Way, way too hard on Bond wasn't it?

hoppimikehoppimike London, UKPosts: 54MI6 Agent

I mean... I'm sure that this is very subjective. I'm sure that some people watch NTTD and think it felt fine to them.

Back when Skyfall came out I felt like that was too hard on the character also but this movie seems to actively dislike him, to be honest.

I feel like he's intentionally portrayed as quite weak, disliked and desperate for female attention, at least relative to the previous movies.

Nomi is so abrasive and no good reason is given for it either. She seems to be fairly consistently given the upper hand over Bond too. And what is with her dress sense? She didn't look like she fit into the movie at all.

For me all this kind of spoiled the film because it was so relentless. It makes it hard to really appreciate the other aspects of the movie, at least for me.

And of course the ending only added to all that, but by that point I'd kind of mostly given up on the film anyway.

Don't get me wrong I love loads of Bond movies. I've seen about 16 now including Never Say Never Again and have enjoyed nearly all of them.

If they must stick to their guns on this new very "politically correct" Bond then I think it would be best to just omit the sexual advances altogether instead of making him look rejected all the time, and to drop the constant jabs and passive aggression because it spoils the mood of the film.

Sorry for the long post! I'll leave it here I think :)

Movies: The Spy Who Loved Me. Actor: Pierce Brosnan. Theme: You Only Live Twice. :D

Comments

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,766MI6 Agent
    edited March 11

    Nomi is so abrasive and no good reason is given for it either. She seems to be fairly consistently given the upper hand over Bond too.

    That's simply not true. She 'wins' their first little skirmish in Jamaica where she tricks herself into his home and warns him off, but after that she 'loses' every other meeting. In Cuba she leaves empty-handed, in MI6 Bond gets invited into M's office where she isn't and she fumes, then she fumes when she's made to work with him (and he takes pleasure in winning that one), she fumes when he's made a double-O and the joke -at her expense- is that he won't tell her what his code number is... Bond consistently gets the upper hand over her, this continues until Bond is the bigger man and asks for them to work together.

    So I think you've seen what you want to see there instead of what's actually in the film.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    hoppimike said:

    Don't get me wrong I love loads of Bond movies. I've seen about 16 now including Never Say Never Again and have enjoyed nearly all of them.

    the good news is youve got about eight or nine old (mostly) good ones you can still look forward to watching for the first time!

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,716MI6 Agent

    Hey @hoppimike you're in good company with your views, you're a bit late to the party mind! Bond has a lousy time in his films, it's been going on since, well, License to Kill in a way. Accelerated with Craig. It's more that the one-upmanship with Nomi doesn't feel any fun, just a bit sour, it's not a good relationship because that stuff works okay in a movie where she's the only other character and in this it's all over the place, she's not the main female lead, sometimes it's the Cuban one then Mad Swann, so it just seems Bond is being a bit petty with a newcomer.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,766MI6 Agent

    Yes, as you say, that sort of thing works with say, Anya or Wai Lin because that's the central relationship of the film (and in fact both of them are way more antagonistic than Nomi really ever gets to be), but with Nomi it just never really goes anywhere because she's pretty much surplus to the main storyline of the film.

    I was expecting them to maybe draw some parallels with CR- so that Bond sees something of his younger self in her (both being films where a young agent is made 007) and for that to be some kind of a learning experience in some way, but nothing happens there at all. I don't think the film really knows what to do with her.

  • hoppimikehoppimike London, UKPosts: 54MI6 Agent

    Very true! I'm watching Thunderball right now!

    I think I'd seen the first half an hour of it before for some reason but now it's all new, although of course having seen NSNA it's all a bit hauntingly familiar! lol :)

    Movies: The Spy Who Loved Me. Actor: Pierce Brosnan. Theme: You Only Live Twice. :D

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,442Chief of Staff
    edited March 12

    I never thought of the parallels with CR but, gosh, you're right-

    A young agent is made 007, there should be some kind of learning experience but nothing happens there at all, and the film doesn't really know what to do. Well spotted, emtiem!

    Edit- Oh, and the ending is very similar too!

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,766MI6 Agent
    edited March 12

    Haha! Very true!

