Pros and cons: No Time To Die SPOILERS

John from CorkJohn from Cork Posts: 84MI6 Agent
edited October 2021 in No Time To Die (Bond 25)

I know it's a little bit too soon but I wanted a headstart. CON: Absolutely awful generic lazy title, it's basically Die another day said in a different way.

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Comments

  • Mr MalloryMr Mallory North by northwestPosts: 632MI6 Agent

    A big pro is the inclusion of many more strong female characters especially with Lashana Lynch.

    What makes you think this is my first time?
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    Now that this film is finally released (at least in some parts of the world), maybe this Pros n Cons thread should be moved to the No Time To Die (Bond 25) category subforum? At least while the film's new and the main thing being discussed.

    And maybe modify the title slightly to Pros and Cons: No Time To Die, just to be consistent with the existing threads.


    @John from Cork , I am going to take the liberty of adding a link to this thread from @Absolutely_Cart 's Pros and Cons: Compendium (50 years of James Bond 007) thread, which contains links to all the 24 existing Pros and Cons threads (most of which Cart created).

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,447Chief of Staff

    I've followed both of those suggestions, caractacus. 😊

  • SpectreOfDefeatSpectreOfDefeat Posts: 389MI6 Agent

    Pros:

    A few excellent action sequences including the pre-titles and the gun battle in Cuba

    Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux's performances were strong

    Paloma was a memorable Bond girl

    Blofeld's death was brutal and shocking, and a very well-handled plot twist

    Cary Fukunaga's direction was mostly effective and dynamic

    Good interplay between the MI6 regulars, especially the Bond-M scene in M's office

    Bond at his coldest- the killings of Logan and later Safin hark back to Timothy Dalton's toughness

    Some dry witty quips, especially the "I blew his mind..." line

    Bond's death was a bold and emotional moment


    Cons:

    The climax was drawn-out and Safin's plan was unclear

    Safin wasn't as strong a villain as he had the potential to be

    Obruchev was played mostly for laughs

    Bond's death was an unearned and contrived moment

    "The spectre of defeat..."

  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 2,632MI6 Agent
    edited October 2021

    Pros;

    Gunbarrel back at the start

    Norway - Safin and young Madeleine

    Matera

    DC looked in good shape

    Cinematography and Action sequences

    DB5 action - classic scene

    Jamaica

    Bond on his yacht and seeing his villa

    Felix's return

    Cuba

    Paloma

    Aston Martin V8

    Ash's death

    London

    Q

    Nomi

    Some good humour

    Safin's lair and outfit

    Poison Garden

    Kick-ass Bond

    Direct Fleming elements

    Some of Bond's wardrobe - Tom Ford suits, Commando outfit

    Bond's watch

    Soundtrack not bad, nice to have OHMSS pieces in there

    Cons;

    Titles not Daniel Kleinman's best

    Title song not great

    Gunbarrel could have been more classic

    Hugh Dennis (like him personally, but just threw me right off as believable in a Bond film)

    Felix's death

    Bond having a daughter

    Lack of chemistry between Bond and Madeleine

    V8 underused

    Norway underused

    Nomi a bit childish at times

    Some of Bond's wardrobe - Massimo Alba Matera outfit. Duster

    Plot holes

    Safin's motive questionable

    Obruchev was annoying

    Bond dying and graphic nature of it

    The film causing me to be anxious for the next 3 years at least, to see what else they can do to tarnish the franchise.

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • MrZarebaMrZareba Krakow, PolandPosts: 1,775MI6 Agent

    Pros:

    • Madalleine being way more convinving as Bond's second love, which wasn't the case in Spectre
    • Vesper's theme playing over her grave, came out of nowhere and made me tear up because of nostalgia
    • the DB5 gadgets, along with realistic bulletproof windows (in Spectre the DB10 deflects bullets like it's absolutely invinvible, which was a bit much), overal the whole chase sequence was much better than the one in Spectre
    • no mention of Blofeld being Bond's brother, Q actually making a joke about that ("good thing you two aren't actually related")
    • absolutely stunning performance by Craig, he really made the emotions stick
    • M being a government dick for some time
    • great choreography in fight scenes
    • both Nomi and Bond seemed like super dangerous agents because of how quick and strong they seemed to be, didn't get that feeling in the previous outings
    • some of Bond's one liners were great, really "blew my mind"
    • one of the last shots of Bond standing on top of the building with his daughter's plush toy stuck in one of his braces, looking up to the incoming misiles, that's the moment where I started to tear up to be honest
    • the line "for James"

    Cons:

    • in the last scene Madalleine says she's going to tell a story about Bond, James Bond to Mathilde. But the thing is that she probably never found out much about James since she still didn't know about Vesper very much in the beginning of the movie. As we know, later on there wasn't really a chance for James to tell her his escapades before he met her, so this line falls kinda flat
    • overacting by Jeffrey Wright as Felix - not sure if it's only me but his laugh was very fake, along with this reactions
    • Safin's plan is unclear, no deep backstory to really care about the character - he's just a plot point that leads James to his demise. He's nowhere near the level of Silva, LeChiffre or even Blofeld I feel - not sure if he's worst than Dominic Greene but let's keep them equal as the worst villains in Craig's era. I still don't get what was his motivation for wiping out millions of humans, the goal was to avenge his parents by destroying Spectre, but later on it's more like "whathever's in the script"
    • Bond needs to find Madalleine quickly after Blofeld dies but choses to drive his Aston V8 from London to the north of Norway. Yeah.
    • Bond gets his 00 status despite a 5 year hiatus after like 10 minutes, wheras in Skyfall he was tested (and failed) after just 3 months of absence
    • Bond sailing to Cuba as fast as Nomi's plane? That scene was also a stretch
    • Safin just leaving Mathilde alone in the corridor because she didn't want to go with him. Probably the most headscratching scene in the whole movie for me.
    • Bond gets a watch "attachment" from Q on the back of his Omega, that he already owned (check his wrist back in Cuba), yet the whole dial lights up when he uses the EMP (makes no sense to go that deep with modifications) but that's probably nitpicking
    • A Land Rover defender doing a flip because of a metal rope that's anchored on one side by a bike?


