Opinion: Daniel Craig's Final Bond, Film Review

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No Time To Die, 2021Wikipedia.org

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NO TIME TO DIE (2O21)
★★★★

What makes a movie good?

Most importantly, we want to be connected emotionally to the character and routing for them. Our hair should stand on edge when they’re in trouble. We care about the ambiguous and unique things they care about, so much so that we cry when they cry and laugh when they laugh.

For me, Daniel Craig, sorry “Bond, James Bond,” lives in my soul. I love this guy. He’s suave, skilled, witty, and always saves the day. There’s no situation he’s found himself in where he couldn’t make it out. The man always has a trick up his sleeve, even if it means he gets help from a friend (friends - of which he has the coolest).

Bond, played by Daniel Craig, has been on the screen for a fantastic series of movies. For so many of us, we are already emotionally committed to Daniel Craig’s “James Bond.” We’ve come to know him as the awesome 007 I described above.

When we first see James Bond he is still as witty and skilled as ever, we pick up right where we left off without skipping a beat. But there’s one big difference. This suave womanizer is in love. Aww, cute.

For the character we’ve seen hardened by a gruesome past, it surprises me. A part of James Bond has disappeared and something better has taken its place. It feels like Liam Neeson’s Taken but if he wasn’t an old fart and he had style.

The key character change here is in the development of trust. Trust, ultimately, becomes a major theme of the story.

Immediately that trust is tested. He is attacked and the one he loves holds a secret that may have thrust him back into his old life. He loses that trust he once had and in doing so is separated from the one he loves. We see that love and the beautiful factor it brought with it disappear. And suddenly the James Bond we know so well is back. But now he has finally found a life we always hope for him; the “happily ever after” that ought to follow for a man who has overcome so much by being so badass.

But the Bond we know can’t keep out of the fight for long. He’s quickly brought back into the battle by his past and along the way, he is reunited with the one he loves(d?).

The performance from Craig at this point is phenomenal, that Suave factor that permeates Bond fades, if but for just a moment, and then Craig goes right back into that smooth talker we know so well.

Through chaos and conflict and loss, trust is repaired and we discover that love between the two was never lost.

James Bond has better character change in this film than Jesus does in the Bible. And that sold over a million copies.

Ultimately this film could have ended in a thousand different ways. But the way it did end was the absolute best way possible.

I don’t do spoilers, but just hear this: James Bond is a story, and all good stories have an end. The best endings are those in which the character does not get what they want, but they do get what they need. And Daniel Craig’s James Bond did finally get his “happily ever after.”

3.5/5 (+.5 bias points, 4/5)

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