I’m throwing NTTD in with Spectre after my first viewing. It was worth a watch, but I’m struggling to think I of anything I’d want to go back again for.
Just make a Bond movie--pretty well the way they made a Batman movie with Ben Affleck after (possibly?) killing off Bats, and the way the current Spider-Man series has determined we all know how Spidey came into being so there's no need to again have the spider-bite and the death of Uncle Ben. We know who Bond is and what he does.
And thanks for the good words!
So it depends how a reboot is defined. I expect a reboot in the sense that everyone is re-cast and the plot pretends the other movies never happened. I don't think a reboot requires a origin story, but there are other opinions. To sum it up, we agree on what needs to be done.
Excellent review HB, that pretty much sums up how I feel about NTTD. Except the bit about the Pentateuch, about which I'm still scratching my head...
Nice review @Hardyboy are you certain you weren't gushing ?
Craig has gone and taken this Bond with him.
For the life of me I can't understand how they have allowed,Bond,Blofeld and Spectre to be wiped all in one movie.
I get that they wanted to give Craig a decent send off,but come on,he's not bigger than the character.
Perhaps now there's an opportunity to get back to what's important.
Bond kills for his country and gets rid of the bad guys,sometimes temporarily.
He shags hot women because he can.
And he drinks hard and takes **** from no one.
That's what was attractive about the character from the beginning.
I personally don't want someone getting in touch with their feelings and understanding how he makes others feel.
There is plenty of that stuff elsewhere.
I want to walk out of a Bond film feeling like I did when I was a kid.You could be him,you could get the girl and you could beat the baddies at will,whilst smoking a pack of fags and knocking back a crippling number of martinis.Even if it's just for the afternoon before the crushing relentlessness of the REAL world and all its myriad problems and social requirements come crashing back into your consciousness.
Yeah, I was really wondering about his myself. If he's got a tool that can completely disrupt anything computerized, why not use them on the nanobots? I mean, they specifically used that technology as opposed to, say, a genetically engineered virus. It felt like Chekhov's gun to me. Of course, if this is a way to retcon the end of this film in the beginning of the next, it may not seem to be a potential plot hole.
La pelicula no me gusto
Ej ane ikkje ka du sei.
[Loeff’s spoiler-riffic review of “No Time to Die” follows:]
My goal with this review is not to regurgitate the film’s synopsis—you can get that anywhere—but, rather, to attempt to arrange and categorize the vast array of impressions and emotions that two viewings of the film—along with a couple of days thinking and drinking about it (hence the growler)—have left me with. And there are a lot of them. So…here goes.
REFLECTIONS IN A HEFEWEIZEN GROWLER: A LOOK AT NO TIME TO DIE
Daniel Craig was James Bond. From 2006 until 2021. And the mark he has left on the role is as indelible as Sean Connery’s was. Possibly more so, in the long term.
Take that, haters!
Daniel Craig’s big-screen swan song as James Bond is, fittingly, as bold and fearless as his five-picture tenure has been (even Quantum of Solace, commonly viewed as his run’s biggest misstep, did not lack for boldness of creative decision-making): delayed multiple times by you-know-what, it has somehow managed to (mostly) keep its biggest secret for 18 months, until people could actually view it, which is no small triumph in itself…although a random douchebag on a Facebook fan group page managed to spoil it for me on opening day, two hours before I could watch it. C’est la vie; c’est la guerre.
Stylistically, the film pays considerable respect to the franchise as a whole, rewards long-term fans, and scatters Easter eggs throughout for longtime movie fans and Fleming readers alike. The production design is a bit more subtle than an old Ken Adam-era project, but is still evocative of the master’s work, and the Hans Zimmer score is surprisingly good, given the derision heaped upon him by some in the Bond fanboy community; he knows what a Bond film is about, and is wise enough to borrow liberally from established Bond musical tropes, the main theme principal among them.