  • A7ceA7ce Birmingham, EnglandPosts: 652MI6 Agent

    Pros

    Paloma


    Cons

    Nomi

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent

    Pros:

    First hour or so isn't bad and has some of the "cool" we expect from a traditional Bond movie, and there are spots here or there later as good.

    Acting is first rate from nearly everyone.

    Secondary characters, for the most part, work well.

    Audio and visual nods to classic Bond films -- Dr. No, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, etc.

    Cars and Craig's dressy clothes look good, and Craig gets to demonstrate a bit more emotional range than in his previous Bond iterations.

    Cons:

    Weak, muddled story.

    Weak, colorless villain(s).

    At times, lethargic pace.

    No chemistry with Seydoux or daughter -- almost no romance.

    Uneven, sometimes pretentious direction -- often relies too much on close ups and ponderous posing by actors. For the budget, screen often seems empty.

    Scenes generally don't earn their emotional cred -- we're supposed to feel something but it's based more on the idea than the execution.

    Bond death seems tacked on. His nihilistic journey of constant loss and failure has been like a serious Get Smart, where apparently he learns that life just isn't fair.

  • SevenSeven Posts: 326MI6 Agent

    Pro:

    ”Looking for old wrecks.”

    ”Well, you’ve come to the right place.”

    Con:

    CGI at island

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,647MI6 Agent

    Pros:

    Strong acting by nearly everyone involved.

    Car chases were the best of the Craig era: well-paced, good stunt work, and easy enough to follow.

    Believable, developed romance between Bond and Madeline (unlike in Spectre).

    Well-choreographed action throughout.

    Bond killing Logan Ash with the car recalled FYEO and some of Bond’s other colder moments, which for Craig’s interpretation of Bond.

    A solid score, successfully incorporating aspects of the title song, the Bond theme, and cues from OHMSS throughout.

    Bond’s daughter. This is subjective. I fully understand why people are knocking it. But it has some basis in Fleming. Also, I have a little girl so this one really hit home in a way that it would not have a few years ago.

    The small memorial service at MI6, as imagined by Alec Trevelyan in Goldeneye.


    Cons:

    Underwhelming villain. This is the second consecutive film where they hired a gifted actor to play a villain that fell completely flat.

    Convoluted plot. What exactly was Safin trying to do? And why? Because his mom died?

    Too many bullet storms, which added unnecessary length to the final act.

    Bond’s death. Killing Bond was always going to be controversial, but the execution here felt particularly lazy. For such an important moment, it could’ve been done better than just blowing him up.

    M. I felt Fiennes performance was not on par with his prior work. Also, how does M still have a job at the end of this film? In Skyfall, they forced out Dench’s M for losing a hard drive. Here, Mallory has created a DNA super weapon that can wipe out humanity, loses it, causes an international incident (and costs Bond his life) and it’s back to work at the end?

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 2,065MI6 Agent

    It's very difficult to get dismissed from public office under Boris Johnson's 'hands-off' approach to government.

    Maybe M cracked a few jokes [Build Bond Better???] during his dressing down and the PM said, "Well, good job, keep it quiet and no one will notice. Better luck next time." Except he'd say it in Latin.

  • SFPROPSSFPROPS USAPosts: 379MI6 Agent

    PROS:

    I like the call back to "we have all the time in the world" and the use of the song at the end of the movie. I was disappointed with SPECTRE being a sort of homage to OHMSS that they cut the line from the very end of the script when Bond and Madeline speed away in the car, but I'm guessing they thought it through to the next film and realized it would be better served there, and it was given that the words held the same irony due to death.

    I liked the homage to the YOLT book where essentially Saffin (instead of being Dr. No like fans suspected) was just another facet of the original Blofeld character with his poison garden in Japan and finding out Bond had a child (girl instead of a boy this time).

    Really good performances.

    I liked the story arch - even the controversial things. Made for more emotional impact, and we know a new Bond will come back that won't be required to strictly stick to story cannon now that Craig's films established the "reboot" mechanism. This makes for much more fresher story telling I think and allows Bond to grow as a person as the films go on.

    I thought the score was very good and I like the theme. Very subtle with the Bond elements but moving.

    I think all the worries about this being a "woke" Bond weren't justified. While it was made clear that a woman could do Bond's job, in the end the cranky old white guy saved the world, the new recruit acknowledges his superiority and then ends up running to safety with the women and Bond still ends as 007. LOL

    CONS:

    Terrible and uninspired title sequence. Absolutely boring and generic and I don't blame the song. Think back to Casino Royale and Skyfall and how well the imagery foreshadowed the story and how strong and clear those images were. Just bad IMO.

    Wasn't a fan of the split PTS between the past and present but I'm not sure how they would have told the story otherwise.

