007: Time to Die?


Courtesy Photo

James Bond and his co-worker pose for promotional photo for the his new movie No Time to Die.

McKenzie Reid, Writer

The final installation in the beloved film series starring everyone’s favorite British superspy has come out, and to say the least: it was a gut-wrencher. The first novel in the 007 series was published in 1953 by British author and journalist Ian Flemming, a former naval intelligence officer. The novel and film series revolves around James Bond, a British Secret Service agent, occasionally known by his code name, 007. 

There are 25 movies in the Bond film series with several different actors portraying the protagonist. In 1961, the first Bond film, Dr. No, was released, starring Sean Connery as James Bond. The theme song was written by Monty Norman and performed by John Barry and Orchestra. The most recent Bond film, titled No Time to Die, was released in 2021 and stars Daniel Craig as James Bond. The opening theme with the same name was written and performed by Billie Eilish and produced by her brother Finneas O’Connell.

No Time to Die starts off with an alarmingly cold flashback for young Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux). From there, we catch up with Bond and Madeleine in Italy, where Bond says his final goodbyes to the deceased love of his life, Vesper Lynd. In a turn of events, Bond is involved in a classic shoot-out and chase with lots of action and loud noises, which he believes was Madeleine’s fault. He leaves her and rejoins the secret service. He has been replaced by a new 007 named Nomi (Lashana Lynch) since his retirement, but he is quickly reappointed. Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) is this film’s monologuing Bond-villain who wants nothing more than to watch the world burn. 

“When Casino Royale burst on the scene in 2006, it really changed the action landscape. The Bond mythology had grown stale. It was your father or even your grandfather’s franchise, and Daniel Craig gave it adrenaline,” says Brian Tallerico, a writer from RogerEbert.com.

No Time to Die has the ingredients of a James Bond movie: action, cars, mystery, and romance,” says junior Kiersten Wenzlick. “The story might be the same as every other movie in the series, but Daniel Craig gives every movie its own twist,” she says. Wenzlick adds, “I love that this movie has a strong female character as the new 007.” 

A bittersweet end to the film comes about when M (Ralph Fiennes), Q (Ben Whishaw), and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) raise a glass to Bond, who is believed to be dead after being blown up in Safin’s bunker. The debate over whether or not Bond is truly dead is ongoing. Daniel Craig has confirmed he is done with Bond. However, the new 007 has the potential to take his spot. Nomi would be a fantastic representation of strong, powerful black women in action movies. Along with Nomi as the new 007, Bond’s daughter, Mathilde (Lisa-Dorrah Sonnet), is a candidate to carry the superspy bloodline.

“…Craig does a good job of showing James Bond’s true emotion by the end of the movie. It also leaves room for a new film later,” Wenzlick concludes.

While this may be goodbye to Daniel Craig as Bond, it may also be a goodbye to the Bond fanbase. A new lead in the 007 series would mean a group of fans.