Even setting aside the biological terrorism element they share, there is no denying that No Time to Die is the thematic and spiritual twin sibling of 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. From the moment in the pre-title sequence, when Bond fatefully tells Madeleine ‘We have all the time in the world,’—and Hans Zimmer’s score immediately incorporates that John Barry melody as a musical cue—the film takes on an emotional gravitas that characterized the older film, and maintains it throughout. Both films are love stories, and both end tragically, with NTTD swapping Tracy’s death for Bond’s; Louis Armstrong’s classic vocal performance of the piece over the end credits seals the deal. With the growth of OHMSS’s esteem in the rear-view mirror of history, Eon were wise to return to that rarified well to close out Craig’s tenure.
One of NTTD’s broader themes—which is really a through-line that connects all of the Craig films—is the erosion of trust in government authority, and the seemingly inexorable corruptibility of the bureaucracy. The old-time SPECTRE of the ’60s films was a hive of relatively cartoonish villainy…but the SPECTRE of the Craig Era could be any global corporation (see: Facebook, Google, Twitter, et al), with its tentacles entwined throughout the halls of national power. From Skyfall on, Craig’s Bond has essentially been cleaning up messes made by none other than M herself (and, later, himself), along with government officials who proved to be willing co-conspirators of the baddies. In this movie, the dynamic between Bond and M is stood on its head: the retired Bond’s dressing-down of his former boss—his disgust and direct recrimination—is unprecedented in the franchise’s prior 24 films. Further, it reflects our own growing disillusionment with (and dread of) those ‘in charge.’
The SPECTRE gathering scene in Cuba features a disembodied bionic eye, on a tiny pillow, being walked around the room by a sinister trio of baddies, which – for my money – is as audaciously and absurdly straight-faced camp as anything that happened in the mid- to late-1960s. Still, it is no less chilling than a body dipped in gold paint or oil, and it reminds us that we’re someplace where only people like James Bond might escape with their lives.
The viral nanobot technology is a suitably malleable McGuffin of a villain’s plot, just complicated enough to foster suspension of disbelief, and the ‘Garden of Death’ from Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice novel finally makes its appearance in the film canon (although it was sadly underused, in this fan’s personal opinion). While other fan reviews have expressed disappointment with Rami Malek’s villain, I find Safin’s detached reptilian calm extremely disturbing, and his backstory as plausible as it is unsettling and believable.
The supporting cast is solid, with Jeffrey Wright’s excellent Felix Leiter being given a shocking demise, Ana de Armas’ Paloma managing to be as cute as a button whilst being deadly dangerous (more would have been good), and Léa Seydoux’s weighty depth of emotion anchoring virtually every scene in which she appears. At the end of the PTS, we see her instinctively clutch her abdomen, as Bond puts her on a train and tells her she’ll never see him again. In retrospect, we realize that she knew she was pregnant but withheld that from Bond, which makes the appearance of their daughter, Mathilde (beautifully played by Lisa-Dorah Sonnet, an obviously talented young actress) all the more effective.
The PTS features brilliant action, of course, this time starring the Aston Martin DB5 in arguably its best appearance ever. The action set pieces are highly effective throughout, and lack the obvious contrivance of things like the plane crashing sequence from Spectre. The aerially-deployed glider-turned-submarine is delicious eye candy.
Craig’s performance must be singled out as we look at the whole product: the Bond we get here, at the end of the run, is sensitive, caring, and devoted – quite a far cry from the self-conscious emotional detachment he brought to his Casino Royale debut. Here, we see a Bond whose world-weariness isn’t just a tossed-off subtext in a scene, as we’ve seen before. Here, it weighs on him throughout the narrative…and while some criticize his ‘sudden transformation’ to a man with a family to worry about, I feel it just adds to the weight of the piece in a natural fashion, and only enhances it. I firmly believe that this is his best acting performance of the five pictures; a run with zero substandard efforts from the man himself (as is often the case, faults in a Bond film lie elsewhere).
