Daniel Craig's fifth and final James Bond movie has finally arrived in cinemas and generally, it's been well received by critics. Of course, there's always going to be one or two who go against the grain and say it's "disappointing."
The latest 007 instalment was produced by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who was first recognised for his 2009 film Sombre and the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre.
Daniel Craig is the longest-serving James Bond actor by time-span, having spent 15 years in the role and starred in five Bond movies (here's how to watch them in order). But by the number of films, Roger Moore is considered the longest-serving Bond with seven titles in the franchise under his belt.
Of course, there's speculation now about who will become the next James Bond, with some of the favourites being Tom Hardy, Rege-Jean Paul and Idris Elba. But somebody Craig wouldn't endorse is Hugh Jackman - "over my dead body," joked Craig.
There's praise all around for Fukunaga's "smashing piece of action cinema" (The Independent) and overall, Craig's final performance in the role has been applauded, with a few exceptions.
'Disappointing and strangely anti-climatic' - The Independent
"For all the delays, the rumours around [film director] Danny Boyle's departure, the months spent building up Daniel Craig's final farewell in the role, what's most disappointing about the film is how strangely anti-climatic the whole thing feels," says The Independent's Chrissie Loughrey.
'Startling, exotically self-aware, funny and confident' - The Guardian
"No Time To Die is startling, exotically self-aware, funny and confident, and perhaps most of all it is big: big action, big laughs, big stunts," writes The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw in his glowing five-star review of the 25th Bond movie..
"Craig's final film as the diva of British intelligence is an epic barnstormer, with the script from Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Phoebe Waller-Bridge delivering pathos, drama, camp comedy (Bond will call M "darling" in moments of tetchiness), heartbreak, macabre horror, and outrageously silly old-fashioned action in a movie which calls to mind the world of Dr No on his island."
'Extravagant, satisfying and moving' - The Telegraph
The Telegraph's Robbie Collin writes Cary Joji Fukunaga's No Time To Die is an "extravagantly satisfying, bulgingly proportioned last chapter to the Craig era," pointing out the irony that the film which hopefully saves cinema after the pandemic includes a man-made virus which threatens to overrun the globe.
Collin goes on to say the action sequence, the gadgets, and the humour are all to be praised.
"We've been expecting you, Mr Bond, for quite some time - and what a joy and relief it is to have you back," he concludes.
'Craig delivers the best of 007 to end his service with a bang' - The Times
"It's better than good. It's magnificent. After a stunning opening entry (Casino Royale) and three middling instalments of water-treading inanity, a Daniel Craig Bond has finally delivered on its promise," writes The Times' Kevin Maher.
That promise, as The Times reported earlier in the month leading up to the film's release, is that Craig "strives to become the most lucrative actor to fill the role since Sean Connery first portrayed Bond on film in 1962." And that, he has. Daniel Craig was one of the world's highest-paid actors before the release of No Time to Die, and the latest release will only boost his bank balance some more.
'Working too hard' - CNN
Across the pond, US audiences have to wait until 8th October to get their eyes on No Time To Die. But informing them of what's to come is CNN's Brian Lowry, who describes the latest Bond venture as "a big and length-wise bloated epic that includes the desired bells and whistles" ( NTTD is the longest Bond film yet with a runtime of two hours, 45 minutes).
"In terms of Bond staples, the movie does deliver some impressive chases and action sequences, with Ana de Armas (Craig's Knives Out co-star) adding another dose of female empowerment during a mission that takes Bond to Cuba," says Lowry.
"Still, No Time to Die feels as if it's working too hard to provide Craig a sendoff worthy of all the hype associated with it -- an excess that might be summed up as simply, finally, by taking too much time to reach the finish," he adds.
'Ticks all the boxes' - Empire Online
Empire Online's John Nugent gave Craig's final Bond film four stars.
"This is a Bond film that dutifully ticks all the boxes - but brilliantly, often doesn't feel like a Bond film at all," says Nugent.
On Craig's performance, Nugent noted: "His performance - which has always been rich with contradictions, the playboyish smile contrasted with a stoic inner turmoil - is the most interesting it has ever been in this film.
"This Bond is more passionate, more impulsive, more sensitive and - dare we say - more romantic, breathing remarkable new dimensions into a decades-old character.
"For a 007 who strived to bring humanity to larger-than-life hero, it's a fitting end to the Craig era," he adds.
James Bond: No Time To Die was released in cinemas on 30th September 2021 in the UK. It comes to US cinemas on 8th October 2021.
Featured Image Credit: PA