    For some reason the last scene between Safin and Bond left me a little confused. I think I've figured it out, but it was hard to tell if Bond was going to die from his gunshots, or if he was really poisoned in some way and how exactly it was done because Malek delivered his lines like he had marbles in his mouth. All I could figure was that maybe he coded new nanobots rubbed on Madeline and/or Mathilde to kill him but him just having that bauble he'd shown Madeline in his hands just left me confused.

    Overall, I rate it the #3 of Craig's movies. Casino Royale, Skyfall, NTTD, SPECTRE and then QOS. I think that all of Craig's films other than maybe QOS, which I think is a decent Bond flick - but just not up to par with the other Craig movies, are as good or better than any of the other Bond films from any other era. Connery had Diamonds and about half of the other Bond's movies were either pretty clunky or just decent popcorn movies without much depth. I think only maybe Connery can compete with Craig when it comes to being able to delivery consistently good films in the series.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent
    edited May 27

    I finally got the No Time to Die dvd a few weeks ago, and last weekend watched it for the first time since seeing it in the theatre. For the last six months I've had all our debates more clear in my mind than my memory of the actual film, and then the Shakespear-ified version confused my memory further. So, as of last weekend, once again my memory of the real film EON gave us is relatively clear.

    I watched it over three nights:

    Night 1: precredits and Cuba (mostly very enjoyable)

    Night 2: London and Norway (a helluva a lotta blablabla)

    Night 3: the villains headquarters (good set for a Bond movie, pity about the story that unfolds there)

    ________________________________________

    PROS

    - Gun Barrel in the correct place

    -Finally a new Bond film after five years, and a nice nostalgic film experience after a year and a half of depressing Covid quarantines

    -I accept this story as a "What If?" fantasy, same as each of the previous CraigBond films. I’ve realised I see the Brosnan films as redundant, and maybe there just are no new proper Bond stories to tell. These type of "What If?" stories allow for new variations of a 60 year old formula.-

    -Matera is the most spectacular location shooting we’ve seen in decades and very well used, both for the plot and specific action sequences. This location is very vertical, and things like the bike jump take full advantage of the geographic potential. Whereas the last two films could have been an old school TV episode where they use stock footage to establish location then do the rest of the scenes in the studio.

    -The Aston’s big move pivoting on one wheel is the most spectacular car chase stunt we’ve seen in a few films. Definitely more satisfying than the last movie.

    -The psychological interplay between Bond and Madeleine all makes sense to me, these are two very damaged individuals and we should expect their relationship to be dysfunctional. In the flashback, Madeleine’s mum says “you love a killer”, which is a reference to her present relationship as much as the memory of her father. Bond, especially as portrayed by Craig, but also as written Fleming, should be incapable of a healthy relationship, and this is who he finds to stay with him, a daughter of SPECTRE. If he survived the end of the movie they’d never really get back together despite the child.

    -Some of these call-backs to previous movies are clever, such as Vesper’s tomb evoking For Your Eyes Only, which itself was a reference to the opening pages of Fleming’s OHMSS.

    -Bond’s house in Jamaica, which is meant to resemble Fleming’s house Goldeneye. (Are the different rooms separate buildings open to the elements? Don’t they get rain and hurricanes in Jamaica?)

    -The idea Bond should retire to Jamaica and live a lifestyle similar to his creator is much like the framing sequence in John Pearson’s Bond Biography.


    -The second act of the film is the only bit with any laughs, and the most entertaining section.

    -Good to see Felix back, and the funny rapport between him and Bond, and “the Mormon”.

    -the shot of 007 and a CIA agent both arriving in Cuba on parallel missions is another clever reference to a previous film.

    - The surprise killing off of all SPECTRE agents at the “start” of the film is a leftover plot from an early draft of The Spy Who Loved Me! Nice to see that used.

    -Kickboxing in a slit-skirt! Definitely a striking visual, and that plunging neckline oughta be wardrobe malfunction material as well, they must have had to carefully choose shots where everything staid in place. Ana de Armas’ “nervous new girl” schtick was by far the most creative acting choice in the film, especially as all the others are doing a lot of clichéd posturing. And she survives! Female characters who appear at this point in a BondFilm are usually the sacrificial lamb.

    -I just noticed this viewing: Act 2 ends with Bond in a life-raft! (this was where I took my pee-break in the theatre so I missed it the first time). The shot of him waving to a passing ship on the horizon was another rare bit of humour, and maybe the first genuine Bond in a life-raft shot in decades.

    - (There follows a long stretch where I can’t think of very many PROS)


    - Q is funny, nice to see his character expanded a bit. He says “don’t touch that’ at least twice, once to Moneypenny and once to Nomi. And I guess Bond barging into his apartment is a rare bit of humour from Craig in this film, a bit like a John Belushi type character.

    - Craig’s blue eyes were a design element in the poster for the film, and turn out to be integral to the plot.

    - The shot of the bridge near @Number24 ’s house is impressive.


    - Finally a villain’s headquarters at the end of the movie where it’s supposed to be. (That seems to have been even more difficult than getting the gun barrel in the right place). And it’s a huge sprawling high concept piece of architecture, and we spend most of the last hour exploring it.

    - Villain’s headquarters inspired by Fleming’s You Only Live Twice, as are several other aspects of the film. I can recall ever since I joined this forum at the time of Craig’s first film, we all here have been begging them to please adapt the unused material from that book for Craig’s final film, and they delivered. Gotta give them credit. And I think that’s the most Fleming content since Casino Royale, and more than all four Brosnans combined.

