Started by WorldForgot, September 30, 2021, 12:19:50 PM
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QuoteAlan Moore once penned a great introduction to Frank Miller's 1986 masterwork "The Dark Knight Returns," a story that itself might be the Rosetta Stone to our current cultural fascination with crafting finales for our previously eternal heroes. In that intro, Moore cites the importance of "that element without which all true legends are incomplete and yet which for some reason hardly seems to exist in the world depicted in the average comic book, and that element is time." As Daniel Craig's run has been positively obsessed with the passage of time — from comments about his life expectancy in "Casino Royale," to whole films themed around whether he's too old or obsolete to do the job — it was perhaps inevitable that his tenure would end with a defined conclusion to his arc. Whether it pleases, frustrates, or enrages fans will be a topic of lively, constant debate until "Bond 26" is eventually underway, but "No Time To Die" is indeed an ending.
Quoteas No Time to Die finally arrives in theaters on October 8 after many COVID-related delays. It is perhaps the great theater-exclusive tentpole dream of the fall, that eager audiences wanting to zip off on another suave adventure while also saying goodbye to an entire generation's James Bond will flock to cineplexes and help revive a flagging industry.I'm sure those audiences will indeed show up. What they will make of the film after they've seen it, though, is another question. At such considerable length, No Time to Die has room to be several films in one—part rollicking caper and part character drama of the sort set up in 2012's Skyfall, a film that made a deeper mythological figure out of our Etonian super spy, long admired for merely tossing off a quip or two and getting his daring job done. When Skyfall came out, earning over a billion dollars at the box office, it was to many an exciting reimagining of a creaky character (the fruit of a transformation begun, of course, with 2006's Casino Royale, Craig's first outing in the tux). He was given actual context and history and pathos that felt more in line with the blockbuster mores and customs of the day.But then the trilogy became a quadrilogy with 2015's tiresome, extraneous Spectre, certainly a big hit but not the rumbling cultural event that was Skyfall. Craig couldn't go out on that sour note. Thus we have No Time to Die, the definitive—they swear!—conclusion of Craig's run and, presumably, the end of this particular stylistic Bond era.