During the film’s long delay, much was made (by fandom) of Bond’s 007 number being given to a black female following his retirement, but Lashana Lynch’s Nomi proves to be a lot of fun to watch…and she evolves, from Bond’s insecure foil to a partner who respects her senior agent…but I think they missed an opportunity with the ‘007 reveal;’ I’d much rather they had shown M in his office, saying “Send in 007” and having her come through the door.
My gripes with the film are relatively few (compared to the jilted fanboys, who are legion, and whine endlessly about plot holes, and the fact that Craigger isn’t a different actor), but one of them is inherent to the Craig Era, which is that they have become ensemble pieces…instead of a solitary man of action on a mission. I guess this is why my own escapist mystery/action thrillers take place in the 1940s, before tech made everything collaborative, and ‘in the moment.’ That said, the MI6 regulars are all characteristically reliable here.
Once Leiter is dead—and Blofeld is inadvertently killed by Bond—the entire film takes on an added weight, and I began to see how the endgame might unfold.
I wasn’t wrong. Ultimately, NTTD reveals itself to be the most emotional Bond film ever—and, quite likely, the most emotional Bond film there will ever be. If that sounds like hyperbole, consider that more than a generation separates the tragic finale of OHMSS from that of NTTD…and you can only kill off such an iconic hero once, before it becomes nakedly manipulative.
More importantly, it has managed to give this iconic character something it had never had before: a defined character arc – and an ending. When viewed with some hard-achieved emotional detachment, this element sets his films apart from those which came before – a ‘closed circuit’ that safely insulates Craig’s tenure from the rest of the films in the franchise, and arguably elevates it to legend status – something in the way of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. It’s quite easy to understand that this entry is polarizing: when hasn’t Craig been a polarizing figure in the uniquely demanding, fetishistic strain of hardcore Bond fandom? I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it again: it took a Daniel Craig to save Bond from himself – and, in turn, he has set a dauntingly high bar for the next fellow to be fitted for the tux. I do not envy that man.
Similarly, I understand now why executive producer Barbara Broccoli says that she is having a hard time figuring out what happens after Daniel Craig: having arrived on the scene as a rebooted character, he became the franchise’s first ever co-producer…and I’d wager that Bond’s death was a bargaining chip he played, using that clout, to agree to come back for a fifth and final entry.
For the devoted long-term anti-Craig fetishist (they’re out there), the conclusion of NTTD is the final outrage. But…for those of us who decided to give the bloke a chance, in 2005—and eagerly buckled into the DB5 alongside him—the ending (while surely sad) is satisfying…if not inevitable.
In my estimation, the final scene in the film is nothing short of beautiful.
James Bond will, most assuredly, return…but when he does—starting from scratch, with a fresh actor in the tux—he will face a situational dichotomy: a clear runway…with a towering mountain range of high expectations at the end of it.
My goodness. How dreary. So glad I'm not living through these lenses. Peace and love. Peace and love.
Based on #371, which is a livid review, shouldn’t we all agree, if we just dismiss the plot holes from NTTD, that this was a James Bond arc at its best? Not to say we haven’t had a character development as DCs Bond in the cinema franchise.
By seeing the bigger picture, there are undeniable observances from Casino Royale that we can state he was a freshman, cold hearted killer, the assassin he was meant to be, and we had a touch of his armor ‘being peeled back’, as he said himself, with Vesper.
The betrayal was a major impact for him, and as we see in Quantum of Solace he yearned for a need to set things right, his anger for not catching the truth a catalyst to avenge Vesper and kill the traitor boyfriend.
The movie may for most people be a distraction or just another “mission”, but Bond had his ulterior motive that many dismiss, and his change of heart by not killing the baddie boyfriend is also part of the arc many fail to recognize. M later states in Spectre, that a license to kill is also a license NOT to kill and James learns it at that moment.
Skyfall, my favorite Bond movie ever, mostly because it was my first, brings a broader approach to Bond, then in the middle brings us back in to his past, (for someone who tries not to dwell in the past Bond keeps getting screwed by it) when he visits his family home. One thing that stuck out to me is when Kincade shows M the hidden fireplace tunnel and says after the boy learned his parents died he hid in the tunnel for 3 days and when he came out, he was no longer a boy, but a man.