    -007 and a BondGirl (or two) escape in a life-raft at the end, just like is supposed to happen in these adventures.

    -Villain's headquarters explodes at the end of the adventure, like villains' headquarters aresupposed to do,

    -You know if James Bond was ever going to die it was going to be in a Villains Headquarters exploding at the end of an adventure. Much better than dying during the precredits for example.

    - Story begins and ends from Madeleine’s point of view, making it a bit like Fleming's The Spy Who Loved Me. This also makes everything in between subject to the biases of an unreliable narrator, possibly explaining why Bond seems such a jerk. And I like having Bond’s career being reduced to a fairy tale told to a child, since I was a child too when I first became a fan.


    Plus a couple of smart-aleck backhanded compliment PROs:

    -Makes Nay, Time to Die look very good in comparison. Its shortcomings gave us inspiration to do better, and I think we gave Nomi better lines and definitely Mathilde got better action sequences in our version. Thanks to Craig’n’Babs for giving so much to improve upon.

    -No more CraigBond films, and a chance for EON to make better BondFilms in the future. Just remember EON: don’t let the next actor double as Executive Producer and you’ll be off to a better start.

    ________________________________________

    CONS

    - Depressing subject matter for my first film in a theatre after a after a year and a half of depressing Covid quarantines. I didn’t need any more talk of viruses, and even if I can intellectualise the narrative choice, witnessing the death of a childhood hero is not good for the mental health.

    - In the flashback, why is there a SPECTRE ring in Madeleine’s parents’ house? Wouldn’t this be before SPECTRE took over QUANTUM?

    - For all its good points, the first act is very slow and talky. It takes a long time to even get to Vesper’s tomb (reminding me For Your Eyes Only just leaped straight into the exact same point without any preamble)

    - Bond might be having a stressful day, but that’s no excuse for being so mean to his girlfriend. She oughta be dumping him, not the other way round.

    - I believe Craig is the funniest Bond since Moore, but he’s not being very funny at all in this adventure. Nor acting particularly Bond-like.

    -Craig's appearance on SNL, timed for the original scheduled opening of NTtD in March 2020, was more fun than anything he does in this film.


    - Mumble-core theme song from Billie Eilish. Did any kids actually go to see this movie because of her involvement? There are many contemporary jazz pop vocalists who could do a proper BondSong so why give the job to an MTV type who can’t sing?


    - Felix’s death is a mash-up of Mathis’s death and Vesper’s death: the images “borrowed” from past films are becoming increasingly forced as the film proceeds, disrupting the plot. I argue the advantage of the CraigBond alternate timeline is it frees them to tell new stories, then they go squander that by recycling classic imagery instead of coming up with anything actually new.

    - @Barbel was right, Nomi is doing SpiderMan moves. And she actually doesn’t do much else over the course of the film, is this what espionage work has been reduced to since Bond retired?

    - Nomi is a wasted character, after all the hype. She barely gets two lines of dialog, you have to pay real close attention to get that she’s meant to be “by-the-book”, and I think she could be completely removed from the plot without making a difference (Madeleine would have to drive the zodiac herself but I’m sure she could manage). I’m now convinced more than ever her casting was for the publicity and marketing, she was much more prominent in all the pre-release hype than the actual film. If she weren’t a character in the film, Paloma’s part could maybe have been expanded, though I guess she wouldn’t really have anything to do either.

    - Not nearly enough gags about there being two 007’s.


    - London scenes are endless and too much ponderous dialog. And a lot of this dialog is other characters discussing Bond’s relationships to both Madeleine and Blofeld, rather than the fate of the world. Buncha nosey gossips at MI6.

    - Why is Madeleine Blofeld’s psychiatrist again? This assignment definitely does not make sense and is an obvious security risk. (Of course by now we know M’s lousy at this job, so I guess it fits the pattern)

    - Christopher Waltz wasted yet again, this time with only one scene.

    - And how did Blofeld get a bionic eye in that super high security prison cell?

    - Speaking of which, his security arrangement is reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs, and Austin Powers already made that reference in a film called Goldmember! Did Babs n Craig still not see Goldmember?

    - Why does Bond attack Blofeld again? Just to make the plot work?

    (That’s a lot of cons for that one short scene with Blofeld!)


    - Why does Madeleine run to the one place she knows Safin will find her again? This is the biggest plot hole in the whole film.

    - How does MI6 not know Madeleine has a daughter? Don’t they do background checks for psychiatrists assigned to work with maximum security prisoners? (again, yes I know I know it does fit the pattern of M’s incompetence, but surely one of his more competent employees might have noticed)

    - The Norway scenes are slow and talky and mushy sentimental stuff.

    - The reveal of the child is underwhelming, and the character wasted except to give Bond motivation for the final act. I want to see Mathilde do cool junior spy stuff to prove she really is James Bond’s daughter, I bet that’d be more fun to watch than grumpy old CraigBond.

    -Bond misses a chance to cook scrambled eggs.

    - Why do they take the SUV for the big chase scene again? Just for the visual gag of James Bond driving a sensible family vehicle with a toddler in the back seat, right? But Madeleine and Mathilde would never have got captured and Bond would still be alive if theyd used the Aston with the bullet proof glass and the machine guns and rocket launchers.


    - When we finally get some extended scenes with Safin, he too mumbles and blathers on for far too long. And I really don’t get what he’s trying to achieve by releasing the virus, his evil plot feels arbitrarily cobbled together from previous BondVillain clichés.

