Die can wait: Daniel Craig’s new James Bond review


After Casino Royale , Quantum of Solace , Skyfall and Specter , Daniel Craig abandoned his James Bond costume in Die Can Wait . The 25th episode was born in pain, between the departure of director Danny Boyle, and then its release was delayed a year and a half due to the pandemic. It is hoped that since April 2020, No Time to Die, also with Léa Seydoux, will finally hit theaters on October 6. The time for the verdict has come.

The Daniel Craig chapter of the James Bond saga is as relaxing as a roller coaster. The chaotic and faltering Quantum of Solace undermines the legacy of Casino Royale, celebrated as GoldenEye’s lively rebirth of its day, when the dire success of Skyfall made Specter’s disappointment inevitable. Arriving safely after a seemingly endless storm (from Danny Boyle’s departure to the pandemic that pushed him back 18 months), Dying Can Wait has a mission: close Craig’s circle with dignity by rekindling the most beautiful fire.

More than ever, this modern 007 cycle will become a soap opera, following the dotted line of traumatized Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), whose ghost has drifted so far. Dying can wait to add another layer with the return of Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) and Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), after Specter. James Bond is no longer just there to laugh with his gadgets, jars, and foam decorations: he’s there to bleed and suffer, and for that, it takes time. Following on from the previous chapter, this 25th episode picks it up, and in every sense of the word since Dying can wait lasted more than 2h40, the longest of the entire franchise.

In nearly 60 years and six different players, James Bond has crossed the ages, and taken the pulse of his time. Dying Can Wait is once again an episode torn between past and future, as the writers attest: Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (in the service of The World is Not Enough) supported by directors Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) and Phoebe Waller- Bridge ( Fleabag ). But for the first time in his history, James Bond faced his own reality, his own myth. And the saga finally dared to do something.

More than any other episode, Dying Can Wait deserves full discretion over its plot, which revolves around a mysterious man played by Rami Malek. From the intro, in which he was filmed as Michael Myers’ cousin in Courchevel’s version, this umpteenth bondesque sociopath stands out with his faceless eyes. Symbols are stronger than humans, and that is the strength and weakness of these antagonists. Not surprisingly, actor Mr. The robot brings a disturbing oddity to this Lyutsifer Safin, whose powers will only be revealed in the expanse of the house.

In the background, there is also the well-known organization SPECTER, central in the saga and brought back to the fore in previous works. But the real enemy is the characters’ past. The same past that was the great croquemitaine of the Daniel Craig era, as shown by Silva in Skyfall and Blofeld in Specter, the fake brother and real foe are inextricably linked to James Bond. Dying can wait for no exception to the rules, and deepen the groove of filiation, real and symbolic. Enough to complete Craig’s building of this era.

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But like Casino Royale, it is also or above all a story of love and death. When the credits (one of the most sober and beautiful in recent history) roll out to the melodies of Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, this James Bond is undoubtedly placed under the sign of emotion, and it is he who will carry the film to the last minute.

In this game, Mourir can wait for the success of what Specter has been gleefully yearning for with the character Léa Seydoux. Written like the fancy godiche in the previous episode, where she fell in love with the hero in a flat 25 minutes, Madeleine Swann is here as James Bond’s true love. Ellipses make their story a thousand times more compelling and solid, and Léa Seydoux has real scenes to defend. Often filmed as an impossible ghost, the actress carries some of the film’s most important scenes on her shoulders.

But when James Bond loves, James Bond purrs. Die Can Wait suffers from the pacing problems seen in Specter, with a soft underbelly where the heroes meet in London for the usual stages of investigation. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the film begins with a bang, with a sensational double introduction, between Norwegian ice cream and the Italian sun.

There, Cary Fukunaga seems to be in complete control of the specs of such a blockbuster, and plays the silence and the soundstrain, as the expected explosion and action. The director finds a bit of this energy in the grand finale, aided by a setting reminiscent of the saga’s heyday, and some delicious staging effects – from lengthy ascent battle plans, to the twinkling of an eye. the franchise’s legendary rifle barrel sequence.

But between the two, there’s not much to eat, with shots and clashes being very mechanical and functional. It’s also insignificant if the film’s other big moments are less action scenes than brackets where everything plays out in an almost nightmare-like misty jungle atmosphere. Cary Fukunaga seems more interested in the immortal moments, when the masked monster chases his victim in a frozen lake lost in the white desert, when an old foe reappears at the end of a corridor like the extreme Hannibal Lecter, or when James Bond takes refuge in the bush while roaring. Invisible enemies roar in the distance.

Linus Sandgren’s photography (La La Land, First Man) and the music of Hans Zimmer (the first giant to jump into the James Bond saga) played a big part in this success. But as soon as the show starts ticking again (Q appearances, Ana de Armas as James Bond girl passing by, Lashana Lynch as fierce teammates), Dying Can Wait reappears. It never sinks into mediocrity, but regularly leaves a lingering sense of comfort behind.

Death can wait, maybe, but James Bond’s business can’t. Even without Daniel Craig. With a title that directly reflects Die Another Day, Pierce Brosnan’s final lap, this 25th episode must negotiate a new turn; an even more important move as giant Amazon has restored the franchise by buying studio MGM, and the unique identity of this indestructible saga seems even crazier in the face of the mega-franchises that dominate the modern market.

Dying Can Wait deals with this situation in a mix of raging madness and extreme simplicity. The final fifteen minutes are unlike any other James Bond film, ignoring fireworks to bring out pure emotion, whether dark or bright. A chance for Daniel Craig to put an end to this super-human version of James Bond, which he’s been wearing with power and ferocity since Casino Royale. Over a span of fifteen years, the films have recounted the passage of time on the characters’ bodies and souls, but also the translators, who seem to have burned all the ties of fuel to this sixth and final adventure.

This final bouquet swept like a wave, with an explosion that shattered the film’s flaws. And there are some, especially in the writing that is sometimes very rough, and the feeling of having seen episodes that are too long and not always harmonious.

There’s no doubt that Dying Can Wait will be talked about like never before, with some sharp questions as the end credits arrive (and end). But after 59 years, 25 films, 6 artists, more than 2 billion at the box office and more in his global business, it is certainly the best proof that Ian Fleming’s hero still has a taste in this world. .