No Time To Die – The End Of James Bond
When it comes to controversies, fan backlash, delays and anticipation, it’s tough to think of a more significant movie over the past couple of years than No Time to Die. The 25th James Bond movie and Daniel Craig’s final outing is 007. I mean I’ll, be honest here. The signs weren’t exactly good for this one. For a start, you had an aging and distinctly reluctant actor, who publicly stated that he’d rather slit his wrists than play James Bond again, cajoled into one last stint in the tuxedo with what I guess must have been a pretty hefty pay check. Then the actors, writers and directors started saying some really dumb things about their upcoming movie, calling it Bond for the #metoo generation and implying that it was high time.
007 was recast as someone more diverse, then you had that disastrous. First trailer that seemed to confirm everyone’s worst fears. That Bond was going to spend the bulk of his own movie being berated and humiliated by an obnoxious, feminist power. Fantasy concocted by people who clearly despise everything James Bond represents so stay in your lane. You get in my way. I will put a bullet in your knee the one that works, and then wouldn’t you know it- we were all struck by the unspecified virus of unknown origin which pretty much killed the summer movie season and pushed no time to die back by an entire year.
Further delays ensued throughout 2021
until at last on a cold and wet October, the film finally trundled out into movie theatres at last, we can answer the one question: that’s been on our minds all this time. Is it as bad as we all feared? Well now that I’ve seen it, the answer is both yes and no. This is a bit of a weird situation to be in to be honest, but no time to die turned out to be both better and worse than I predicted, sometimes in pretty unexpected ways. I’m certainly not going to go all in on hating it just to grab some cheap rage clicks, but at the same time I definitely can’t praise it as the triumphant swan song for one of the longest serving actors to ever play the character. Instead, the real picture is a bit more complex, so bear with me, while I try to make sense of it as usual. I’ll give you a bit of a plot summary, but in this case I’ll try to keep it mostly spoiler free.
If you do want to know all the secrets of what happens in this film, you can find my totally spoilerific review on my second channel, where I give my first impressions right after seeing the movie anyway for one last time shake your martinis and dust off your tuxedos because we’re kicking it Bond style. The movie picks up with a retired Bond living the high life with madeleine swann. After the events of spectre, Jesus Christ, this guy’s been retired more times than rocky balboa anyway, all seems well and good for the two of them until an attempted assassination puts Bond on the run from spectre agents once again and cast out on his relationship with madeleine unable to trust her. He dumps her ass on a train and promptly vanishes five years later, Bonds called out of retirement by Felix Leiter. When terrorists break into a London science lab and steal a deadly virus, that can kill its target within a matter of seconds pretty soon Bond’s on the trail, but he also runs into a rival British agent that was given his double o code, name after he retired. Needless to say, they’re, not exactly on friendly terms when they first meets anyway.
Much hilarity, ensues and Bond manages to capture his target before getting betrayed and screwed over by the cia, which forces them to go back to work for mi6 again. Bond needs information to find the terrorist leader and, of course, there’s only one person in the world that can help him. Well, two people actually Naughty Word me what are the odds eh, so the plot eventually comes together in a big action finale on a deserted island where Bond has to fight to rescue the people he loves and stop a madman from destroying the world. So it’s actually pretty high stakes for a modern Bond movie, but as for how it plays out well I’ll, say this much. I didn’t expect the ending. That’s for sure.
Anyway, that’s the short version. What you probably want to know now is: is it actually any good? Well, this is where we get into murky territory, so strap in. The good news is that the movie is nowhere near as bad as those early trailers suggested, which basically painted Bond as a useless miserable Naughty Word constantly getting pushed around and berated by his strong, empowered female replacements. I don’t know if the marketing guys simply misjudged the mood of their own fan base or if they use that convenient two-year gap to quietly reshoot, big portions of the movie and undo some of their mistakes, but whatever the Naughty Word reason the movie’s a lot more tolerable than it seems nomi. The controversial double o agent that seemed poised to carry on Bond’s legacy is nowhere near as abrasive and obnoxious as she seems in the trailers. Yeah she’s definitely got an attitude about her and there’s a strong rivalry with Bond in the early part of the movie, but for the most part he gives as good as he gets and actually tends to win the upper hand.
