Why No Time To Die’s Ending Is Perfect For Daniel Craig (& Bond 26)

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for No Time To Die

James Bond dies in No Time To Die, and it makes for the perfect ending not only to Daniel Craig's spell as 007, but also for setting up the future of the franchise with James Bond 26. Throughout the lengthy build-up to No Time To Die, there's been a lot of speculation as to whether or not Craig's Bond would survive the events of the movie. After all, Bond hasn't been killed off before, but Craig's is the first to have a true sense of continuity mapped out across all of his movies. Similarly, it was already known well in advance that No Time To Die would be Craig's final Bond movie, which only increased his chances of a rather more permanent departure.

No Time To Die uses this to its advantage, as the question of whether Bond will live or die hangs over much of the movie like a spectre. He may well have no time to die or, indeed, all the time in the world, and yet there's a race against the clock to save the world from the villainous Safin (Rami Malek), protect those he loves, and in essence be Bond, James Bond one last time. It's only until late in the third act the movie shows its hand, but the setup is there along the way.

Related: Blofeld Predicted The End Of No Time To Die - Theory Explained

James Bond's death comes in a movie that both honors franchise traditions and introduces several firsts, not least the presence of his daughter with Madeleine Swann (Leá Seydoux). That gives No Time To Die an ever sharper edge and bigger, more personal stakes than the average Bond movie - but again, Craig isn't the average Bond. It builds to a climax where he has to make the ultimate sacrifice and, in the end, it's a fitting farewell.

Towards the end of No Time To Die, James Bond has to make the hardest choice he's ever faced. Safin injects him with a nanobot virus that's specifically coded to Madeleine's DNA, meaning that while Bond could still live his life relatively normal in terms of health and longevity (the virus would not kill him, basically), he'd never be able to touch either Madeleine or their daughter, Mathilde, ever again. It's a testament to how Craig's Bond has changed across his arc that this is such a hard choice; while previous Bonds have married or fallen in love, there aren't too many for whom this would ever be a real consideration or threat. But this Bond does love, and not only that, but he has lost, and grieved, and had to learn to love and trust all over again.

The weight of that is a major factor in Bond's decision to die in No Time To Die. Ultimately, Bond not being to touch his daughter or the woman he loves ever again would be too much. That's not just the case for him - if it was only pain for him, then he might be able to stand it - but for them as well. Bond knows that kind of pain, and that ultimately it's easier for them, especially Mathilde, if he sacrifices himself in this moment. Similarly, it connects to M's (Ralph Fiennes) speech in No Time To Die's ending, as he quotes from Jack London: "The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time." This gets to the essence of Bond's decision. That, with the nanobots inside him, he cannot function properly, he cannot truly live. And rather than simply exist, it would be better do die.

Bond's decision to sacrifice himself in No Time To Die's ending is rooted in love and grief, and the weight of legacy and his own history. These are themes that run across not only the movie, but Craig's best outings as Bond: the idea of love and trust connects back to Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) and her death in Casino Royale; the notions of Bond''s legacy - of who he is and what is left behind - stems from Skyfall and is addressed again by Safin here. These factors are why James Bond dies, and why it's so impactful, because rather than this being a standalone adventure that just so happens to kill off 007, it's a conclusion to a 15-year journey that has transformed the character.

Related: No Time To Die Ending Explained: 12 Biggest Questions Answered

Because of what Craig's Bond has been through - few 00s have suffered more than he has - then there's an argument to be made that he deserved a happy ending. That the chance to retire quietly and go off into the sunset with Madeleine and Mathilde would have been well-earned. That, though, is rather the point of why Bond has to die, and why it's the more fitting option. Bond is, to a degree at least, a tragic figure, a man who is great at killing people but terrible at connecting with them, and who is driven by a compulsion to save the world no matter the cost. To see Bond's journey go full circle, from finding how to open himself up in Casino Royale, all the way to actually giving his life for the love of another is a poignant idea.

In particular, for that to be so rooted in him becoming a father and what that means - to have someone else in his life so worth fighting (and dying) for - is a decision that only Craig's Bond could have made. It ensures, too, that his legacy will live on, as MI6 remembers him and Madeleine tells their daughter all about the kind of man James Bond was. After No Time To Die, it's hard to imagine any other ending being so fitting for this version of the character, and it brilliantly ties his entire era together.

It isn't just for Daniel Craig's arc that James Bond's death works, but for the purposes of rebooting the franchise with James Bond 26. This is, of course, part of the fabric of the Bond franchise, much like its fellow British, 1960s compatriot, Doctor Who. The idea that one Bond goes and another replaces him is why the movies have endured the way they have, and so there was always an expectation that Bond 26's story would simply pick up and start again. But where this differs is in giving Craig's Bond that sense of continuity. By breaking the conventions of the past, it made rebooting a more difficult task because there's such a strong throughline with these movies, it would be harder to imagine someone else simply emerging as the new James Bond were Daniel Craig's version alive.

With No Time To Die killing off James Bond, then that job feels much easier. The book is well and truly shut on the Craig era - there is no chance of him signing on for another movie, no confusion over whether or not he will be back, and less of a shadow for the next James Bond actor to work under. It's a much cleaner break this way, allowing a perfect sendoff to Craig's Bond, while still promising the future will be bright with the iconic words after No Time To Die's credits: James Bond will return. This time, it may as well say James Bond is dead, long live James Bond.

Next: Every James Bond Movie Ranked From Worst to Best (Including No Time to Die)

from ScreenRant - Feed

Post a Comment