    Someone needs to edit on the “heavenly spot” exit music to the end of NTTD 😂

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,442Chief of Staff
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    hoppimike said:

    Very true! I'm watching Thunderball right now!

    I think I'd seen the first half an hour of it before for some reason but now it's all new, although of course having seen NSNA it's all a bit hauntingly familiar! lol :)

    you must give us your thoughts on Thunderball if youre never seen it before! I'm surprised you saw Never Say Never Again first, its actually a bit hard to find on dvd these days. But surely interesting to start with the unofficial remake and then go back to the real one, I'd love to see a compare-and-contrast from that point of view (see general BondFilm review thread here)

    its all subjective opinion of course which ones are good and which arent, but theres a reason why they just released the 25th film in a series thats lasted since 1962, and thats cuz how good those first four Conneries really were! Everything since has gotten made and found an audience because of those first four films. some of the later ones were arguably better but would not have been made if it werent for the success of the first four.

    In this new film for example many ways in which theyre appealing to us by reminding us of those early films, all those nostalgic callbacks which make the audience cheer. They maybe relied on that nostalgia for the old films moreso than actually telling us a good new story that would stand on its own.

  • hoppimikehoppimike London, UKPosts: 54MI6 Agent

    It was good! I felt like it was somewhat more down-to-earth and "gritty" as compared to Goldfinger, which was fine I think.

    I only really have two criticisms:

    • The underwater battle... maybe went on a touch too long and did feel a bit gory for a Bond movie. Not a huge problem but I guess I tend to like when they're a bit cleaner. Not sure how that could have been avoided though.
    • The sped up boat at the end! That's hard to judge now in 2022 because I'm sure film conventions were very different in 1965! So maybe I should 100% let it off that it looked a bit strange to me now! I'm not sure.

    I guess I'd give the film an 8.5/10. I enjoyed it for sure :)

    The only Connery Bond I still have remaining to watch is Diamonds Are Forever, which I'm looking forward to because it looks quite unique. I think next I shall watch that, AVTAK or LTK. I'm watching them in a very strange order but... there are so many movies in the series and I find I enjoy it more when I just watch whichever one I feel drawn to at that time :)

    As for Thunderball vs NSNA... Thunderball is better IMO from what I recall now of NSNA. Wow they are similar though, haha. For obvious reasons.

    I like both :)

    NSNA maybe more like a 7.5 from me.

    Movies: The Spy Who Loved Me. Actor: Pierce Brosnan. Theme: You Only Live Twice. :D

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,766MI6 Agent

    It was good! I felt like it was somewhat more down-to-earth and "gritty" as compared to Goldfinger, which was fine I think.

    Yes, I agree; I think it's a bit of an odd choice to be honest, what with Goldfinger being such a big hit. They seemed to lose a lot of the fantastical, mad stuff which people loved about GF and it became more down to earth for some reason. You Only Live Twice feels like the one trying to be a sequel to Goldfinger.

  • hoppimikehoppimike London, UKPosts: 54MI6 Agent

    OK I felt compelled to make a thread related to this, lol

    You're right though yeah that YOLT feels more similar to Goldfinger. Thunderball feels more like From Russia With Love, I think!

    Movies: The Spy Who Loved Me. Actor: Pierce Brosnan. Theme: You Only Live Twice. :D

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,442Chief of Staff

    TB and FRWL have the same director, do you think that may have something to do with it?

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    yes thats first thing I thought of, Terrence Young directed the first two which are more realistic and dry compared to what we've come to expect. Guy Hamilton emphasised the ironic tone and would return to direct three of the goofiest films in the series.

    other thing is the evolution of the Thunderball script, which was intended to be the first in the series even before EON was a thing. Then even when Broccoli and Saltzman got together, their first project was their own version of a Thunderball script before they realised they didnt have the rights to do that one, and it was that version of the script that evolved into the actual film. So in a sense the film we got had been gestating a long time before Dr No and maybe thats why it looks like a step backwards in tone?

    actually I never really thought of it as a step back before, because it certainly looks bigger, and really fetishizes the technology in a way Goldfinger did not. I think the way Goldfinger moves ahead of the Terrence Young films is the witty dialog. Some of the most quoted lines in the entire franchise come from that film, Bond vs Q, Bond vs Goldfinger, Bond vs Pussy. The actual plot thats going on surrounding these dialogs is actually a bit dull compared to Thunderball. But Thunderball is more ineptly paced, like it had a more imaginative plot but the end result was not put together so efficiently or with the same polish.

