I vaguely remember my old film lecturer Alan once quipping that to only watch a film once is forever to watch the same film. Thus this afternoon I went to watch No Time To Die again: I wasn’t really satisfied with my first viewing as I think I missed a few plot points. It was a spur of the moment decision, my curiosity having been growing for a couple of days. Now that I have rewatched it though, I’m very glad I did so. What I found myself watching this afternoon was a real bond film which reminded me why I love the Bond franchise in the first place: contrived plots, nefarious antagonists, great music. Most of all, I was blown away by Daniel Craig’s performance this time. I really think he stole the show this time, with an almost Shakespearean sense of tragedy which had overtones of George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. He was still the cold brutal killer Bond should be, but he also had a humanity and complexity to his character which this afternoon I found myself taken with. What at first seemed like defects because they didn’t quite fit with the usual Bond story arc, today felt well justified, bold and fitting.
What I found myself watching this afternoon then wasn’t just a good film but a great one. It might not quite fit al the bond tropes, but it was an outstanding addition to the series: a loving tribute not just to Bond, but also Craig’s portrayal of him, and a fitting end to his tenure as 007. Daniel Craig made an outstanding James Bond – as I once wrote here he was Bond as his creator intended – and this was the tender yet honourable farewell he deserved. Who knows what the future will bring for Bond, but I’m now certain he will return. As for when that will be, it might take a while, but we have all the time in the world.