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NO TIME TO DIE marks the end of Daniel Craig’s tenure playing Ian Fleming’s iconic super spy, James Bond. After four films with Craig at the center, this fifth adventure promises a lot of excitement and suspense. It’s hard to believe, but almost 16 years ago, we were introduced to the man and the performance that would reboot 007 for a new generation in 2006’s CASINO ROYALE.
As we prepare for the end of an episodic saga that’s seen James broken and beaten, it looks like there’s a chance his tenacity might not be enough to get around the latest plot of villainy we’ll get to see unfold in NO TIME TO DIE.
Though, there’s always that one thing James Bond tends to know that his adversaries don’t, and we may have some clues as to what that is in NO TIME TO DIE. Check out the trailer and see for yourself.
In anticipation of the release of NO TIME TO DIE, we’d like to look back at the most iconic moments from each film that have crafted Daniel Craig’s Bond. These are all important, and impressive, moments that showcased just what made the current era of 007 so intriguing to watch. And most importantly, each of the following pieces form a puzzle that, when looked at from afar, is a pretty hard act to beat for the next actor to fill these shoes.
1. Meet Vesper Lynd (Casino Royale)
It’s not always about destroying villainous plots or henchmen when it comes to James Bond’s line of work. Sometimes he has to play nice with colleagues and adversaries alike, and in those instances, the word "play" is almost always strong.
Seeing James Bond meet Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) for the first time in CASINO ROYALE is still one of the best examples of what our favorite super spy can do when all he has is his wits — and to a certain extent his looks.
From the moment they meet, you can tell Vesper was going to be trouble for James. Sadly, that trouble turned out to be more intense than negotiating treasury funds for a high-stakes poker game. But in this moment, seeing the two MI6 colleagues try as hard as they can not to flirt is a breath of fresh air in the resurrection of a classic franchise.
2. Dominic Greene Is Given a Choice (Quantum of Solace)
Beginning his hard driving path of vengeance for the recruitment and death of Vesper Lynd — who, as it turns out, was a double agent working for the shady organization known as Quantum — James Bond roughs up his fair amount of baddies in 2008’s QUANTUM OF SOLACE.
But it’s his final interaction with this film’s criminal mastermind, eco-commerce magnate Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), that helps cement Daniel Craig’s Bond as a man of action with a real cruel streak. Though, how cruel can you really say he is when 007 honored his word that he would let his quarry go? (Even if that freedom was a one-way ticket to the desert.)
With Bond offering Greene some liquid refreshment in a truly symbolic can of motor oil, we later find out that he may or may not have killed Greene anyway. You can’t say he wasn’t given a choice.
3. Silva Flirts With 007 (Skyfall)
A truly fantastic James Bond villain is one that can really test the limits of our hero’s witty repartee, as well as his physical abilities. Javier Bardem’s abandoned MI6 operative Silva, the central antagonist in SKYFALL, knows exactly what makes his opponents tick, and he’s not afraid to use that information to his advantage.
Tied to a chair and subjected to the mercy of his adversary (much like he found himself previously in CASINO ROYALE), Bond is subjected to a psychological probing by his opposite number. And in one of the most surprising moments in recent Bond history, Silva straight up flirts with 007.
In the progressive spirit of the Bond franchise, it’s suggested by Daniel Craig himself that this isn’t the first time 007 has gotten close to a man in the field. This only increases the banter between himself and Silva, making the scene a moment where James’ candor not only enriches his character, but also keeps the enemy off guard.
4. Bond vs. Hinx (Spectre)
For the most part, SPECTRE gets a pretty bum rap when it comes to Daniel Craig’s missions as James Bond. It’s rather unfair, as the reboot of the titular organization of villainous intent brought back a classic Bond foe in rather spectacular fashion.
Part of the spectacle was thanks to Dave Bautista’s portrayal of the henchman known only as Hinx. Previously thought to be down for the count by Bond, this burly force of nature interrupts dinner and proceeds to try and retire 007 every way he can think of. Destroying an entire dining cart on a dessert train in the middle of nowhere, Bond and Hinx’s tangle is a solid stretch of battle, with Craig and Bautista scrapping to the best of their abilities.
While James may have been outclassed in the sheer power of Hinx’s fighting skills as well as his muscular features, 007’s smarts (and some help from Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann) helped send Hinx to a none-too-early grave. Showing Bond’s persistence and strategy, as well as the true definition of a memorable James Bond henchman, this fight is a moment worth remembering.
Sixteen years have led to NO TIME TO DIE, the 25th James Bond film overall and the fifth in Daniel Craig’s storied, record-setting tenure as the longest-running actor to be cast in the role of 007. There’s no telling what’s going to happen or what twists will close out this auspicious run for Craig’s portrayal. But what we can say is that if any of this next film’s moments rank as highly as the ones we’ve just discussed, it’ll have been worth the wait.
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