The lights dim, the lion roars and finally, with the opening gunbarrel thundering onto the screen, we have him back!
From start to finish, it has not been an easy time for the latest James Bond film “No Time To Die”. A troubled production history, the pressure of making Daniel Craig’s departure from the role a memorable one and finally a global pandemic that has impacted every life and every business, delaying the release of the film six times. It ultimately made the film more expensive and the break-even goal almost impossible to reach.
But now, six years after the last film “Spectre”, the 25th film of the franchise will finally explode onto cinema screens across the first territories and global markets on September 30. The last time we had such a delay was between 1989 and “Licence to Kill” and “GoldenEye” in 1995. However, fans in the US have to be patient as the film will be released there on October 8. Australia even has to wait until November 11 to see 007’s return to the silver screen.
But was it worth the wait?
Absolutely. Yes, it has been a long wait. Maybe it would have been good to release the film earlier when COVID numbers were relatively stable for a while. But now, it is finally happening and I know the feeling every fan must experience right now, especially those who are fortunate enough to have gotten their hands on a premiere ticket for tomorrow.
I don’t go to the cinema often, in fact, I only go for major blockbusters such as James Bond. Therefor, my anticipation is even higher. I want value for my money and no disappointments. This is especially true for Bond because I have been a long-time fan for 25 years now who has seen every film on the big screen since “GoldenEye”. It is an important experience for me and my hands are even shaking just writing about it now.
Being honest, mid 2020 I had lost interest. Sure, Bond always stays with you and is a part of you when you have actively engaged in the fan community for so long. But the motor was missing, the driving force. With every time the film got pushed back, the interest withered. It made me sad because Bond had always been this one constant in my life.
I was furthermore unhappy about the producers and their teams not doing much to keep up the fan spirit and fill the time during a global crisis where many would have appreciated some more interaction and true fan service like other popular franchises deliver. It was not easy being a Bond fan for the past year.
The wait is over
I am gleaming with joy that I will be able to sit in the cinema on Thursday and experience the final chapter in Daniel Craig’s era. I wasn’t always happy with how the Craig films explored Bonds past and made him more vulnerable, revengeful and self-doubting. But ultimately, I take something out of every film just like I do with the older entries.
What I expect? It is hard to say. The trailers and the soundtrack did their bit to shape an opinion. I did not stay clear of spoilers or behind-the-scenes information. The runtime makes me a little afraid, but if used wisely and effectively, it could be a fantastic thrill-ride. The characters seem very interesting, the action sequences well thought-through. Altogether I am relieved that Bond is back and that pre-sales paint a distinctive picture – people still want Bond!
I share every Bond fans enthusiasm of returning to cinemas and getting our fix of 007. It will be the swan-song of an era that managed to haul in more new fans, keep exciting the old ones but also alienate a great number of them. I really do hope that the Bond franchise can keep up its relevancy and potential by continuing the legacy with a new actor, fresh ideas and a loyal fan community.