James Bond Will Return! OK, but why though?
Action movies these days are little more than non-interactive video games.
You're not watching an actor perform feats of daring-do, subtly enhanced with cinema trickery; you're watching stunt doubles and cartoony CGI. So you're left to enjoy "witty" dialogue (patchy), nifty gadgets (lacking), and plot tension (mostly absent until the end). Bond hits his targets every time while his enemies spray machine-gun fire which never leaves a scratch. You're watching a Twitch streamer play Goldeneye on easy-mode with cheating mods enabled.
Originally scheduled to be released on the 50th anniversary of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" - the film hits you over the head with back references. At this point Bond fans are only interested in nostalgia. The producers are too afraid to try anything original - witness the howls of anger at Lashana Lynch being cast as 007. She is excellent - and I'd much rather have followed her mission than Bond's tedious boozing.
Bond's plot-armour is as thick as ever. So the writers have added a moppet to soak up all the peril. But do you really think a modern blockbuster would actually show a toddler in any real danger?
This is a perfectly average James Bond film. It is mildly less sexist than its predecessors and has some delightfully choreographed sequences. The plot - an invisible illness - is uncomfortably on the nose. And I was genuinely surprised by how unambiguous the ending was.
Bond has run its course now. There's nothing left for it to explore. Will the producers go for cookie-cutter remakes forever, or will we get a radical reimagining? I'd love to see the adventures of a (gay/black/female/neurodiverse/Hindu/octogenarian) Bond set in the 1960s, shot without CGI, and directed by someone who believes action sequences don't need to be rapid-cut to be effective. But there's probably more money in churning out another predictable adventure.
James Bond Will Return. But can he ever be reimagined?