Daniel Craig's fifth and final James Bond film, No Time To Die, is now playing in theaters and has been met with mostly positive reviews. The movie is currently up on Rotten Tomatoes with an 84% critics score after 339 reviews and an 88% audience score after 5,000+. ComicBook.com's Patrick Cavanaugh gave the movie a 4 out of 5 and called it "a satisfying send-off" for Craig. The movie kicks off in a unique way, with a pre-credit teaser that lasts 20 minutes. The film begins with a flashback to Norway featuring young Madeleine (Coline Defaud) and the villainous Safin (Rami Malek) before jumping to Italy after the events of Spectre to showcase the romance between Bond and Madeleine (Léa Seydoux). The sequence ends with Bond believing Madeleine has betrayed him, so he leaves her before the movie jumps five years into the future. During a recent interview with IndieWire, editors Tom Cross and Elliot Graham explained the significance of the opening.
"Elliot and I were always concerned that the powers that be were going to have us get rid of the Norway story," Cross explained. "Or that they have us move it. We knew that we were always fighting length. and once you got into the action, you had to tell that story because it was so braided with the Madeleine betrayal. You had to take it all the way. What we called the 'Donut square' with the Aston Martin could've ended the pre-title and pick up at the train station after, but it felt like we needed to break when [Bond] broke off his relationship with Madeleine."
Graham added, "We all asked a question at some point: Can it be a flashback? Can it be intercut? But very quickly we went, nope. One of the things Cary's [Joji Fukunaga] famous for is trying to get as much story in there as possible. The story and emotion always are going to come first, not pacing."
Cross continued, "The thing we always loved about not seeing Bond for such an extended period was that people were going to think: What movie are we watching? ... But we knew we were on the same page as Cary, and ultimately the producers and [MGM] stood by it because they all realized how important it was to the story ... Bond movies have always been epic in scope, but this movie is also epic in time ... And that was something that was always in the script: Start with a time period and get the audience thinking, go to a second time period, which picks up shortly after 'Spectre' end, and then after the main title sequence, jump five years later. This is a Bond movie that travels longer in time than any previous one."
No Time To Die is now playing in theaters.