The latest James Bond adventure, “No Time to Die,” was supposed to hit theaters in April 2020. The pandemic hit instead, and the film’s release was postponed more than once. But on Tuesday the 25th installment in the franchise had a splashy world premiere in London.
On hand were 007 himself, Daniel Craig; his co-stars Léa Seydoux (as Madeleine Swann, the love interest), Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch and Rami Malek; the filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga, the first American to direct a Bond film; and Billie Eilish, who wrote the title song. Also in attendance were Prince William with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge; and Prince Charles with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; along with the film’s producers, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.
Just as important, critics finally got a look at the movie, which will reach multiplexes on Oct. 8. Here is a roundup of what they’re saying:
A Callback to Dr. No: “Craig’s final film as the diva of British intelligence is an epic barnstormer, with the script from Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge delivering pathos, action, 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. Director Cary Fukunaga delivers it with terrific panache, and the film also shows us a romantic Bond, an uxorious Bond, a Bond who is unafraid of showing his feelings, like the old softie he’s turned out to be.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Unafraid of Risks: Craig “invests the role with more emotion, power and style in a movie that not only marks a milestone as the 25th time around but also one not afraid to take some twists, turns and, yes, risks in a long-delayed entertainment that sees James Bond not only out to save the world from evil forces again but perhaps, in these Covid times, the theatrical exhibition business itself.” — Pete Hammond, Deadline.com