James Bond closes a cycle, leaves nostalgia and curiosity at the same time for what is to come

In reality, secret agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) believed he had finally found his happiness, as Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) could be the one to help him finally put his past behind him.

However, things are different when both are involved in the same past.

Five years later, Bond has retired from active duty and lives a simple life in the middle of nowhere, far from the dangers he faced every day.

There he would want to forget everything. But, suddenly, his old friend, the CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), is in front of him and tries to win him over for a new mission, at the same time, he also receives a visit from Nomi (Lashana Lynch), his successor. in the British Secret Service.

In fact, Bond’s curiosity is piqued when he learns that a secret laboratory has been raided. Such a goodbye can be very harsh.

At first, Daniel Craig didn’t even want to reprise the role from the famous secret agent who has delighted the public for almost sixty years.

In between, the shooting of the film had to be interrupted several times and when it finally ended, the decoronavirus pandemic thwarted all plans: almost none of the big blockbusters was delayed so much in the programming.

In between, there was even thought of handing it over to a streaming service after all. Then, of course, there were the discussions about how the character of Bond, and thus the series, could develop, if there is any future for such an early figure in film history.

In principle, it does not seem that the official 25th part of the series of agents is going to break new ground.

+ Back to the past

In fact, “James Bond 007: No Time to Die” is obsessed with its own past at many points.

The fact that the film picks up on the events of its direct predecessor, Specter, was to be expected. But Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s first appearance as an MI6 agent, with which the previously rather unhappy series got back on track, also plays a role.

The most beautiful reminiscence centers on an ostracized James Bond; George Lazenby, who retired after one episode: in 007 on her majesty’s secret service (1969), James Bond gets married and Louis Armstrong sings We have all the Time in the World. Before the end credits, Bond was still holding his newlywed bride in 1969, shot down by Blofeld’s henchmen.

There is no time for love. Not for Bond. And when Bond and Swann drive down a scenic, winding mountain road together, there’s no need for the interleaved “we’ve got all the time in the world.” Not to mention the gallery of the ancestors, which occupies a prominent place later.

Such crowded and unsubtle fanservice can, of course, quickly turn into something awkward and awkward.

In fact, sometimes you get the feeling that the director and co-writer, Cary Joji Fukunaga, he was more interested in a better Bond than in telling his own story. And yet James Bond 007: No Time to Die is more than just a lap of honor at the end.

On the one hand, familiar elements are unearthed over and over again, such as the absurd gadgets of Q (Ben Whishaw); some of the scenarios are also quite familiar. But Fukunaga, who has been publicly quite critical of early Bond films, partly subverts expectations.

This can be quite amusing when a supposedly familiar situation suddenly takes a completely different turn. Or it can be very emotional, with an ending that gives a lot to talk about.

However, unfortunately there are also many scenes that are nothing more than filler material.

This especially applies to action scenes, some of which do not emerge from the story, but simply slip in in some way.

There are some passages in which you have the feeling that the different locations are only there to be able to skimp on the corresponding financing.

This is also seen in a negative way because James Bond 007: There is no time to die, with a duration of more than 160 minutes, it is already very excessive, too much for a story that does not have so much to offer. The object in question, which is stolen from the laboratory at the beginning of the film, is interesting and remarkably treacherous. However, much of the rest hardly makes sense, neither in terms of the plot nor the behavior of the characters.

+ The action

But, while Craig’s farewell may not be the climax one expected, the entertainment factor is correct.

There’s a lot of explosive action, sharp word exchanges, varied settings, plus a traditionally insane villain, this time played by Rami Malek.

The set is wonderful, both veterans and newcomers have good scenes.

The up-and-coming female agents – in addition to Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas also kicks in as an energetic spy – are even so good that the discussion of a female Bond gets convincing arguments.

And yet it will be the end of “James Bond 007: No Time to Die” that is most remembered, and in which Fukunaga really manages to boldly rethink a flashback.

Here, past and future, tradition and new beginnings come together in a way that leaves one nostalgic and curious at the same time.

With No Time to Die, Broccoli and Wilson present an old target in the new world of the 21st century, in which, as M laments, “the enemy is no longer in the same room, eye to eye, but is coming through the ether,” in which the Women are no longer girls who sacrifice themselves for their James after one night and three minutes, but rather claw to the beat and even assume double zero with seven on it.

This also brings Bond’s own character full circle, reverting to his first appearance in 1962, when the agent licensed to kill was the representative of a 19th century empire that no longer existed in this form, but was be.

Today, James Bond embodies a type of man who no longer exists, whose pretensions, however, seem stale even to him. And that, after 60 years in the service of the crown, he can finally let go.

“James Bond will return”, as always, it is written on the screen after the credits. Daniel Craig definitely doesn’t want to be in it right now.

I eagerly await the answer to the question of how the makers of the Bond legacy, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, will shape this reboot.