The story is a definite concern - but then again, we’re talking about genre fare where even very successful and/or satisfying films can show huge holes in their - not plot but…inner logic. Think Goldfinger revealing his plans to a room full of soon-to-be corpses. And snuffing out one of them separately for reasons of…we don’t know.
Stuff like this happens time and again in films, yet it doesn’t always concern us or kick disbelief back in. The most recent example would be Bond killing Lucia‘s husband on Dench‘s orders and then exfiltrating her from Rome, all of which only makes sense if Lucia had been in contact with M and asked for a 00 divorce, but the film doesn’t even hint to it.
Still, that is not a big problem of SPECTRE and few people will cite this as a reason they don’t like it. Just as few people will really mind the odd behaviour of Goldfinger 50 years earlier. We’re inclined to forgive holes and illogical events if the whole package is to our liking: the pace of the tale, the artistic vision and its execution, the performance of the actors, photography and so on.
For NO TIME TO DIE I‘m cautiously optimistic: they will have learned a bit from the shortcomings of the last entry and try to improve on these in the current production. I don’t think it will come to another retrofit, but some character(s) may find their scope expanded. Other less popular elements will perhaps be left untouched. In effect only a minority in the audience will even remember the Blofeld backstory, especially since it was just told and never shown. It was a stupid little detail in a large stupid world and nobody will notice its absence.
Since in all likelihood this will be Craig’s final entry it’s safe to say everybody wants to give this one their best. Not that they didn’t want to last time - when it was, in all likelihood, Craig’s last before - it just didn’t work out.
I‘d even argue Boyle’s departure was a positive thing. It showed Eon are still keeping a firm grasp on their property - rather them than the army of I-know-so-much-better-with-my-liftime-experience-of-being-A-FAN-AND-WRITING-IN-CAPS types. It showed they were still able to come up with plan B fast enough to not wreck BOND 25’s entire schedule. And finally it also pointed out they were not willing to just do anything to their franchise merely for the sake of Boyle’s artistic clout.
None of this would be the case if they were really as struck with existential ennui as we sometimes suspect. Eon is not the new kid on the block, they hardly have to prove a lot any more. This film is going to decide the future of the franchise in one way or the other, also with regards to future studio partners.
Given all of the above I expect NO TIME TO DIE aims high and must at least on paper show the potential to satisfy expectations.