I am a long time fan of James Bond. Shoot, I even read various of Ian Fleming’s short thriller novels about spying 50+ years ago. And of the various actors playing James Bond, other than Sean Connery, Daniel Craig has clearly been the very best. He brought a toughness to the role that actors like Pierce Brosnan could never achieve. Not to mention that Craig is really in shape and can do some of his own stunts. This particular movie is the last one that Craig is starring in, and he will be missed. The Broccoli family is due a lot of thanks for doing these movies with the right mix of daring-do, suspense, incredible action scenes, and fleeting romance here and there. Indeed, the Fast and Furious franchise took some of its cues from the car chases in the Bond films. Actually one should say that Bond had a license to thrill, more than a license to kill. There is the usual opening theme song (this one is not great, by Billie Elish who sounds like she’s crying all the way through the song), the usual international scenes (England, Cuba, Italy), the usual chase scenes, and incredible stunts (this time with a motorcycle, among other things), and the usual beautiful women. There is no Judi Dench but we still have geeky Q, and Ralph Fiennes as M as well as good ole Felix from the CIA.
This iteration of the franchise is long, the longest maybe ever, clocking in over 2 hours and half. But it does not drag. And like many such movies in a series, this one wraps up various previous themes and relationships along the way. This movie is much better than the last one entitled Spectre, and it has been a long time getting to the big screen due to Covid 19. It was indeed worth the wait. It is as Rami Malek has remarked the most emotional of the Bond films, and if there is one criticism of Craig in the previous films it is that he doesn’t seem to have much emotional range. This film makes clear that that criticism is not really fair. In fact, I even cried at the end of this one. I will just say— farewell Commander Bond. So glad you were on the side of the good guys.