Bond knows he did his best to try to save M, but doesn’t dwell on the past or is guilt ridden for it. Here we see a grown Bond, a sort of Luke becomes the legendary Jedi moment not only because he’s the best at his job, but because he knows exactly who he is and has learned to hope for the better despite the cruel world.
Again, Bond doesn’t catch a break as someone from long ago is trying to kill him in Spectre. Everything he has learned in the past movies has led up to this moment of who he can trust. Will we see a James as the one we saw in Casino? A little. And as for their “forced love”, she is a psychologist at the highest degree and class and knows Bond better than Vesper in my opinion as she read him as easy as you read this sentence. It’s her profession, not a finance liaison for the Treasury who happens to be smart. Bond already wanted her but she wanted to make sure he was authentic and good to her, since she has her fair share of distrust to the men in her life, and it’s close to the end when she finally falls completely for him.
Before I finish this arc review, I was the one who said that I loved and hated No Time To Die. Go back a page and see my thoughts. As soon as the credits started rolling, I left the theater for some fresh air after 2:30 hours with mask on, but partly I was just bewildered with the ending and was just done. Even this morning I was thinking I absolutely despised it, but after seeing the bigger picture, I can’t compare this journey which anyone else’s.
But now I am leaning towards the loving it side. James Bond from Casino Royale came back, living the life with his girl, not a care in the world. Then his past came hunting for him again, following distrust, anger, his armor came back on as he sent her on a train and pledged never to see her in their lifetime. He doesn’t do it because he hates her, he knows how much danger he puts the people around him in, therefore leading to a life solo.
Then again, like a scratchy record, the past comes again, this time as a friend needing his help, only to be led to almost getting killed by Blofeld. But the thing is, he still knows that whoever is with him will only be put in danger, as Blofeld tells him. A sort of foreshadowing to what’s to come.
Here he learns something new, how to be a father. Yes for maybe like a day or two, but it’s part of the arc! Safin was wrong thinking Bond wouldn’t give his life for his family, or he knew exactly Bond would live in misery not seeing his family he’d rather die so basically killing him. Yet another crucial character trait that basically was all the facets Bond completed in his life. A complete man, a faulty man, but a giving one.
Daniel Craig even said even though James is an a** at most times, he still cares for people, he likes them. Why else would he have so many people needing him, looking out for him? Because he does the same back to them.
The film is still growing on me as may with you, but by far Daniel Craig is still MY Bond, and as a 22 yr old, growing up with him is now a part of me I’ll never forget.
Likewise, I do not envy the man getting dressed in a tux and a PPK in holster to be the next Bond, because we have high expectations that better be met after this.
That growler must have been good @Loeffelholz. Your review certainly is an excellent piece.
@Loeffelholz and @Chico two great reviews, thanks for those reasoned takes.
I don't understand... I always wear my varifocals 😎😎
Look Loeffs, I'm glad to have you back, but don't crap on my review and then say 'Peace and Love' in that passive aggressive way. The 007 Magazine didn't think much of it either. You always seem to struggle with anyone disagreeing with you or anyone saying anything critical.
I'm still trying to work out why Eon are planning to do a reboot, or that they think there is a need for it. They could have easily kept Bond alive.
Saw Casino Royale on UK TV last night. Noticed that the pre-credit fight in the toilet had been 98% cut. The fight on the stairwell hadn't been cut, and that was just as violent.
"I want to walk out of a Bond film feeling like I did when I was a kid. You could be him, you could get the girl and you could beat the baddies at will,whilst smoking a pack of fags and knocking back a crippling number of martinis. Even if it's just for the afternoon before the crushing relentlessness of the REAL world and all its myriad problems and social requirements come crashing back into your consciousness."
I agree @NoQuarter.
And Craig is the only Bond I would not want to be if I were a kid. Too boring to want to emulate.