    -The dialogs between Bond, Safin and Madeleine are getting really soap opera-esque here, with all this obsession as to whose relative did what to whom however many films ago. Much of the final act is just three characters arguing about their “feelings” for a half hour straight in a typical BondVillains headquarters.  This sort of storytelling might work better for a TV miniseries, but its further muddying the motivation of whatever the villain's evil scheme is. And wasting the potential of the first decent Villains headquarters in decades.

    - All this Secret Relationship stuff implied between Madeleine and Safin would be more interesting if they really had been lovers. As it is, I can’t piece together from the clues what their connection is beyond him once saving her life. It feels once again like a half developed plot thread that got forgotten during rewrites yet never completely erased.

    - As nice as it is to have chunks of You Only Live Twice here, the adaptation is ruined by switching villains halfway through the plot. If Blofeld had been the big baddy at the Evil Headquarters, it would have made more sense, been a more elegant story, and a fair chance for Christophe Waltz to redeem himself. (of course they’d still be arguing about who got the best Christmas present back when they were stepbrothers instead of the fate of the world, but at least that’d make more sense than Safin also trying to get in on the family feud action)

    -No geyser torture

    - I don’t buy Bond surrendering to Safin, even if Safin is holding his child. The real Bond would have done something cool at this point. Bond does so much that is out of character in this adventure I suspect something bad happened during those missing five years to alter his personality, but this interesting possibility is left entirely to our imaginations.

    - Tanner taking M’s calls while Moneypenny runs round conspiring with Bond and Q: don’t these employees have job descriptions? Speaking of which, is Nomi the only other employee at MI6?

    - M said he was going to inform the Prime Minister. Why does he still have a job at the end?


    - Alternate endings were filmed but not included on the DVD. I would like to see a version where the film pauses and theres an interactive choose Your Fate menu letting me pick the ending.

    - Craig’s SNL appearance also should have been on the DVD.

    ________________________________________

    feels like the CONs outweigh the PROs fellow BondFans, but there is hope. We've been promised James Bond Will Return, but how???

    Three ways Bond could have survived:

    • There was a weather balloon just outside the camera frame.
    • He fell through the roof and there was a convenient Indiana Jones style fridge on the level below.
    • The explosion ripped a hole in the fabric of the space time continuum and he’s now in another dimension of the Multiverse, where he will team up with BrosnanBond in the next film to defeat Thanos.


  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,719MI6 Agent

    That is a brilliant review, @caractacus potts I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll point out, my first movie 'after' the pandemic was Cruella which I totally recommend, two women trolling each other like Bond and Goldfinger, it's hilarious and visually terrific, great soundtrack too.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

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

    thanks @Napoleon Plural

    it was more negative than I was expecting, since I've been a defender of the bold What If? storytelling.

    but watching it over three nights instead of one long haul just emphasised how slow and talky the film is, and the lack of fun or cool Bond moments. actually a lot like Barbel's fantasy of Peter Jackson directing a BondFilm.

  • MI6_HeadquartersMI6_Headquarters Posts: 37MI6 Agent
    edited May 27

    Pros:


    The Cinematography

    Hans Zimmer score (his original scores not the callbacks).

    The PTS with a flashback on Madeleine's past as a child.

    Cuba scenes

    Ana De Armas

    The Jamaica scenes

    I quite liked Nomi, I love her banter with Bond.

    Primo, I quite liked him too, he could have been a much better henchman.


    Cons:

    Craig playing himself, he's not acting like Bond, I didn't see Bond, I see Craig playing Daniel Craig himself.

    Daniel Craig was not playing Bond anymore in this film, more like he's playing himself, I don't see Bond anymore and I'm finding him, at least in SPECTRE. I still see Bond but no longer here, more of Craig himself.

    Sorry, but I didn't bought the relationship between Bond and Madeleine, maybe it's written well here than in Spectre, but in terms of the actors, the age gap between Craig and Seydoux was evident and a bit uncomfortable to watch and their lack of chemistry.

    Madeleine was supposed to be the love of Bond's life, but fell short, it's not worth it (yes, actress and character wise), she's no Tracy, Vesper, Kara or heck even Octopussy or Natalya.

    The Melodrama

    Being a sequel to SPECTRE, they've even got those characters back (Madeleine and Blofeld), I would have liked this if it was a standalone film.

    Unrealistic and Video Game style of action (Bond shooting too much, being able to dodge the bullets, and the rovers been easily stumbled and rolled down by Bond's little car, the motorcycles coming out of nowhere from the woods).

    Didn't felt Bondian, at least SPECTRE feels like a Bond movie compared to this.

    Too many plotholes

    Safin was menacing in the first half (The PTS and the clinic scene), but became boring and weak in the second half.

    Valdo Obruchev was a cringe character, he's a damn racist.

    The daughter angle didn't make sense.

    Too many characters.

    The OHMSS music callbacks was an insult to the OHMSS film, leave OHMSS alone please! I've appreciated it in my first viewing, but in subsequent viewings it's now insulted me.

    The Pallette, with the exception of Matera and the Jamaica scenes, the film relied on dark pallette (Teal or blue/green-ish). Some of the scenes are really dark.

    The ending was contrived.

