the longer it is, the more Bond?

Ironically, Dying Can Wait really made us wait so long as the last adventures of James Bond under the Daniel Craig era have suffered the full brunt of the Coronavirus epidemic. It is therefore after multiple postponements that the story initiated by Casino Royale comes to an end. It was time ?

Piercing blue eyes, tight jaw and swollen biceps, in 2006 Daniel Craig made a sensational entry into Ian Fleming’s world as a more taciturn and threatening James Bond. Fifteen years later, the actor is preparing to bow out with a fifth highly anticipated film. Because the mission of Die can wait is nothing simple: he must conclude a common thread started by Casino Royale, make forget the failings of 007 Specter and allow its main actor to leave by the front door. We wanted to believe that impossible was not James Bond.

The latter also enjoys a well-deserved retirement until his friend from the CIA, Felix Leiter, asks him for a hand in finding a kidnapped scientist. Very quickly, his path will cross that of old acquaintances and a mysterious enemy with radical methods.

Who is more delicate than starting a saga? Conclude it. Die Can Wait is as much a twenty-fifth mission of the British secret agent as it is a final chapter in a plot haunted by the ghost of Vesper Lynd. And if James has changed his face many times, this is the first time that history admits the last appearance of one of them so much. Dying Can Wait has nothing to compare with its predecessors and this is the reason for its success … and its failure.

If there was only one left …

One o’clock. This is the length of time that we are embarked on the most enjoyable film of the Craig era since Skyfall. For sixty minutes, Mourir can wait keeps all its promises and ticks all the best boxes in the “Bondien” specifications. We walked from Italy to Jamaica then to Cuba in the footsteps of the history of the spy with a capital H; Robert Wade and Neal Purvis, the writers of the saga since The World is not enough, apply to pay homage to those who preceded them by slipping multiple references, disguised or obvious.

A nostalgic subtext that goes hand in hand with their more modern approach to the character. James has never been so human, crumbly. Bond has aged, has feelings and comes to terms with them, even though the weight of the past continues to torment him. Ghost’s shadow still hangs over him and he needs to draw a final line to move forward. 26 years later, Dying Can Wait could take over Goldeneye’s famous line: “For England James? ” ” Not for me ! “.

A relationship between past and present that finds its peak in the best sequence of the film, in Cuba, where a former school Daniel Craig shoots the villain in the company of a new generation Ana de Armas disarming with charm, grip and humor . Far ahead of the new 007 (Lashana Lynch), the actress seen in Knives Out is undoubtedly the most beautiful surprise of the film as she manages to steal the show from her male counterpart. We don’t know if we should thank Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s contribution to the script for writing the character, but if Amazon, which has reclaimed the license rights, wants to capitalize on the universe outside of 007, the Agent Paloma would easily deserve a spin-off.

Die while waiting

Dying can wait, of course, but it should not be abused. With 2:47 on the clock, the film is the longest of the saga. A duration that is unfortunately terribly felt as soon as the story tries to hang up the cars.

It must be borne in mind that the feature film seeks to reconcile two souls: that of the legacy of James Bond with its codes, its utilitarian characters and its villains seeking to destroy the world; and that of Craig’s 007 where emotion supplants action, marking his hero with the weight of tragedy, family, love. And far from succeeding in this merger, Dying Can Wait is more of a cohabitation by presenting two films in one. A chaotic cohabitation where each facet will bring out the faults of the other.

Thus, the film is likely to shock fans of the license by the radical nature of its scriptwriting choices, its risk-taking and its more human approach to Bond. A treatment perhaps more interesting, necessary even one would say compared to what has been built since Casino Royale, but which makes obsolete all that revolves around it. Seeking swan song at all costs, the scenario forgets to bring any consistency to the rest. Half of the scenes add nothing and the other half make no sense as soon as we try to be interested in the why and the how.

The proof with the cast since apart from the small break Ana de Armas, hardly any character manages to exist beyond its role of narrative tool. Tool that can be sacrificed during assembly without feeling the lack of it. The old ones make an act of presence, trying to justify their salary, and the new ones make a tapestry. Lashana Lynch is a crudely written foil. Rami Malek plays a villain as invisible as he is inconsistent that we will quickly forget. Only Léa Seydoux is the winner of this position, thanks to her special relationship with our hero. Described in Specter, it finds its true place here and is a lasting part of the history of the spy.

As for director Cary Joji Fukunaga, he doesn’t seem to know what to do with the myth. Despite a promising introduction and some attempts to get us out of the torpor here and there as when he serves us a gunfight in a sequence shot, the filmmaker will never manage to mark the retina. A flat staging, with too little madness for Bond’s latest adventure. We come out without being able to cite a single visually striking scene.

Were we hoping too much for Daniel Craig’s farewell? On the contrary, have the multiple postponements eroded our enthusiasm? Still, one emerges, de Mourir can wait with a little emotion, but above all a lot of boredom.

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