There is one thing I could say about NTTD ... It is an audacious movie
I co-sign this!👍🏿
Halcon here in the USA, finally watched NTTD....
Despite reading everything here and knowing what was to come...I was surprised that I shed a tear on 3 separate scenes ....my thoughts-
-Safin's motives were crystal clear for me from the beginning...he lost his family and is tortured by this void and feels completely alone in this world, therefore the world can go to hell...
-Vespers tomb scene, cried here, and loved how Spectre is introduced in the film...so sinister..
-Felixs death... cried a second time, it felt like losing a brother for sure...
-Nomi... just wow, the confidence, the killer instinct, she was regal even...the way she would just stand there knowing she could handle anything...a worthy 007, LOVED her character
-Bonds death...there are 2 sides to this, the cinematic side and the personal side... cinematically it was a glorious death for sure, but for a lot of us Bond is more than a fictional character so it's a struggle to see it... personally I chose to believe he somehow someway survived...
-the Aston Martin scenes were just about the best out of all the Bond films...with the Vantage just ever so slightly edging out the DB as my favorite, it was fantastic seeing it drive away at the end
I ask for forgiveness in advance if the answer’s been posted, but how many years has passed since the end of SP to the point before Bond and Madeleine split up in the PTS?
Near as I can tell, the timeframe from the ending of SP to Bond putting Swann on the train in NTTD is only a matter of weeks. They were just starting their 'new life together' when everything happened in Matera.
The films have more or less played out in 'real time', apart from QOS which immediately follows CR. I say that due to the fact that Vesper's grave clearly states that she passed in 2006, firmly establishing when CR took place.
As such, I'd assume that Craig's Bond has more or less a 9 year career as 007 before 'resigning.'
CR/QOS: 2006 (he becomes Bond)
SF: 2012 (he's a veteran by this point)
SP: 2015 (he retires at the end)
NTTD: 2020 (the year the film was supposed to be released)
Well, Nap, in point of fact I hadn't read your review until just now. I was referring to the exchange between you and Big Tam specifically, and apparently misread it. My apologies, both for my mistake and for your apparent lingering impression of me. Cheers and be well.
Regardless of whether they kill off the character or not, Craig-Bond is dead. They can't just carry over all that personal history.
The option to have him ride off into the sunset doesn't work with his characterisation, which was always Bond being emotionally damaged. Also, he'd already done that in Spectre so it wouldn't be much of a surprise.
I don't think him escaping whilst leaving the toy with Madeline would work- would he really give up love and his own child just for work, particularly as he's quit multiple times before? He isn't a family man and what would they do for future films? Have him pop in at weekends.
Really the only way they could make a grand enough ending, tying up all the threads of Craig's tenure, was to kill him off.
Perhaps for the greater good of the series it was a flawed idea giving him so much personal background because it makes it impossible for the new actor to simply step into the old actor's shoes.
I quite agree. I tend to be on the lookout for that kind of nonsense, ubiquitous as it is becoming, but I simply didn't see it here.
+1 🍸️ ...although I would like a longer PTS that tells a quick version of the TSWLM novel, and introduces Bond as a stranger who helps a beautiful woman in a dangerous situation.
Eon will have a unique opportunity with 26, and I'm very curious about what they do with it. If I were at the helm, I believe I'd go back to the original Precious Classic Formula, and have a younger Bond be given a standalone mission, as Hardyboy suggested. I don't think another Backstory Bond would be the right move.
I agree. A standalone story with a younger Bond (but already a 00-agent with some experience) is the way to go.
If (big IF) we ever get an origin story it has to be far into the future, maybe introducing him when he was in the navy.
Long thought this would be a stellar opening with a suspenseful long delayed opening to Bond's entrance. But Craig would have been the ideal Bond for this, looking in some lights like the very gangster type Vivienne would be looking to avoid on first glance. He's gone now.
Also, are EON legally allowed to use this? A proviso from Fleming was that they could only use the title and not the story. Fleming was very down on the book - surprising as it's really not bad at all.