For all those reading this who aren’t old enough to drink: Yes, cocktails do taste better shaken rather than stirred. There’s a reason it’s been British Secret Service Agent James Bond’s preference of preparation since 1956. The same thing goes for storytelling—a good film subverts expectations rather than serve audiences the same old concoction. By introducing his gritter Bond in Casino Royale (2006), Daniel Craig brought 007 into the modern era without negating tenets of the franchise. However, there’s no denying that the fact that outings like Spectre (2015), while entertaining, relied a little too heavily on established tropes. The release of No Time to Die in US cinemas Friday marks Craig’s fifth and final outing as Bond. Thankfully (for the investors) it’s projected to set pandemic box office records. The film finished production back in 2019 and, after an onslaught of COVID-19-related delays, we finally get to see it. As the twenty-fifth Bond film overall, it’s not only tasked with sending Craig off into the sunset but, once again, setting a precedent for the future of the franchise. It must shake things up. Many online have already seen it, and good for them. For the record, critics are saying it isn’t perfect, but it’s a solid swan song. We’ll be the judge of that. Here are 10 things that must happen for Daniel Craig’s final outing to be shaken not stirred.
Fantastical locales are a given and silent henchmen need not apply.
Cover Photo: Universal Pictures
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No Time To Die
A Reloaded Gun Barrell Scene
Bond movies have traditionally featured a gun barrel scene, where 007 is seen through the barrel of a gun before firing his own. Usually, you know a James Bond movie has begun when this iconic image appears. This time, something silently different should occur. At the end of No Time to Die , Craig shouldn’t fire his weapon. Instead, he should put it away, wave goodbye, and say “that’s all folks!” before walking away.
An Opening Action Sequence
Before Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die” plays and the opening credits roll, there’s going to be an opening action sequence. There always is, and this one needs to top the rest. It most likely won’t. However, it should hit that sweet spot between not enough and too much—the latter sin having been committed by Spectre, which put its best sequence ( by far ) at the beginning.
The Aston Martin DB5
The best superheroes have signature vehicles, except for Superman who just has a cape. Batman has the Batmobile, the Avengers have the Quinjet, Ghost Rider has the Hell Cycle and James Bond has the Aston Martin DB5. The DB5 was largely associated with Sean Connery’s Bond movies before being brought back in GoldenEye and, of course, in Craig’s films when Bond won it in a poker game. It’s back in No Time to Die and, by the looks of things, with a vengeance.
James Bond is usually equipped with high-tech gadgets and multifunctional cars by MI6. In Skyfall , Ben Whishaw’s Q gives Bond a watch and a radio while mocking the notion of an exploding pen: “we don’t really go in for that sort of thing anymore.” It was a fun scene that subverted what audiences knew of the franchise. However, No Time to Die is already teasing cool technology and that’s just fine. As long as there’s not an exploding pen.
A New Kind of Bond Girl
Bond movies always feature one (or seven) striking women who distract 007 from his mission. More often than not, these women do not adhere to the damsel and distress trope. They tend to be femme fatales who are revealed to be sinister late in the game. No Time to Die may be teasing there’s more to Madeline Swan (Léa Seydoux) than meets the eye but it’s also introducing a new kind of Bond girl in Lashana Lynch’s Nomi, the “Double-O” who took Bond’s 7 after he retired. She’s also not a love interest, which is refreshing.
A New Old Kind of Bond Woman
Ana De Armas. Just because.
An Iconic Villain With A Surprising Master Plan
Ever since Ernst Blofeld appearance in From Russia With Love (1963), the horribly disfigured villain has become one of Bond's most outdated tropes. Does Rami Malek’s Safin really need facial scars? Couldn’t he have just looked like an accountant, making the movie a metaphor for corporate greed? No Time to Die really needs a unique villain and threat not just “ a mysterious villain harnessing a dangerous new technology who must be stopped at all costs …” That’s every Bond movie ever.
Bond drinks alcohol in every film and you better believe he’ll be boozing in No Time to Die . Especially because Casino Royale not only gave audiences Bond’s origin story but the origin of the world-famous Vesper cocktail, which is actually served in real-world establishments.
A Vesper Lynd Callback
Speaking of Casino Royale’ s Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), Bond’s best love interest needs a better sendoff. There’s no denying the less-than-satisfying conclusion to her and Bond’s story in Quantum of Solace . No Time to Die ’s trailers show Bond visit a cemetery and stop at a mausoleum before burning Vesper’s note reading “ forgive me .” This last adventure aims to wrap up every story in all of Craig’s Bond films and the woman who made him second guess relinquishing his soul deserves a solid shout out.
One Major Death
There are a lot of theories in the ether saying that Madeline Swan is preggers with Bond’s daughter. If that’s true, Bond will definitely die. Even if it’s not, both he and the DB5 should still die, ending the overarching narrative and putting Bond as we know him to rest. The best Bond. Craig is the period at the end of a fifty-eight-year-old sentence and everything that follows will risk feeling derivative if not dramatically reinvented. Craig’s final outing must be served shaken, drank in full, and leave nothing left to stir.