond: No Time to Die is out in UK cinemas on 30 September.
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