I won’t precisely say what happens at the end of No Time To Die, but it happens for two reasons — partly a dramatic one (which I respect within the realm of the plotting, James Bond‘s character arc, the emotional payoff and whatnot) but mostly for a political one.

The latter is about the producers’ belief that the curtain had to come down on Bond because his studly, smugly sexist, martini-sipping, tuxedo-wearing attitude had become an anachronism, and that this mid 20th Century character had to relinquish the reins in the woke era. Sooner or later all tropes become old hat and need to be retired. We all get that, except that this mid 20th Century character began to relinquish the sexist reins 25 years ago, and for the most part did relinguish them 15 years ago.

For that Bondian current of studly sexism is, in fact, a decades-old cliche — pretty much confined to the Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore periods and pretty much brought to a close during the Pierce Brosnan era, and more or less absent during the time of Daniel Craig (’05 to ’21 — Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre and No Time to Die).

And the wokesters don’t care — the Bond “thing” had to be symbolically terminated all the same.

Critics won’t say it was a political call, but it was — the last 40 minutes work dramatically on their own terms, as noted (and some will shed tears), but the finale was primarily implemented to satisfy “them.” Don’t kid yourself, and don’t let anyone blow smoke about this.

Excerpt from Matt Belloni‘s latest “What I’ve Heard”…