Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz star in a scene from the movie “No Time To Die”. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 – parents are strongly cautioned. Some content may be inappropriate for children under 13. (CNS Photo / Nicola Dove, MGM)

NEW YORK (CNS) – Daniel Craig’s James Bond is a busy man in “No Time to Die” (MGM / United Artists), the actor’s fifth outing on the big screen as iconic Ian Fleming spy .

However, beneath the shiny and predictable surface of this eventful adventure saga lurk plot developments requiring careful discernment on the part of viewers inclined to probe its underlying values.

Regarding his personal life, Agent 007 seems to have found a soul mate in psychologist Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). But the romantic complications that may or may not be due to behind-the-scenes tricks leave him wondering if he will ever be able to truly trust her.

Professionally, Bond aspires to retirement. But, while gangster Michael Corleone from the “Godfather” franchise has complained about his own supposed fate, he keeps getting shot at – especially here by a plot to unleash a highly refined bioweapon on the world. So he soon clashes with veteran opponent Ernst Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) as well as newcomer Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek).

Bond’s mission is made more complicated by the fact that a rift has opened between British and American intelligence authorities, mainly due to a dark secret that his longtime boss M (Ralph Fiennes) is hiding. He also finds himself in competition with Nomi (Lashana Lynch), a much younger MI6 agent who intends to take matters into his own hands.

Fortunately, however, Bond can finally count on the help of M’s secretary, Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), and gadget-meister Q (Ben Whishaw). For no particular reason, the latter is now homosexual, but the treatment of this subject is limited to his interrupted preparations for a dinner date between people of the same sex.

Long known for his heterosexual promiscuity, Bond has matured enough to aspire to a stable family life with Madeleine. Yet as he progresses morally on this front, the script by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Phoebe Waller-Bridge blurs the ethical lines by asking Bond to take revenge on a few of his enemies in a way that cannot not be compared to scriptural values. .

Equally unsettling is the dramatically powerful yet morally problematic conclusion to director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s adventure across the world. While a detailed analysis would require an unforgivable spoiler, suffice it to say that Bond makes a choice that aligns with a purely romantic worldview but not a Christian perspective.

For those who are content to consume popcorn and roam the surface of this long, sprawling, action-packed, shameless escape fantasy, however, such burdensome issues will remain as remote as this never-ending question: why shaken. , not stirred?

The film contains mature themes, including revenge, suicide and an out-of-wedlock birth, lots of stylized violence, bloody brief images, pre-marriage cohabitation and sensuality, partial nudity, vague references to homosexuality, a few blasphemies, a handful of sweeter oaths, and at least one example each of coarse and coarse language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 – parents are strongly cautioned. Some content may be inappropriate for children under 13.