Firstly, be warned. Spoilers lurk around every corner of this article — like Rami Malek skulking around an island lair. So, if you haven’t yet made it to the multiplex, and are yet to enjoy all 163 action-packed minutes of No Time To Die, stop scrolling, shoot off to the cinema — and return to this list later.
If you have seen the latest Bond film, however, we’d recommend you read on. Because, although you’re probably still reeling from the final act of Daniel Craig’s last outing as 007, we’ve rounded up eight films that’ll keep delivering those hard-hitting, heart-pounding moments. So, after you’re done celebrating the explosive end of the latest Bond era, reach for the remote…
For more franchise-ending, The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
During the early 2000s, there was much made about the similarities between Bourne and Bond. But The Bourne Ultimatum — the final film in the original trilogy and the last good Bourne film to star Matt Damon — shares many beats with No Time To Die. If you’re looking for another high-octane, high-stakes climax of a fan-favourite series, you could do much worse.
Like Bond, Bourne’s last legitimate outing sees him travel the world, from Moscow to Paris to New York City. It also ‘kills off’ the protagonist — albeit with Ultimatum’s ending hinting that Bourne survives. And, once again like the latest Bond film, it acts more as a comma in a franchise than a full stop; with Jeremy Renner taking on leading man duties for sequel The Bourne Legacy.
For more outlandish stunts, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2012)
In No Time To Die, we see Daniel Craig’s James Bond leap from an aqueduct, survive an explosive ambush and jump a motorcycle over the ancient town walls of Matera. And that’s all before the opening credits roll. So, if the latest Bond film has left you hankering for more preposterous, reality-bending stunts, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is just the film for you.
Perhaps not the best of the Tom Cruise-led series — that honour goes to the recent sixth instalment in the franchise, Mission Impossible: Fallout — Ghost Protocol nevertheless delivers handsomely on thrills and spills. Whether watching Cruise jump aboard a moving train, drop a BMW through a vertical car park or swing around on the outside of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, you’ll have forgotten Bond’s exploits in no time. Plus; bonus Lea Seydoux.
For more bioengineering trickery, Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
In No Time To Die, the grand, gruesome plan of Rami Malek’s Safin hinged on weaponising nanobots and DNA. If such bioengineering beats float your cinematic boat, we’d recommend seeking out Blade Runner 2049. Not only is the sci-fi sequel the exact same length as No Time To Die (to the 163rd minute), but it also deals with the thorny issues of DNA manipulation and biological experimentation.
There’s also other indicators that, if you enjoyed the new 007 film, you’ll like this stylised sci-fi epic. Ana de Armas crops up, as briefly as when she comes to Bond’s aid in No Time To Die. And Denis Villeneuve, who directed Blade Runner 2049, was at one point in the shortlist of directors EON Productions wanted to direct the latest Bond film.
For more female action, Atomic Blonde (2017)
One of the more notable achievements of No Time To Die was its focus on female characters — a development facilitated by bringing on Phoebe Waller-Bridge to polish the script. In the latest film, Lea Seydoux has her fair share of action sequences, but it’s Lashana Lynch’s newly-appointed 007 and Ana de Armas’ bubbly Paloma who really threaten to outshine Bond’s combat abilities.
If you’re looking for similarly skilled female agents, look no further than Charlize Theron’s outstanding work as an MI6 spy in Atomic Blonde. Dispatched to Berlin to procure a stolen list of fellow secret agents, a tightly-choreographed, highly-stylised ballet of bullets and bloodshed ensues — with Theron proving her mettle as an operative worthy of a 00 designation.
For more car wrecks, Transporter 2 (2005)
If, during No Time To Die, you were at your happiest when cars were flying through the air, exploding or being shot at, this one’s for you. Like Bourne above, The Transporter series features one actor (Jason Statham) for the first three films, before pivoting to a new face (a la Bond) for future instalments. But this, the second entry in the original trilogy, is by far the best if you’re looking for edge-of-your-seat automotive warfare.
Directed by Louis Leterrier, he of Now You See Me, the film sees a sharply-suited protagonist, Frank Martin (Statham), assigned with chauffeuring a young boy in Miami. The child is soon kidnapped, and the usual stony-faced killing spree ensues. The Audi A8 may not quite be an Aston Martin DB5 — but there is a nifty chase sequence towards the end of the film with a Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster that ticks all our luxury motoring boxes.
For more sinister mask action, The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Bear with us. Because, if you enjoyed No Time To Die, The Dark Knight Rises will also scratch an itch. It’s another franchise-ender, full of globe-trotting and hinged on a doomed romance. Christopher Nolan even openly acknowledges how much the Bond franchise has shaped him as a filmmaker. But the biggest reason you should follow up the latest Bond with a bit of Batman? The masks.
That’s right. They’re everywhere. As in No Time To Die, which opens with Rami Malek’s Safin wearing a traditional Japanese ‘Noh’ mask, the last film in Nolan’s superhero trilogy begins with Tom Hardy’s masked Bane abducting a scientist from a CIA aircraft. What follows is an ageing hero’s attempts to thwart the masked man’s plans, before ‘dying’ in his efforts. Sound familiar?
For more Daniel Craig, Layer Cake (2004)
Of course, you could just go back to the beginning — by which we don’t mean Casino Royale. Daniel Craig’s first Bond film may be a worthy rewatch after No Time To Die, but we’d recommend instead revisiting the film that landed him the role to begin with; Matthew Vaughn’s gritty 2004 crime drama Layer Cake.
Craig’s unnamed protagonist is blunt, effective and something of a womaniser — so it’s no wonder that Barbara Broccoli saw glimmers of a great 007 in his performance. In terms of story, expect a tragic tale of the London underworld, with Craig’s cocaine distributor attempting to exorcise himself from a violent drug business.
For more Scandi landscapes, Tenet (2020)
After No Time To Die, your wanderlust levels are likely dangerously high. But, rather than jetting off, why not watch another movie that shares some of the latest Bond film’s striking locations? That may be Cuba (The Fate of the Furious, anyone?) or the Gulf of Taranto (Six Underground, perhaps?), but we’d revisit Scandinavia — and tune into the bleak, cinematic scenery of Tenet.
It’s another Christopher Nolan film, but one even more directly influenced by Bond than The Dark Knight Rises above. During its globe-trotting runtime, the time-twisting thriller features scenes shot at a Rødbyhavn wind farm in Denmark, and also across Norway — where No Time To Die filmed a good chunk of its second act. An incredibly complex, exceedingly exciting film in its own right, Tenet is also a worthy chaser for Bond’s latest adventure.