    I like both. I find I have to look really hard to spot any faults, but doing so helps me understand better how they are put together and why something I like so much works the way it does.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,766MI6 Agent
    edited March 13

    There's some fetishisation of tech I guess, but it seems odd that all the good tech gets given to the baddies. The sexiest gadget Bond gets is the jetpack probably, but he doesn't really do anything interesting with it- he just goes over there. And he even tidies it away neatly into his car boot. That's not what the guy wearing a dinner jacket under his wetsuit would have done, tossing his seagull hat into the sea and casually looking at his watch while a drug factory explodes; come on James.

    There's nothing like a wild Oddjob character in it; instead we get a parade of pretty faceless henchmen and a really dull riff on Goldfinger himself as the baddie. Fiona is obviously fantastic, but even she is a less heightened character than anyone in the film previous. There are no snappy visual set pieces like the laser beam table or gassing the gangsters or crushing the car, or painting a lady gold. And yes, several of the great ideas come from the source material, but the later films show they were capable of generating this stuff without Fleming. Instead we get, what, Bond in a pool with sharks? It's good but it's not on the same level of mad cartoonishness (and there's nothing wrong with cartoonishness). I guess maybe they were being produced so quickly that no-one had time to step back and look at Goldfinger and figure out what it was about that which really clicked with audiences.

    But as you say, there's some ineptitude creeping in there even away from them not taking lessons from Bond #3. The climax of Goldfinger has our hero Bond handcuffed to a nuclear bomb complete with ticking display- proper tense stuff. The climax to Thunderball has a nuclear bomb too, but it's... miles away somewhere else we never see. And there is a countdown too, but it's measured using a calendar rather than a sexy futuristic digital display. Surely the producers could see that one of those options makes for a much exciting climax than the other?

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,716MI6 Agent

    This has digressed a bit!

    One might read my lengthy review of seeing Thunderball recently at London's Prince Charles cinema.

    However, of course there is no real countdown to nuclear destruction because it's already decided the Govt will pay the ransom, which would doubtless led to local authority cuts, austerity, closure of local libraries and covert end-of-life care and DNRs in care homes, deportation scandals and so on, can't imagine how that would have played out without James Bond to stop it, but there you go. Not end of days.

    When Bond tells Domino 'thousands will die' if she doesn't go along with him, he's not quite telling the truth.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    emtiem said:

    Bond in a pool with sharks? It's good but it's not on the same level of mad cartoonishness (and there's nothing wrong with cartoonishness)

    I just gotta point out! the original sharktank scene was not cartoonish at all! Sean Connery was really in that narrow tunnel when the shark bumped up against him, and he was pissed at the producers that they allowed that to happen!


    yes this has digressed but we've already had a couple dozen threads about how CraigBond's a big loser, and its much more fun to be talking about Goldfinger and Thunderball!

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,766MI6 Agent

    Sure, but that's kind of it for memorable scenes in the middle of TB, isn't it? He gets driven fast, the junkanoo... none of them really stand out all that much (and in fact I'm having trouble even remembering what does happen! 😁 ). But you look at YOLT, with its docks fight, helicopter magnet car, Little Nellie, 'Ninjas!', wedding etc. etc. and every new scene is a big crazy new idea. I can't imagine ever getting bored watching that because it's bursting with big Bondy ideas.

    Yeah. Bit boring, isn't it? he's chasing a bomb that's not even going to go off. Goldfinger was going to wreck the world's economy by making the gold radioactive. Now that's a sexy idea.

    Although your point about the UK's funding does remind me of the ending to TMWTGG, where Bond is trying to steal the Solex from Scaramanga (despite, as far as I can see, the UK having no claim on it!) which was supposed to end the reliance on fossil fuels etc. - and even though Bond was successful that revolution never happened. But it is interesting that Bond mentioned that oil companies might pay to keep the Solex under wraps... so is that what the UK Government did? Morally, TMWTGG is the dodgiest of the lot! 🤣

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