10 Ways Daniel Craigs Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

10 Ways Daniel Craig’s Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

No Time to Die acts as a finale to Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond. The previous four movies set up its plot and style in interesting ways.

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10 Ways Daniel Craigs Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

After Skyfall earned rave reviews as a standalone James Bond adventure, Spectre controversially pulled together the serialized elements teased in Quantum of Solace to turn Daniel Craig’s tenure as 007 into a Marvel-style shared universe with running story threads and recurring supporting characters.

With Casino Royale’s subversively gritty origin story and No Time to Die’s surprisingly emotional sense of finality and closure, Craig’s run of Bond movies holds together as a complete beginning-to-end narrative. Usually, a Bond actor’s last movie is the bomb that puts the final nail in the coffin. No Time to Die is the first planned 007 finale, and its four predecessors set the stage for that finale in interesting ways.

10 Mr. White Is Tied To Safin’s Motivation

10 Ways Daniel Craigs Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

The villain in No Time to Die, Rami Malek’s Safin, has been met with mixed reviews. Most of the negative points decry his lack of a clear motivation. The movie’s prologue implies that Safin lost his family at the hands of Mr. White and attacked Mr. White’s wife and daughter as an act of retaliation. This doesn’t explain his megalomania, but it does explain his obsession with Madeleine and her family.

Either way, Mr. White is indirectly responsible for the villain’s plot in No Time to Die. Mr. White was first introduced in Casino Royale. He’s still in the trunk of Bond’s car at the beginning of Quantum of Solace and he dies in Spectre.

9 Quantum Of Solace Introduced Serialization

10 Ways Daniel Craigs Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

Traditionally, Bond movies are episodic adventure-of-the-week stories following 007’s latest mission. The early Sean Connery movies existed on a linear story timeline with Blofeld and SPECTRE pulling the strings from the background, but each one stands on its own as a standalone Bond adventure. The Craig era is the first ongoing multi-movie Bond narrative with a clear beginning, middle, and end, and an emotional arc for 007 himself.

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Quantum of Solace introduced the serialized elements by picking up where Casino Royale left off, then Spectre tied it all together with the Blofeld reveal. Spectre’s serialization was a polarizing move, but No Time to Die managed to satisfy fans as the grand, definitive finale of this ongoing continuity.

8 Bond Fell In Love With Madeleine In Spectre

10 Ways Daniel Craigs Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

One of the most problematic tropes in the Bond franchise is the “Bond girl,” a one-off love interest in each movie whose role amounts to little more than one-dimensional objectification. The most recent run of Bond movies started to move the dial in the right direction, with strong female characters like Nomi and Paloma who transcend the “Bond girl” archetype.

Dr. Madeleine Swann isn’t a traditional Bond girl; she’s more like Mrs. Tracy Bond from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – she’s Bond’s soulmate. Bond fell in love with Madeleine in Spectre and they’re in a committed relationship at the beginning of No Time to Die.

7 Ralph Fiennes Took Over As The New M At The End Of Skyfall

10 Ways Daniel Craigs Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

M is traditionally the expository character who explains Bond’s mission after the opening credits, but in No Time to Die, M is actually tied (albeit indirectly) to the villain’s diabolical plot. Judi Dench’s M would never have ordered the creation of the Heracles virus.

Ralph Fiennes’ Mallory took over after she was killed off in heartbreaking fashion at the end of Skyfall. Fiennes’ M is more morally dubious than Dench’s, an idea that was first explored in Spectre.

6 Spectre Revealed Blofeld To Be Pulling The Strings Behind All The Previous Craig Villains

10 Ways Daniel Craigs Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

When Bond meets “Franz Oberhauser” (Eon’s answer to John “Khan” Harrison from Star Trek Into Darkness), he explains that he’s been pulling the strings behind every previous villain from the Craig movies: “Me. It was all me, James. It’s always been me. The author of all your pain.”

Just like Blofeld was revealed to be pulling the strings of the megalomaniacal schemes of Dr. No, Rosa Klebb, and Emilio Largo in the Sean Connery movies. The wording of the monologue is a tad clunky, but Christoph Waltz can make any speech compelling.

5 Vesper’s Death In Casino Royale Had A Huge Impact On Bond

10 Ways Daniel Craigs Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

In keeping with the shockingly dark tone of the movie, Casino Royale culminates in the death of Bond’s love interest, Vesper. After Bond leaves MI6 to spend his life with Vesper, he ends up fighting off goons in a sinking building. Vesper drowns while trapped in the elevator of this building and Bond fails to save her.

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The opening action sequence of No Time to Die kicks off at Vesper’s grave, where Bond is begrudgingly paying his respects and getting closure at the behest of his current girlfriend.

4 Quantum Turned Out To Be A Division Of Spectre

10 Ways Daniel Craigs Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

The titles of Bond movies don’t usually have an overt connection to the plot – A View to a Kill and Tomorrow Never Dies are just cool-sounding phrases – but the title of Quantum of Solace directly refers to Quantum, the shady organization behind the villain’s scheme.

As the Craig movies went on, Quantum turned out to be a division of SPECTRE. Then, in No Time to Die, Safin wiped out SPECTRE. There’s a pattern of Craig’s Bond continually facing bigger and bigger threats.

3 Skyfall Explored The Dark Side Of MI6

10 Ways Daniel Craigs Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

MI6 is usually portrayed as the “good guys” in Bond movies, but Skyfall began to explore MI6’s dark side. Throughout the movie, M continually demonstrates a callous disregard for her agents’ lives: she tells Bond to abandon a dying Ronson, she left Silva to be tortured in a prison camp, and she told Moneypenny to “take the bloody shot” when she worried she might hit Bond.

With the revelation that Heracles was developed in a secret MI6 lab, No Time to Die leaned even more heavily into the dark side of MI6.

2 Mr. White Is Responsible For Madeleine’s Traumatic Childhood

10 Ways Daniel Craigs Other Bond Movies Set Up No Time To Die

Throughout No Time to Die, Madeleine is shown to be reeling from a traumatic childhood, largely thanks to her father, Mr. White, who didn’t spend a lot of time with her and killed people for a living.

Madeleine’s strained relationship with her father might explain why she was reluctant to tell Bond that Mathilde is his daughter. Like her own distant father, Bond travels a lot and kills for a living.

1 Bond Arrested Blofeld At The End Of Spectre

Although Waltz reprises his role as Blofeld in No Time to Die, the entirety of his supporting role is confined to a high-tech prison cell. He manages to enjoy life as a free man via a bionic eye that SPECTRE agents bring to his birthday bash in Cuba, but his physical presence is stuck in Belmarsh.

This follows on from the old-fashioned ending of Spectre, in which Bond chose to be with Madeleine instead of killing Blofeld. This allowed Waltz to return in the sequel, though only briefly.

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