No Time To Die leaves movie-goers divided on the post-MeToo era James Bond Cary Joji Fukanaga portrays in Daniel Craig’s last outing as the suave MI6 agent.

No Time To Die is a love letter to the eras of Sean Connery and Roger Moore: a couple of fast paced car chases here, a slew of Q branch gadgetry there and a lot of cringey one liners; while also establishing itself as a moment of change for the idea of James Bond as we know him. Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann returns with far more complexity and panache than her debut in Spectre, the perfect counterpart to an old, rusty and (heaven-forbid) emotional James Bond. Daniel Craig delivers the performance of his acting career but still gives us our dose of much needed gun-fu with unusually romantic undertones, a welcome change for the one-dimensional Bond seen in Spectre.

The film suffers the same fate as many other modern blockbusters: an overload of new characters, and while this can be overwhelming, screenwriter Phoebe-Waller Bridge (of Fleabag fame) seems to have injected some much-needed humour into the franchise which keeps them from being annoying noise: Lashana Lynch’s Nomi welcomes back the Bond banter from days of Judi Dench, and new secret agent Paloma is given excellent charisma by Ana De Armas. Ralph Fiennes, Ben Wishaw, Naomie Harris, and Rory Kinnear all return in a satisfyingly involved fashion as they all do the best they can to stop Bond hooking up with another unsuspecting woman.

However it is the villain, Lyutsifer Safin, portrayed chillingly by Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek who steals the show. He is established early-on as a cold-hearted killer who delivers spine-tingling monologues as Malek’s voice dances along the pages of the script, with an almost Tarantino-esque sense of manipulation and purpose. He strikes Bond at the heart to give an extremely personal rendition of a Bond villain, akin to Silva in Skyfall, while also oozing an almost omnipotent, spy-who-loved-me-style presence, not needing his motives to be explained (except they are explained – in the most boring way possible).

I asked some other movie-goers their thoughts on the movie, and it seems that hardcore Bond fans are disappointed by the change in formula, while casual viewers were just happy they had a good time: one fan remarks “the film definitely had good parts, but [is] very unfaithful to the Bond formula.”, while another said “solid action, and a great movie for a casual watcher”.

In summary, No Time To Die experiments with the Bond brand by both pushing it forward into unknown territory and harking back to simpler times when all a Bond villain needed to be was a metaphor for the Soviet Union, creating an extremely ‘marmite’ end of an era. And while opinions are still extremely divided, one thing’s for sure – Bond 26 will feel very strange without Daniel Craig.