Most of the time damn she even shows little moments of insecurity as she senses her position in mi6 under threats, but as the movie progresses, she gradually learns to respect Bond’s skills and experience willingly. Handing back the double 07 codename by the end, because she recognizes she’ll, never really fill his shoes and thank god there was none of the ridiculous garbage. They’d hinted at in present reviews before the movie came out, no scenes of nomi disposing of a used, tampon or feeling insecure about her weights or crying into her third glass of supermarket wine that she gave up the chance to have kids to pursue an unfulfilling career and is now facing up to the bleak prospect of growing old alone, unloved and increasingly envious of her childhood friends who made better life choices. Either. These idiotic ideas never got past the drawing board or they were wisely removed during the reshoots. Either way, the producers were smart enough to realize that no Bond fan in their right mind is interested in seeing crap like that.
On that subject, Bond himself is kind of a mixed bag.
In this film, physically he’s still got the skills to kick ass and there’s some genuinely great set pieces here that make use of grounded realistic fight. Choreography yeah he’s showing his age a bit now, which isn’t surprising, considering craig is well into his 50s, but for the most part, he’s still a tough capable agent and Naughty Word me it’s nice to see Daniel craig, actually showing a bit of charm and personality, for once I mean he’s nowhere near Connery in terms of charisma and yeah. It’s taken him like five movies to get here, but better late than never. I guess there was clearly an attempt here to make Bond more emotional and vulnerable than before, with a lot of time being devoted to his relationship with madeleine and the uh consequences of that, and while it definitely succeeds in opening him up, I’m not entirely convinced. I want to see, what’s inside part of bon’s appeal as a character laying his mystique.
You never quite knew who he was deep down, because you were never meant to know on her. Majesty’s secret service was the first and only flirtation with giving classic Bond a real emotional censor and well look how that one turned out. The emotional tone of this movie is all over the place, often changing from one scene to the next and at times it can get pretty jarring. The script in general is probably the closest we’re likely to get to the tongue-in-cheek humour of the classic Bond movies. It definitely never strays into the campy excesses of the roger Moore era, but it’s also a welcome relief from the grim stodgy seriousness of the Daniel craig movies. It’s not afraid to have fun with its setup and characters, and while some of the gags and banter work pretty well, others lean dangerously close to parody a problem that I’m going to loosely designate as phoebe Waller bridge syndrome.
You can practically feel the jarring change of pace when one of her reworked scenes has been awkwardly spliced into the script. Like when Bond meets up with a local contact that can help get him into an exclusive party and she’s all like. Oh, my god, I’ve only been in the job for like three weeks and I’ve got no idea. What I’m doing, isn’t this all terribly exciting? No, it’s not it’s the kind of bumbling awkward newbie routine, that formed the basis of killing eve’s theoretical comedy, and it was fine for that show because it was basically a goofy parody of the spy thriller genre. This isn’t, but then, when the shooting starts, suddenly she’s kicking ass and duo-wielding machine pistols like she just teleported in from a john woo movie, and there’s absolutely nothing in the script. To reconcile these two events, it’s clunky and stupid, and it’s painfully obvious where one writer’s work ends and another begins.
A lot has been made of the fact that this is the first Bond movie for the #metoo generation
Honestly, I can’t think of a more pathetic moniker to slap onto an entire generation of people
but for what it’s worth it certainly does follow through on that promise. Gone are the days when Bond would casually seduce women to get information access to important people or just because he was Naughty Word bored here, the one and only time he mistakes, a young woman’s actions for a romantic invitation he’s immediately rebuffed with an awkward laugh and that’s the end of that again. I sensed the phoebe Waller bridge syndrome creeping in yes, we all know it’s kind of implausible that beautiful young women would hop into bed with a dangerous middle-aged man. They barely know. Yes, we know Bond’s womanizing is problematic and offensive to modern sensibilities, but honestly who the Naughty Word goes into a James Bond movie. Looking for the tedious mundane reality of dating in the 2020s, oh yeah and q’s gay now, for some reason, courtesy of a single line of dialogue that I’m sure can be carefully redubbed to make it more appealing to international markets.
The one other major character to consider here is the antagonist safin, who talks a big game but ultimately comes across as pretty generic and unimposing. I’m not going to spoil the plot, but the short version is that he’s basically just another guy out for revenge against an important character that Naughty Word him over, like most of the antagonists in the craig movies, then he’s not as memorable as lashief from casino, royale or silver from Skyfall, but at least he’s better than Dominic green from quantum of solace. Jesus Naughty Word out things more memorable than that guy. Basically, what I’m saying here is that he falls squarely into the middle of the pack when it comes to Bond antagonists. The end result of all these different elements is a confusing stew of a movie that pretty much exemplifies the best and worst tendencies of the daniel craig era. The.
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