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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 :)
The new Batman film had much I admired in it, but it was a mixed bag for me and I thought Selina Kyle was unnecessary to the plot-- but I realize I'm in a minority. I'm not right nor am I wrong in my opinions, as you are not wrong for your feelings above.
I didn't exactly interpret NTTD like you did, but I'm happy that you expressed your objections and I appreciate your perspective. I also disagree and don't find Craig Bond to be desperate for female attention, nor do I find him weak. But that's what's amazing about films (or any art form): we saw the exact same film yet we interpreted it in a completely different way.
(Imagine what the filmmakers go through when they make choices for their stories; they have to be conscious of how wildly different two people are, let alone groups of people from different cities and towns, or countries. They have to balance their need to tell their story, yet put as many bums in seats as is possible. A very difficult task, and EoN has been more successful than not over these 60 years)
Naomi was a strange inclusion. It seemed like she was just there to provide a bit of light relief and a few PC points to me. But I still liked her role, and she did give the 00 number back, so at least Bond was 007 when they blew him up.
Yes, they really were cruel to Bond in a way they've never been before. Giving him his child for virtually five minutes just before they kill him off. I know some people see the death as him 'at peace' and all that, but the movie ends with him being blown to (mod-edit) after been given a small taste of a life filled with love and family, after living five years thinking the women he loved betrayed him.
So yes, I agree, a very cruel film towards Bond, and a massive downer for me. Especially after such a stylish and exciting first hour and a half.
Admire EoN for successfully keeping the series a competitive force in a crowded sphere? Absolutely.
Making films of this magnitude are minor miracles (that includes Marvel and DC and Disney, etc… (no matter what I think of those films (most don’t appeal to me and I’ll never watch)).
Yeah I thought she was a slightly odd character too: she didn't really do anything in the film. She seemed to be set up as an adversary for Bond in the film (and I don't mean a baddie, just something else to cause friction for Bond) but after her first scene nothing much really happened.
She didn't really get to do anything in the plot after she failed in Cuba (you could write her out from the climax with minimal changes if you wanted) and Bond basically got the better of her each time they met after that. Someone like Anya in TSWLM probably works more as an antagonist.
The could have had her saving Bond from the sinking ship (so a bit of a win for her); or why not have her actually arrive at the forest in Norway and take out a couple of baddies, albeit too late to save Madeline? I quite liked that she confounded expectations in that she didn't keep beating Bond, but her storyline felt rather undercooked.
Nomi was probably the clunkiest but even that worked. And I took one reviewer's observation about changing code names of two agents literally moments before launching a mission as equally apt and hilarious. Bond films take these things in stride.
James Bond loves Madeline Swann, whose father Mr. White was once an assassin employed by Blofeld, who is James Bond's adoptive brother. Blofeld had Mr. White killed, then Blofeld himself is killed by Safin, who had previously killed Mr. White's wife (Madeline's mother) on the orders of his former boss, Blofeld, who previously had sent Mr. White to kill Safin's family. After killing Blofeld, Safin wants to kill James Bond so he can be with Madeline whose family he helped Blofeld kill, and who Blofeld wanted to kill.
FFS. I'm starting to think that nobody but Campbell and Haggis knows how to make Bond movies today.
You're getting half of your facts via summaries @slide_99 ... You refuse to see the film since you cling to your belief that you are right.
See the film and then most can discuss with you.
But as I said before , your criticism of NTTD is like someone who won't look at a Picasso and bases his criticism on the opinions of others that fits your narrative.
Or even: -depending on faithful the script was intended to be to Fleming- the father of the jewel smuggler Octopussy, who Bond gets involved with while foiling evil nuclear plans, just happened to be the guy who murdered Bond’s childhood mentor Oberhauser.
It’s a bit like those superhero films where the evil superbaddie just happens to be someone who our caped hero also knows in his daily life in his secret identity guise. In a city of millions of people it’s a bit of a coincidence, but in a drama you need the characters to know each other.
Political correctness has gone very odd these days.
I understand that some people might take issue with a man being a bit pushy, but why have issue with him simply being successful with women, as he was before NTTD?
Now there seems to be a desire to paint Bond as unsuccessful with women because somehow that is more PC.
I wonder if the next film will have that approach too or whether it will change again.
Also as for the race component of it... how bizarre that they felt they had to make it so competitive in the first place. They could have easily written in more reasonable characters of other races (as they have since the beginning of the series really) and nobody would have taken issue with those characters.
For some reason they seem to want this kind of conflict.
Actually all that 'pushy' stuff was the least of my dislike of this movie.
