Entertainment

Why the Ending of 'No Time to Die' Is a Relief

Bring back fun Bond.

MGM
MGM
MGM

This post contains MAJOR spoilers for No Time to Die.

James Bond is dead. Long live James Bond. A royal aphorism is a fitting way to memorialize Daniel Craig’s version of Ian Fleming’s character. After all, Bond himself is basically part of the monarchy. (Remember when he parachuted into the London Olympics with Her Majesty the Queen?)

In No Time to Die, the latest outing of 007 directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, Craig’s Bond gets a heroic, noble ending. James Bond will eventually return, but this James Bond will not-Craig, along with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, have made sure of that. He sacrifices himself for the (second) love of his life and the surprise child their romance produced. Craig, an excellent actor who has long seemed to be itching to be more than just the iconic spy, sells it, but that can’t stop the moment from feeling like unearned melodrama. The Craig era of Bond was filled with highs like Casino Royale and Skyfall, but it had started to feel a little self-serious, so¬†concluding with his unquestionable demise comes as something of a relief. Maybe now Bond can have some fun again.

The Craig run as Bond, especially in the final three films, was marked by an attempt to bring the character into the 21st century. The strategy was twofold. First, there would be world-building cribbed from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that tied everything together and gave Bond an unnecessary backstory. Then, there would be an attempt to elevate the women. Instead of sex objects, they would become Bond’s Great Loves, starting with Eva Green’s double crosser Vesper Lynd, who Bond is still mourning at the beginning of No Time to Die¬†while he’s on vacation with Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann, another woman with conflicting allegiances with whom Bond has fallen hopelessly in love.

Swann was introduced in Spectre as the daughter of a SPECTRE agent, who ends up aiding Bond in his fight against Blofeld (Christoph Waltz). At the start of No Time to Die,¬†they are having a wonderful, sexy time during a Greek vacation until Bond goes to visit Vesper’s grave and, boom, it blows up. Bond suspects Madeleine was involved and ditches her, feeling betrayed once again.

MGM
MGM
MGM

When Bond and Madeleine reunite five years later, they are both are under threat from scarred villain Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), who wants to wield viral nanobots to commit worldwide genocide and also has a beef with Madeleine, given that her father murdered his whole family. Madeleine confesses her relationship to Safin to Bond, Bond forgives her, and then meets her child, a blue-eyed moppet she initially swears is not his, but is definitely his.

In the final showdown with Safin, the villain infects Bond with the genetic warfare, which means, if he gets near Madeleine and anyone who shares her genetic material, he will instantly kill them. Realizing there’s no way for him to live a happy life, he doesn’t even try to escape Safin’s lair as British missiles head towards it. Craig’s bright eyes gleam with tears as he sacrifices himself for the one he loves. This is the end of the road not just for Craig, but for Bond himself. Whenever Bond returns on screen, he will be reborn entirely.

It’s a serious demise for a very serious Bond. Craig was as suave and charismatic as Bond should be, but he was also constantly battling ghosts. He was good at his job all the while hating it. Often, the emotional weight Craig totes in the role butts up against the silliness of the plots that are de rigueur from the franchise. Not that Knives Out star Craig can’t go toe-to-toe with the likes of Chrisophe Waltz or Rami Malek when it comes to an over-the-top performance. He just chooses not to do so as Bond.

If the ending doesn’t hit as hard as it should, it’s not for lack of trying on Craig’s part. It’s just that it’s hard to get invested in Bond and Madeleine’s relationship, which we are told, and not shown, is Very Important. (It also requires remembering what happened in Spectre.) Craig and Seydoux are individually hot people without much chemistry, and the introduction of a child at the last minute is a pretty cheap way to add stakes. Still, Craig is such a good actor that it’s hard not to feel a twinge of sadness when he is consumed in the fiery explosion. And even if the moment is forced in the context of this particular movie, his body of work in the role merits your sorrow.

Barbara Broccoli announced that the producers will begin their search for Craig’s replacement in earnest next year, and No Time to Die offers them a completely clean slate. Now that Craig plumbed Bond’s turmoil resulting in martyrdom, perhaps it’s time to let the super-spy have a little fun again. Bring back Ana de Armas, who injected life into No Time to Die¬†in her all-too-brief performance as a bubbly agent in Cuba. What if the new Bond kicked back a few shaken, not stirred, martinis and had a completely consensual one night stand? Since Serious Bond is dead, it’s time to lighten up a bit.

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.

Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef,¬†Cuong Nguyen¬†will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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