John Wick never had to go as hard as it does, but it continues to anyway with a deep respect for its bonkers world building, its characters, its dogs, its action and its indulgent, decadent runtime with the arcade-inspired Chapter 4.
There are some skeleton tattoos, but nothing too spooky. Countless folks begin their journeys towards skeletonhood
My VHS cover pull-quote: “When he’s done murdering everyone, John Wick should open a dog rescue.”
A mashup of everything that made Daniel Craig’s Bond work (a commitment to serialized elements, trying new things, emotion, his blue eyes) and a celebration of the James Bond mythos as a whole. It doesn’t lean as hard into the classic Bond tropes like Spectre did, nor does it try and reinvent much. It just finds a balance, adds a wrinkle, and stays the course.
The non-spoilery wrinkle No Time to Die adds is an emotional arc that forces JB towards being an ancillary character in his own movie, a fly in the ointment that is a connection between two major Forms of the 007 concept: the mad villain and the love interest. This Mr. Bond still receives the major send-off he deserves and takes center stage, but the wrinkle here fleshes other characters out at the expense of seeing Bond brood a bit more and, thus, makes this feel like a fittingly unique and substantial end for this iteration.
Or maybe they did this exact thing a billion years ago with Connery or something. I don’t know. My memories of Bond were tainted by Mike Myers as a child. It’s not my fault.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “Where do we go from here? James Bond will regenerate again, as he has for decades, and the argument over which actor acted best like this sad British murderer will continue until the heat death of the universe. And at the gates of the underworld, where we will all gather, a rider on a pale horse will tell us it was that dude George Lazenby. And we’ll be okay.”