No Time To Die

A better title would be “A Good Time To Die.” You get to say goodbye to Daniel Craig’s James Bond in more ways than one.

I found this film to be an emotionally touching way to say farewell to Daniel Craig. Though some felt the story moved too slowly at times, I thought it gave you a chance to honor Craig’s performance as he walked into the sunset. It reminded me of Burt Lancaster as he walked into the corn field in the classic “Field of Dreams” (1989).

In summary fashion, Bond has been retired for five years living comfortably in Jamaica. He is brought back into the British Secret Service after a visit from old friend Felix Leiter, played memorably by Jeffrey Wright. In the process Bond ends up on the trail of an unknown villain (Rami Malik) with lab technology designed to infect the human body and cause a quick, ugly death.

In the process Bond is unexpectedly reunited with a lover, played with forced and style by Léa Seydoux, that he walked away from years earlier. Sometimes love is never extinguished and you watch the two of them haunted by burning emotional embers.

But while the special effects are dazzling as you watch Bond race on narrow European roads as he rides motorcycles and various cars, it is his encounter in Cuba at the beginning of the movie that is unforgettable. Joined by the beautiful, and beautifully attired, Ana de Armas, it is one of the greatest stylistic fights in recent movie history.

While Ms. De Armas regrettably quickly leaves the film, Bond is reunited with his old comrades M (Ralph Fiennes), Q (Ben Whishaw) and Ms. Moneypenny (Naomie Harris). He also joins forces with a new comrade Nomi (Lashana Lynch) who has now become the new 007.

One of the most interesting aspects of this film are the remarkable performances of various women referred to above. In particular Ms. Harris is in the unique position of starring here as Moneypenny and as Shriek, Woody Harrelson’s psychotic lover in “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.”

And Ms. Lynch’s role as the new 007 creates some interesting thoughts for future Bond movies. Would the movie industry dare have a black woman play the role of a legendary hero who now becomes a heroine?

Would the dry martinis still be “shaken, not stirred”?