With the release of 2021’s No Time to Die, the fifth installment in his wildly popular career as the super-spy, Daniel Craig formally announced his departure from the James Bond franchise. Although 007 will undoubtedly continue, Craig is at least willing to let No Time to Die serve as his final performance as the persona.
It’s difficult to criticize the legacy he leaves behind, especially considering how difficult the franchise was for the actor who starred in it.
However, his first movie since No Time to Die also serves as a dignified, albeit much cheekier, farewell. Craig played blustering investigator Benoit Blanc in Rian Johnson’s arch-murder mystery Knives Out.
In Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, the actor reprises the part, and he might have his new franchise. More than that, the second movie serves as an oddly appropriate send-off for Craig’s reign as the most well-known spy in the world.
The James Bond films and spy tales, in general, are a mystery.
Even those as legendary as 007 spy thrillers always have a sense of mystery. Bond always starts his escapades with questions that the British Government needs to be able to answer, which eventually leads to a suspect and a crime that is now being committed (usually in the name of global domination). Geopolitics is a factor in the 007 series and the Ian Fleming books on which they are based. Still, beyond that, the distinction between Bond’s escapades and classic Agatha Christie drawing room mysteries comes down to the amount of action.
Glass Onion emphasizes this, especially in the contrasts between Craig’s longtime Bond character Benoit Blanc and the audience’s first encounter with him in Knives Out. Blanc is a world away from Bond, especially from the actor’s somber take on 007. Where Bond is overt, he is covert; he observes where Bond acts. Blanc speaks extensively about theories and facts, but Bond is frequently mute. Despite this, they continue to have important things in common, such as their emphasis on polite society and their shared coolness under pressure.
Glass Onion’s Setting and Villain Incorporate a Touch of Bond
That makes Glass Onion the perfect location for a slightly more naughty Bond send-off. The backdrop is where it all begins: an island estate in the Aegean Sea owned by a bizarre billionaire who wants to transform the world. It is influenced by classic mysteries set in exotic locations, such as Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile, but it also has elements of the villains from the 007 series. It even includes evil devices and cutting-edge equipment that its owner controls, as well as an explosive fuel supply that results in its flaming destruction in the movie’s conclusion in traditional Bond style.
The antagonist is also far more Bondian than would first appear. Edward Norton portrays Miles Bron as a cunning schemer who swindles his superiors out of ideas and uses covert methods to manage a group of powerful individuals. His ultimate objective is clean hydrogen fuel, the same one that powers his estate, but due to his reckless desire, it poses a real threat to the apocalypse. Throughout Glass Onion, Blanc and his supporters utilize stealth and trickery to win over Blanc’s trust and then, in the end, bring him down. The references to 007 are once more obvious.
On December 23, Netflix will start streaming Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.