    Ranking of Ian Fleming Novels/Books

    1. Moonraker 2. Casino Royale 3. From Russia With Love 4. Thunderball 5. You Only Live Twice 6. Dr. No 7. Diamonds Are Forever 8. Goldfinger 9. Live And Let Die 10. On Her Majesty's Secret Service 11. The Spy Who Loved Me 12. The Man With The Golden Gun

    Ranking the Short Stories:

    1. The Living Daylights 2. From A View To A Kill 3. For Your Eyes Only 4. The Hildebrand Rarity 5. Risico 6. Quantum Of Solace 7. Octopussy

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,447Chief of Staff
    edited May 27

    @caractacus potts said

    "M said he was going to inform the Prime Minister. Why does he still have a job at the end?"

    That's a question which millions of British have been asking, especially after the Sue Gray report. Why indeed does the Prime Minister still have a job?


    Great review, cp. This has been a very disappointing film and I can only hope they do better next time... whenever that is.

  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 2,632MI6 Agent

    Great review @caractacus potts

    Had the ending been more traditional or even left open it would have been more satisfying. I'm completely with you on the crappy two years we've all had, ending with our Hero vaporised before our very eyes, was very tough to take and hit me hard (not in the way they wanted me to feel, either!)

    There are some truly great Bondian pieces in the film - Matera, Jamaica, Cuba, Villains Lair, but the Cons and the ending water them down and ultimately outweigh them, sadly.

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 2,065MI6 Agent

    Thank you @caractacus potts A splendid re-review

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,719MI6 Agent

    Indeed, if only there were some kind of politics thread where we could discuss this...

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,447Chief of Staff

    Or a PM system....

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

    MI6_Headquarters said:

    Unrealistic and Video Game style of action (Bond shooting too much, being able to dodge the bullets, and the rovers been easily stumbled and rolled down by Bond's little car, the motorcycles coming out of nowhere from the woods).

    yes I was especially noticing this during the scene where he reenters the headquarters, it is exactly like a First Person Shooter game as he peeks round corners and mows down minions then one more appears each time he starts to go up a staircase. Reminded me of weeks wasted trying to complete Wolfenstein and Doom. But these were also the scenes where we got to explore the space (just like in a video game) and I'm not sure how else they could have done that? Still those big set pieces in the Lewis Gilbert movies never had that video game feel.


    I didn't mention the music because I ran up against the character count limit: I don't think I like Zimmer. The melodic bits were mostly themes borrowed from earlier films. Most of the original incidental stuff was the same girders-grinding-against-each-other sounds I remember from Blade Runner 2049. The one bit of the main Bond Theme he kept returning to was the last couple bars of the brass section, where Barry et al run up and down the notes really quick before returning to the bass vamp. Except Zimmer recast that motif to sound more like an ominous heavy metal riff. Thats my bias, I still want to hear a swingin' brass section like in The Incredibles soundtracks.

  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 411MI6 Agent
    edited May 27

    As usual it was a pleasure reading your thoughts @caractacus potts and I agree heartily with them.

    I finally got the No Time to Die dvd a few weeks ago

    No Blu-ray? What are you, some kind of Luddite?

    Gun Barrel in the correct place

    Indeed, though I've come to dislike how the music at the end of modern gunbarrels tends to quote the Bond theme. The classic gunbarrel music ended on a sweeping but ominous note.

    I’ve realised I see the Brosnan films as redundant, and maybe there just are no new proper Bond stories to tell. These type of "What If?" stories allow for new variations of a 60 year old formula.

    You might be right there. Perhaps there are no new proper Bond stories left to tell. Just remixes of old stories with trendy tropes. Every fictional character has a limit to the number of stories that can be told about them, unless they receive a really radical revamp.

    The Aston’s big move pivoting on one wheel is the most spectacular car chase stunt we’ve seen in a few films. Definitely more satisfying than the last movie.

    Yes, and unfortunately NTTD doesn't have any later stunts to match it. Part of what makes the sequence so good is its "worm turns" theme. Bond is surrounded and takes all the shots, but then lashes out spectacularly. A reminder that good action sequences should have some emotional resonance.

    If he survived the end of the movie they’d never really get back together despite the child.

    What amuses me is how hellish Bond's life might have been if he'd lived. Since the movie never showed him really overcoming his trust issues, I reckon he'd be suspecting Madeline of all sorts of acts, ranging from infidelity to treason. The marriage would flounder and end in a very bitter divorce and custody battle, Bond would take to drink, Matilde would start hating her father after she became a teenager, etc...

    The surprise killing off of all SPECTRE agents at the “start” of the film is a leftover plot from an early draft of The Spy Who Loved Me! Nice to see that used.

    Though in the draft this was the prelude to Spectre reinventing itself in a deadlier form. In NTTD it's the end of Spectre, after its botched introduction in the previous film. A mercy killing?

    Ana de Armas’ “nervous new girl” schtick was by far the most creative acting choice in the film, especially as all the others are doing a lot of clichéd posturing. And she survives! Female characters who appear at this point in a BondFilm are usually the sacrificial lamb.

    Yes, and I was getting tired of the female sacrificial lamb trope, or the good-girl-lives-and-bad-girl-dies one. This character felt like something genuinely new to the series.

    Villain’s headquarters inspired by Fleming’s You Only Live Twice...we all here have been begging them to please adapt the unused material from that book for Craig’s final film, and they delivered.

    Initially I was happy to see the Garden of Death, but after the film my feelings changed. It felt like a bone thrown to Fleming fans and I'd rather have had the steak, or at least have seen the Garden put to genuine use. The film doesn't do much with it.

    Depressing subject matter for my first film in a theatre after a after a year and a half of depressing Covid quarantines. I didn’t need any more talk of viruses, and even if I can intellectualise the narrative choice, witnessing the death of a childhood hero is not good for the mental health.

