No Time to Die is a disappointing finale for Daniel Craig’s James Bond

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Although he is bound to earn a lot of money at the end of his race, No time to die fails to bring back theater attendance with a bang. Attendance is thinner provided that. I saw the film in an almost empty room, and a young employee at the multiplex shrug his shoulders philosophically: “The people who still care about James Bond are older. . . “And it seems that the older population is the most reluctant to return to the cinema.

Judging by the media chatter and some of the storytelling moves in this latest installment, the average opening numbers are probably one more factor in pushing the owners of the lucrative Bond franchise to do what it seems they were planning. in any event; i.e. rotate abruptly a way of the traditional James Bond. Maybe a female Agent 007? Maybe a black woman Agent 007? Lashana Lynch already plays such a character in No time to die, setting up a fun number 007 rivalry with Bond (Daniel Craig), who returns from an emotionally murderous five-year abortive retirement only to find himself replaced. “I bet you thought they’d take the number off,” she smirked at him.

An even better contender for a new 007 would be the Cuban female agent named Paloma, played by the delicious Ana de Armas (costar of Craig in Knives Out). She receives all rave reviews for her dazzling brief turn in Havana’s streak of No time to die. She plays an effervescent spy with a three-week training who announces her nervousness about the mission with disarming frankness and copes with it by pounding one of Bond’s restless, non-agitated martinis in one gulp. Dressed in the usual Bond-girl outfit, a revealing knockout of an evening gown, she treats Bond with unparalleled friendliness for any spy. And she handles the inevitable fight scene with such high-heeled round-kicking aplomb that he says with a puzzled smile as they part ways: “You were excellent. “

“You also!” she enthuses happily. “Next time, stay longer! “

You’ll wait for a good chunk of the rest of a really long movie, hoping in vain that it will return. She’s such a breath of fresh air among the usual suspicious characters like Q (Ben Whishaw), Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) and returning villain Ernst Blofeld (Christoph Waltz). Even new villain Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) doesn’t make a big impression; he’s such a recessive and talkative character, and you can’t have of them wicked chatterboxes once the patented elegant chatter of Christoph Waltz has been established.

But that’s what reboots are for: developing the potential for new characters. Although I admit I still don’t see how this franchise can be reformed just by creating a more awakened 007. The whole thing is a conservative imperialist fantasy.

Personally, I liked the Craig Bond series, even though it made five very uneven films. Casino Royale, Fall from the sky, and No time to die are clearly the best of them, in descending order of quality, but no matter how good the individual movies are, Craig has always done a great job with the latest version of the character. In order to update an unregenerated figure of Cold War-era masculinity, the creators of Craig Bond did something clever – they put him in a dark and lonely rage, and l ‘returned there whenever he got too ironic and sure of himself. In addition, they made him realize that he was doomed by giving him a backstory that grazed the edge of Bourne’s identity in the way he established Bond as a glorified killer designed by MI6, Britain’s secret intelligence service, which only gradually realizes what has been done to him.

As M (Judi Dench) told him coldly in Fall from the sky on why he was chosen for such a dark fate, “Orphans make the best agents.”

In No time to die, Craig is, as usual, given a ton of screen time to ruminate alcoholically on his rotten fate, which he does well. He’s even better at acting out now – like he’s so personally pissed off when enemy agents attack him that he’s going to murder them even harder than he originally planned. It’s a sure-fire favorite action movie development, when one feels an ironic pity for the countless faceless enemies who pursue Bond, the guns: “Ooh, now they’ve done it. crazy. “

In the Craig Bonds, the James Bond film-noir was an inspired choice. His ugliest qualities – callous violence, brutal sexism, paranoia – emerged from the wounds of his old-fashioned sociopathic training. I wish they’d gone further than they did and finally made Bond a rogue agent who remained rogue. Until the end No time to die, Bond keeps rediscovering how despicable and questioning his MI6 bosses are. – only to forgive and forget and return to the patriotism of “God Save the Queen” at the end.

But at least it was quite ambitious to make a full arc of Bond history, starting with the first film and the biggest triumph of the series, Casino Royale, when young Bond is given his first assignment as 007 and makes such a barbaric bloody mess to get the job done that M sighs: “I knew I promoted you too soon.” A great result of this Bond’s bitter rage is that he cuts through some of the most sickening displays of luxury consumer goods he wears, drives, and drinks – a big part of the Bond movie fantasy. It is clear in Casino Royale that he overcompensates his wild and rootless youth by outdoing the toffs, wearing bespoke suits and driving absurdly expensive sports cars.

Mortality in No time to die focuses on Bond’s discovery of a potential way to redeem his life through love, which hadn’t seemed possible since the death of Vesper Lynd (the wonderful Eva Green) in Casino Royale. But it seems he’s betrayed again, this time by the French love he found in Spectrum, Dr Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux, meh).

Can he save something from the wreckage of his crushed romantic hopes and luxurious but wasted life? Well – this is a spoiler – you have to buy a ticket to find out. Many places are available!


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