Watching No Time To Die last night, I had no idea what the latest edition of the long-loved James Bond franchise had in store for my eagerly awaiting eyes and brain. Like many other moviegoers, I have been a fan of these films since the beginning, all the way back to 1962s Dr. No, featuring Sean Connery in the role of the British super-spy. Since then, there have been several 007s, but Connery remains my favorite, with the current Bond Daniel Craig as a close second.
Not familiar with this title? No Time to Die is a 2021 spy film and the twenty-fifth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions. It stars Daniel Craig in his fifth and final outing as the fictional British MI6 agent James Bond. Cary Joji Fukunaga directs it from a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Rory Kinnear, and Ralph Fiennes reprise their roles from previous films, with Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen, Ana de Armas, David Dencik, and Dali Benssalah also starring. In this film, Bond, who has left active service with MI6, is recruited by the CIA to find a kidnapped scientist, which leads to a showdown with a powerful adversary.
No Time To Die is the latest in a long line of Bond movies, and it’s an excellent addition to the collection. Like all the other Bond movies, this one has a narrative involving a life crisis that only Bond can handle, this time around involving weaponized nanobots and Bond’s o;d nemesis SMERSH. The film has the usual abundance of gunplay, car chases, martial arts, and some awe-inspiring stunts showing the film’s creators had not forgotten the action/thriller elements that make these films so popular while at the same time interspersing all the action with some genuinely moving and memorable dramatic moments, and a couple of unexpected twists that reveal an aspect of the iconic antihero so profound I could not believe my eyes that sets this film apart from all the others that came before it did. Those who have seen the movie will know what I mean by the end of an era.
It may upset some fans to hear that the character should have gotten killed off or radically changed over twenty years ago IMO. After all, Bond is a relic of a bygone era. A mid-twentieth-century male fantasy and a little outdated in many ways. One thing about the character is besides never aging in over sixty years, he has never changed with the times and has become a symbol; of the psst.
The James Bond film series is a British series of spy films based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond, “007”, who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming. It is one of the most extended continually-running film series in history, having been in ongoing production from 1962 to the present (with a six-year hiatus between 1989 and 1995). In that time, Eon Productions has produced 25 films as of 2021, most of them at Pinewood Studios. With a combined gross of over $7 billion to date, the movie directed by Eon constitutes the fifth-highest-grossing film series. Six actors have portrayed 007 in the Eon series, the latest being Daniel Craig.
So with Craig leaving the franchise, the question on everyone’s mind is who’s next? Who will be the next to portray the immortal 007?