No Time To Die Adds James Bond to My Favorite New Trope
Oh boy did I love No Time To Die
No Time To Die has a bit of a mixed reaction. The epic conclusion to Daniel Craig’s James Bond franchise is a long last chapter from director Cary Fukunaga with a screenplay from Fukunaga, Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Scott Z. Burns. While I personally liked the movie, our Kaila Hale-Stern had a different experience with the film.
But that’s been the history with this franchise. We all have the things we love and what we hate, and I personally think that No Time To Die was a perfect conclusion to the almost episodic take on the character throughout Daniel Craig’s entire tenure as the iconic spy. So what was it that really hit for me with No Time To Die? Let’s get into it.
**Spoilers for No Time To Die lie ahead.**
I love watching a man stifled by his own emotions learn how to cope and handle things out of his control. It happened with Tony Stark through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it happened with Jim Hopper in Strange Things, and it happened with James Bond in No Time To Die. How did it happen?
Well, James Bond has a kid. Madeleine Swann’s (Léa Seydoux) and James Bond’s relationship falls apart when he thinks that she is still connected to Spectre after Vesper Lynd’s grave is destroyed and he was chased down after they’d run away from it all. He puts Madeleine on a train and sends her away to never see her again (or so he thought).
When Bond is thrown back into the world of Spectre and Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), he goes to visit Blofeld but the only therapist he will talk to is Madeleine. James thinks he can handle working with her and the two are reunited. But because Safin (Rami Malek) had other plans, James and Madeleine are thrown closer together than I think either of them wanted to be. Forcing James to go and find Madeleine at her childhood home.
What was waiting for him though was the reveal that Madeleine had a child that she says isn’t his but clearly is his daughter, Mathilde. She has incredibly blue eyes, like Daniel Craig, and thus my favorite trope began. Much like Tony Stark and Hopper before him, Bond has always been a man dedicated to what he needed to do and himself. But throwing a kid into the mix? He clearly put that aside to make sure she was safe.
At the end of the film, Safin infects Bond with the nanobots that would end up killing Madeleine and Mathilde and so he could never see either of them again. Bond, dedicating his life to making sure Safin’s poison garden was destroyed, stayed and was blown up with the island. So…really, yet again, I was thrust into falling in love with a man who tries to be a good dad but is bad at it only to watch him die. Yayyayayaya?
This time is worse because it’s James Bond and a character I’ve loved my entire life. So watching this version of the character show his emotions and have his heart on the line? It just felt like a punch to the gut. And, to be quite honest, this was the best Bond to do this kind of storyline with.
Daniel Craig’s version of James Bond has been tied to his emotions in a way that the Bonds before him weren’t from the jump. I think it helped having Eva Green as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale to ground his entire run as Bond. He was constantly tied back to that pain of being betrayed by Vesper and it even bled into his relationship with Madeleine but the minute he saw Mathilde, it was as if a switch went off within him.
I don’t think a Bond like Sean Connery or Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan would have that reaction to finding out they had a daughter. I think they’d save her, obviously, but the pain that exists within Bond when he realizes that he can never see her again. Sure, yes, I’m sure part of that pain is that he lost time with Madeleine and then was going to be separated from her for the rest of their lives. But Mathilde? The daughter he’ll never get to know? Any other Bond I feel like would have tried to go back to the world and just leave Madeleine and Mathilde to their own devices.
But this Bond? He clearly cares and wants to be there and can’t be and that’s tragic. Daniel Craig’s franchise is my favorite. It’s been with us the longest and is, technically, second in terms of the number of Bond movies (Connery and Roger Moore are tied at 7 movies each). So watching his arc, seeing him grow as a character from his first assignment after getting his license to kill to this man who dedicated his life to protect his daughter is emotional to say the least.
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