This weekend, No Time To Die brings to an end the Daniel Craig era of James Bond, putting a lid on a story that began 15 years ago with the reboot origin story Casino Royale. This is, of course, just one stretch of a franchise that’s been running since the early 1960s, with no more than a few years ever passing between subsequent installments. In honor of this latest turned page in the ongoing book of Bond, we’ve programmed a prospective marathon of 007 adventures, selecting one movie for each of the six actors that have played the superspy. To discuss this daunting, nearly day-long block of espionage blockbusters, critics A.A. Dowd and Katie Rife welcome a special guest: fellow A.V. Club staffer and lifetime James Bond superfan Cameron Scheetz. Fair warning: We do not see eye to eye on Goldeneye.
Here’s what A.A. Dowd had to say about No Time To Die in his written review:
No Time To Die is the 25th film in the endless James Bond series, and also maybe the first to offer something like an actual ending. “Goodbye” isn’t usually in the spy’s vocabulary—not with a sequel always on the horizon, a return always promised in the credits. Even on the cusp of recasting, it’s rare to get any finality from a Bond movie; producers like to leave the door open, in hopes that they’ll lure their star back for one more round of martinis. No Time To Die is different. It’s been conceived as a proper send-off to Daniel Craig, taking his fifth and final spin in the tuxedo, and as an attempt to wrap up this serialized stretch of a series that’s been running since the early ’60s. Unfortunately, the film is so concerned with valediction that it ends up treating the actual pleasures of Bond—the stuff that’s kept audiences coming back for six decades—like an afterthought. It’s all punctuation, no sentence.
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