no time to die

NO TIME TO DIE Is Fixing SPECTRE Mistakes In The Best Way

NO TIME TO DIE released its exciting trailer and Daniel Craig’s final James Bond movie looks to be a sequel that fixes the problems with Spectre.

No Time To Die looks like it will address and fix the issues with Spectre, which is an exciting prospect for fans of 007. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaka (True Detective season 1), No Time to Die is Daniel Craig’s fifth appearance as Bond. The 25th Bond movie also reunites the core 007 cast, including Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomi Harris as Eve Moneypenny, and Ben Wishaw as Q, but it also introduces new characters such as Lashana Lynch as a new Double-0 agent named Nomi and Rami Malek as Safin, Bond’s latest adversary. But the events of Spectre still need to be dealt with, hence Christoph Waltz is returning as the evil organization’s former leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and Léa Seydoux reprises her role as Dr. Madeleine Swann, Bond’s love interest from Spectre.

No Time To Die releases in April 2020, nearly five years since Spectre, which, simply put, wasn’t a suitable swansong for Craig’s wildly popular incarnation of the British spy. Spectre had the unenviable task of following up Skyfall, the most successful Bond movie ever, but director Sam Mendes and his creative team opted to weave all of Daniel Craig’s 007 films together by retconning the Spectre organization as the secret driving force behind all of Bond’s previous enemies. Indeed, when Blofeld formally introduced himself to James, he revealed that he is also the former Franz Oberhauser, Bond’s adoptive brother and that he was “the author of all of [Bond’s] pain”. It was an awkward revision, to say the least, further undermined by an emphasis on overblown action sequences that left major plot points dangling – such as Bond inexplicably not executing Blofeld, ensuring his villainy would continue. The problematic Spectre concluded with the triumphant Bond quitting the British Secret Service and riding off into the sunset with Madeleine but it was an oddly flat ending that left Bond fans unsatisfied.

While Spectre grossed $879-million worldwide, it fell far short of Skyfall’s $1.1-billion windfall and it also left fans and critics disappointed. Coming up with a proper follow-up to Spectre caused years of creative difficulties that saw original director Danny Boyle leave Bond 25 and several screenwriters take a stab at the script, which has since been polished by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Killing Eve) at Daniel Craig’s request. However, with Cary Fukunaga behind the camera, the first trailer for No Time To Die shows that Bond 25 is fearlessly tackling Spectre‘s problems head-on as it brings Daniel Craig’s James Bond saga to a close.

SPECTRE’S Hanging Plot Threads Are Still Important In NO TIME TO DIE

Given all of Spectre‘s retcons, it would have been a mistake for No Time To Die to ignore its predecessor film entirely. Rather, Bond 25 is a true sequel: Blofeld is imprisoned by MI6 while Bond is done as a Double-0 agent and escaped the UK with Madeleine. However, the dangling plot threads are being addressed in interesting ways; leaving Blofeld alive at the end of Spectre appeared to be a mistake and many Bond fans expected he’d somehow immediately have Madeleine killed, just like how Blofeld murdered Tracy Bond (Diana Rigg) on her wedding day to 007 (George Lazenby) in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Instead, Blofeld looks to be serving a Hannibal Lecter-like role as Bond takes on his new enemy, which is intriguing and also a spin on how Silva (Javier Bardem) taunted Bond and M (Judi Dench) when he was in MI6 custody during Skyfall.

The No Time To Die trailer  also alludes to ‘secrets’ Madeleine is harboring but it looks like her past sins are playing a more central role to the story, unlike how Bond’s lost love Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) working for Quantum was saved as a third act swerve in Casino Royale. Meanwhile, the fact that Madeleine Swann is returning and being further developed so that she remains integral to No Time To Die‘s story honors her status as the best Bond Girl since Vesper Lynd. Finally, Bond himself is recruited back into action, which is refreshing considering Spectre leaned too heavily on the idea that 007 went rogue and had no support from MI6, which involved dubious plot acrobatics considering the threat of Spectre gaining total global surveillance as at the heart of the movie’s story.

NO TIME TO DIE Is Expanding The Story

No Time To Die is also expanding Bond’s universe with some refreshing new characters including Lashana Lynch’s Nomi, a new Double-0 agent who is James’ equal and possible successor. Nomi’s taunt that she’ll put “a bullet” in Bond’s knee – “the good one” – suggests that No Time To Die will pick up on one of Skyfall’s most intriguing story lines, that Bond is physically diminished from the years of punishment he’s sustained and he’s not the same youthful agent he was in Casino Royale, though he’s now far more experienced and still incredibly dangerous and formidable.

No Time To Die‘s trailer teases the mask-wearing mystery villain, Safin, who has a diabolical plot where he’s “playing god”, which suggests immortality is a theme of Bond 25, neatly balancing how “resurrection” was the underlying theme of Skyfall. In addition, the film will introduce another new female CIA agent, Paloma (Ana De Armas), giving the Bond Women a greater role in the action than ever before. Plus, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) makes a welcome return to the franchise to bring Bond back, which is a more compelling way to get 007 into action.

NO TIME TO DIE is Finishing the Story from CASINO ROYALE

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Daniel Craig’s James Bond movies is that all five films tie together as a serialized narrative and No Time To Die looks like it will bring the story of Craig’s 007 to a crescendo. There have been narrative threads in the past Bond films starring Sean Connery and Roger Moore – Blofeld was a threat who popped up in multiple films and Tracy Bond’s death in Lazenby’s movie was finally avenged by Moore at the start of For Your Eyes Only – but for the most part, the previous Bond movies were standalone adventures that weren’t tightly serialized as a macro saga. However, No Time To Die is poised to conclude the overall story of Craig’s 007 that kicked off with Casino Royale’s reboot.

Spectre‘s retcon stated that each of Bond’s past adversaries secretly worked for Blofeld all along: Casino Royale’s villain, Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), was working for an organization called Quantum, which was properly introduced in Quantum of Solace and was later revealed as a subsidiary wing of Spectre. Meanwhile, Skyfall‘s Big Bad Raoul Silva, who was M’s former prized Double-0 agent before becoming a global terrorist, was also working for Spectre. Although this sweeping retcon came off as jarring in SpectreNo Time To Die can utilize it to its advantage and can now give that revelation the heft it needs to make sense.

In addition, Skyfall and Spectre compellingly addressed James Bond’s origin, his tragic loss of his parents, and his turbulent upbringing, which resulted in Craig’s Bond becoming the most fascinating and human incarnation of the British spy who fans have invested in. Thanks to the intricate history of Daniel Craig’s 007 saga, No Time To Die should utilize all of those building blocks to bring the story of Craig’s James Bond to a satisfying end while simultaneously redeeming Spectre‘s mistakes.

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