Daniel Craig’s long-delayed final outing as the British secret service agent James Bond has a predictable plot and a lacklustre villain – and enough thrills, sleek action and breath-taking chase sequences to make the wait worth it. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s touches include an emotional 007, whose impassive demeanour conceals deep feelings for his friends and lovers dead and alive.

The lengthy opening prelude reveals that Bond (Daniel Craig) has quit the service and moved to Jamaica. Bond is stirred out of retirement by American agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), who needs help in rescuing a kidnapped scientist. That’s not all. The arch-villain Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) possesses lethal technology – a weaponised virus capable of altering a person’s DNA.

Rami Malek in No Time to Die (2021). Courtesy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Eon Productions

Bond returns to the fold, teams up with Felix and meets the new 007, Nomi (Lashana Lynch), with whom he shares duties and banter (Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge is among the writers).

Among the recurring characters is Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux), who has an old connection with Lyutsifer, SPECTRE’s Blofeld (Christoph Waltz). Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), Ralph Fiennes as M and Q (Ben Wishaw).

The 163-minute movie is bursting with subplots that keep you riveted if only for fear of losing the narrative thread. Mounted on the grand scale we have come to expect from Bond films, No Time To Die is a fitting finale for Daniel Craig’s version of the spy who cannot be allowed to depart.

No Time To Die (2021).