    Perhaps I'm being perverse, but one of my problems with the ending was its trying too hard to be a feel-good sad ending. Bond valiantly stands tall as the rockets fall down, beforehand gets to say goodbye to his colleagues and loved ones, is memorialized at work, his lady drives off into the sunset telling mythic fairy tales about him to his daughter, and so on.

    Compare this to Fleming's own unhappy endings: Bond impotently screaming into a phonebooth after his girlfriend's suicide, Bond mentally falling apart as he cradles the body of his newly-wedded wife. These endings aren't merely depressing but genuinely sad, with practically no consolation. While I get that Bond's death couldn't be that bleak, I think someone like Fleming would have executed it with a bit more sting and genuine sadness. NTTD's uplifting version is composed of generic movie tropes.

    Bond might be having a stressful day, but that’s no excuse for being so mean to his girlfriend. She oughta be dumping him, not the other way round.

    It's also a stretch for him to not even consider that Blofeld, self-confessed author of all his pain, might still be messing with him.

    Mumble-core theme song from Billie Eilish. Did any kids actually go to see this movie because of her involvement? There are many contemporary jazz pop vocalists who could do a proper BondSong so why give the job to an MTV type who can’t sing?

    And even if she could, the song is completely unmemorable. I literally have no memory of it.

    Nomi is a wasted character, after all the hype....I’m now convinced more than ever her casting was for the publicity and marketing, she was much more prominent in all the pre-release hype than the actual film. If she weren’t a character in the film, Paloma’s part could maybe have been expanded, though I guess she wouldn’t really have anything to do either.

    I didn't mind Nomi but you're right--she's there for publicity and good press, to show the Bond films are not behind the times in gender/racial issues. To that extent she worked, though her change in attitudes toward Bond is underwritten, like so many things in this film.

    Why does Madeleine run to the one place she knows Safin will find her again? This is the biggest plot hole in the whole film.

    Isn't it odd that such holes could appear in a script worked over by all those credited and uncredited screenwriters, the director, the producers, etc? The writing process for this film, as with Spectre, seems to have been an unholy mess.

    The reveal of the child is underwhelming, and the character wasted except to give Bond motivation for the final act. I want to see Mathilde do cool junior spy stuff to prove she really is James Bond’s daughter, I bet that’d be more fun to watch than grumpy old CraigBond.

    Indeed. Even at that age kids have personalities, but Matilde is just there to look cute and innocent. Part of the film's prevailing sentimentality.

    Why do they take the SUV for the big chase scene again? Just for the visual gag of James Bond driving a sensible family vehicle with a toddler in the back seat, right?

    Or because the filmmakers had a product placement deal with Range Rover.

    When we finally get some extended scenes with Safin, he too mumbles and blathers on for far too long. And I really don’t get what he’s trying to achieve by releasing the virus, his evil plot feels arbitrarily cobbled together from previous BondVillain clichés.

    There's something very sad about the villain in a James Bond film coming across as an afterthought.

    All this Secret Relationship stuff implied between Madeleine and Safin would be more interesting if they really had been lovers. As it is, I can’t piece together from the clues what their connection is beyond him once saving her life.

    This would have added a definite frisson to Bond's relations with both. As is, Safin's interest in Madeline is very weakly explained.

    I don’t buy Bond surrendering to Safin, even if Safin is holding his child. The real Bond would have done something cool at this point.

    Or there would have been something subtly ironic in his manner, or in some action of his unseen by Safin, beyond what the film gave us.

    M said he was going to inform the Prime Minister. Why does he still have a job at the end?

    Perhaps he's blackmailing the PM for an even bigger crime? M was originally intended to become a villain in Spectre; despite Fiennes's best efforts the filmmakers merely waited one more film to make him one.

  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 411MI6 Agent
    edited June 14

    @MI6_Headquarters , I might have responded to your points on the MI6 board, so hopefully I won't repeat myself here!

    Sorry, but I didn't bought the relationship between Bond and Madeleine, maybe it's written well here than in Spectre, but in terms of the actors, the age gap between Craig and Seydoux was evident and a bit uncomfortable to watch and their lack of chemistry.

    A couple months after seeing NTTD I watched Seydoux and Benicio del Toro in The French Dispatch, and she had far more vitality and sexiness there, and more chemistry with del Toro than Craig. She's a good actress, but she and Craig didn't strike any sparks together and her role was underwritten.

    Being a sequel to SPECTRE, they've even got those characters back (Madeleine and Blofeld), I would have liked this if it was a standalone film.

    My alternative title for NTTD is The Spectre Reclamation Project. The film seems very aware of what a botch its predecessor was and wants to make amends, but was this really worthwhile? Too little and too late perhaps.

    Unrealistic and Video Game style of action (Bond shooting too much, being able to dodge the bullets, and the rovers been easily stumbled and rolled down by Bond's little car, the motorcycles coming out of nowhere from the woods).

    The worst is Bond gunning down Safin's drones at the end. The scene just grinds on and on, and feels exactly like watching someone play a video game. If the Bond films want to attract audiences, they need to provide the sort of action you can't get with a video game. Tom Cruise understands this. The innovations in portable digital cameras mean that real stunts can be filmed in more exciting ways than ever before. Bond should be leading the pack here, just as the series did in the 60s.

    Valdo Obruchev was a cringe character, he's a damn racist.

    He suddenly turns from excessively broad comedy relief into a virulent Nazi, and the switch is very jarring.

    The OHMSS music callbacks was an insult to the OHMSS film, leave OHMSS alone please!

    There's definitely something vampiric in the new film trading on our love for the old one.

    The ending was contrived.

    It's definitely engineered so that Bond has to die. If the nanovirus didn't get him, all those bullet wounds might have. The Spy Command blog reported, from what it considered a reliable source, that one of Craig's conditions for returning to the role was that Bond had to die--something Craig confessed to wanting since assuming the role. And as I wrote above, Bond's death is very much in the generic heroic last-stand mode. It's less an organic outgrowth of a well-told story than a high-concept goodbye present to Craig.

  • hehadlotsofgutshehadlotsofguts Durham England Posts: 2,095MI6 Agent

    Been a long time since i posted here, but i recently watched the film for the first time,after renting it on Amazon.

    [B] Pros[/B]

    I like Hans Zimmer's Interpretation of the gunbarrel Bond theme.

    The callback from the previous film,about the gun under the sink in Madeline's childhood home.

    I like Logan Ash as a henchman. He's an admirer of Bond and his work,but that flips later on,when he's outed as working with the villain.

    Logan's death is brutal and it's great to see Bond getting his revenge for Felix Leiter's death.

    Paloma kicks arse and she's lovely to look at. Great Bond girl!

    Safin is a good villain. I think he's very creepy sounding. Reminds me of Peter Lorre, voice wise. Great look as well with the scarred face.

    Primo is a great henchmen. I like how he has something about him,with the bionic eye. Parts of his death are reminicent of Bond fighting Obanno in CR.

    I like the Matera chase scene. Great stunts! Love the bit where Bond jumps over the bridge.


    [B] Cons[/B]

    Bond going to see Blofeld in prison and Blofeld in the glass box, it reminds me of the scene in Goldmember where Austin Powers goes to see Dr Evil in prison.


    The theme song. I don't like Billie Eillish's singing. She mumbles a lot.


    The callbacks to OHMSS. The DC films are in a different timeline, so it's jarring to hear We Have All The Time In The World and the main theme in the film.

    Obruchev being a racist,came out of nowhere. He's been portrayed as comic relief, most of the time. Good death though.

    Have you ever heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?"

    " I don't listen to hip hop!"
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    welcome back @hehadlotsofguts , lets hope to see you post more often! we need more voices in our discussions


    Several people have mentioned Obruchev's racism came out of nowhere late in the film. I think he tells Nomi something like "your race shall be wiped off the earth" just before she drops him in the cesspool? (someone correct my quote if I remembered it wrong). and up til that point he had been played as comic relief, if always annoying and despicable. Just cuz he's payed for laughs doesn't mean he's meant to be likable.

    Obruchev is a geneticist (maybe a virologist, but he manipulates genes as part of his work), using his skillset for great evil, knowing his work will wipe out entire cities around the globe. He takes gleeful pride in knowing exactly what Safin intends to do with his research. I don't think its a stretch to think someone like that would also be a believer in eugenics, believing the extinction of genetically related populations would "purify" the human race. This last minute explicit revelation of his racism does not surprise me, I think its consistent with the work he's been doing, but maybe should have been developed as a theme a bit earlier in his dialog.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,990MI6 Agent

    Nice to see you back, Hehadaotofguts. What I didn't like about Obruchev's death was Nomi's line before she kills him. Her line simply isn't clever or origonal enough. The oneliner was more Steven Segal than James Bond.

  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 2,632MI6 Agent

    I agree. I thought that line was quite unimaginative and lazy.

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,447Chief of Staff

    Pros-

    Paloma. A breath of fresh air and a totally enjoyable character in a film which desperately needs one.

    The Aston Martin. We are shown (not told) why this is an essential part of the James Bond mythos.

    The retirement. It fits in perfectly with Bond's history. Of course this is what he would do after being apparently betrayed by a woman he loves, and Jamaica is the ideal place for him to do that in.

    Felix. Obviously the intelligence services would want Bond to return, and who better than Felix to approach him? Especially the best portrayal of Felix that the films have ever offered.

    Q/Moneypenny/Tanner: All react to Bond as they should, considering all they've been through together.


    Cons:

    Blofeld: This is a ludicrous denouement for a major character in the whole Bond story, handled with all the grace of an elephant peeling a banana. The hints of Fleming are poorly shown, and giving him one scene is below the standards we have come to expect.

    Madeleine: I'm not the first to mention that there's no chemistry between Craig and Seydoux, which is more than unfortunate considering how much of the plot depends on it.

    Primo: One of the poorer henchmen. Ok, he's better than Elvis but I'm struggling to find who isn't.

    The Music: There are some beautiful, wondrous melodies to be heard. Unfortunately, none of them belong to this film or its score.

    M: Who is this character? He doesn't behave or speak in ways that are consistent with either Fleming's M or the way the films have portrayed him/her.

    Nomi: Introduced well, then has nowhere to go. A new, younger 007 has definite dramatic possibilities but this film makes nothing of them. Her handing the title of "007" back to Bond makes no sense in context.

    Safin: A weak Bond villain, with unclear ambitions. How sad that this nobody should be the one who finally kills Bond.

    The ending: Contrived and avoidable.

  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,551MI6 Agent

    I agree with your comments 100%, Barbel (don't let it go to your head, Sir). Your five positives were all very good and thoroughly enjoyable bits. If I had the technical ability to take my BluRay and edit out almost all of the rest of the film and just watch these bits together, I'd probably rather like this film! Sadly, how long would it be? Perhaps 35-40 minutes?

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