Bond gave up.
Bond never gives up.
He consciously made an informed choice. That's how I saw it based on events.
Beyond the physical, there was absolutely no weakness to me shown by Bond himself in Act III. He had absolute resolve.
That would miss the point of the Bond character to me for this story. And it's very different from how the film put it. It's about how a career and more importantly life concluded.
His duty. It's not about narcissism after all.
Thanks for writing that up, it gave me a good laugh this morning.
Yea, they ended up all over the place didn't they? Who'd have thought after the freshness and Fleming-rich treats of Casino Roayale 06, we'd end up with spyland soap operas and a dead Felix and Bond!
Why would that upset people? The only people who were upset at her before the film were people who thought she’d constantly show Bond up and be perfect in every way. As it turned out, she was simply a person rather than a walking righteous message and wasn’t as amazing as Bond, which is what we expect in a Bond film. He is the star after all.
Not just superheroes either. I think it was @MakeshiftPython who made a great point about pretty much every blockbuster being “personal” now to some extent, because modern audiences expect more drama in these stories than you can milk out of the usual hollow doomsday stakes. And I don’t think they’re wrong to be fair. I really can’t think of any modern action film that’s just about finding the mcguffin or stopping the doomsday weapon. There’s always something else going on. Even the action films from the last decade that have been praised for their non stop action (The Raid, Fury Road, John Wick, MI Fallout) have “personal” stories beneath the fights and setpieces. That’s just how these sorts of films are now. I struggled to adjust to that too, because as Bond fans I think we all grew up with films where the mission was enough on its own, but at this point I’m just used to it. And the last few films have been so good that they’ve blown apart my preconceptions of how Bond “should be”, so I don’t mind the different approach anymore.
Personally the only part of what @slide_99 is on about that didn’t work for me was Brofeld. Bond meeting other assassins on the job, and getting romantically involved with other characters who have baggage of their own, doesn’t seem like a stretch at all to me in the danger and sex filled world he inhabits.
I love NTTD (as I do most of the other Craigs), but I find Bond's death to be a bit pointless. It just doesn't add much to the film. There's nothing wrong with the way it plays out, but it feels a little like where the hero has done a lot of bad things so there's some cosmic justice in that there's some price to be paid. The problem for me is that it's hard for me to think of most anything Craig's Bond did that is all that morally questionable.
He's repeatedly referred to as an assassin or a killer, but he's also the Bond we've most often seen making a concentrated effort not to let people die, including villains. The faces of his women are apparently interchangeable, but he's probably done the least womanizing of any of them. He's hard-edged, but generally a pretty standup guy, and is seemingly made to pay some kind of karmic price for retrospectively questionable behavior in 1960s films.
So I don't want to say it's unearned necessarily, as the plot mechanics work well enough, but it just reads as being a gratuitous bummer of an ending, rather than anything that makes thematic sense for Craig's five movies.
Still a top ten entry for me though.
[One other thing that hurts this for me on rewatches is that the movie does a lot to psychologically prepare the viewer for Bond's death. It's not necessary to have that the first time, and it's REALLY not necessary the sixth time you watch the movie.]
Yeah I’m the same, I like the dramatic angles of these things.
As clever as I know this is meant to sound, when you imply some amount of contrivance to Mr White's wife being the mother of his daughter, it's just deeply stupid. Like, "oh, that's why they have those warning labels" stupid.
The only actual coincidence in any of that is that Blofeld, who is not James Bond's adoptive brother, knew James Bond as a younger man.
Interestingly, that means that this Craig arc has fewer coincidences driving it than Martin Campbell's Goldeneye does.
EDIT: Wait, you thought Safin killed Madeleine's mother on Blofeld's orders? The problem is not the writing at all: it's people not understanding what they're watching.
Safin also wasn't sent to kill Mr. White and his family on Blofeld's orders. He attempted it of his own accord. It wouldn't make much sense if the former were the case, considering White later worked for him again.
And although I totally agree with anyone who thinks having them as (sort of) brothers is pretty naff, I can still totally see their thought process. They decided to adapt the plot from the Octopussy book about Bond's childhood mentor Oberhauser being killed and Bond getting some sort of payback, and to make it a bit more spicy they decided that killer could be Blofeld rather than some random old Major. But because Blofeld needs to be vaguely close to Bond's age to make the present day confrontation the standard sort of thing, that meant that Blofeld killed Oberhauser as a kid, so they have to think of a reason why a (mad) child would do that, and parental jealously seems a good reason as it connects with Bond's reason for being there. It all connects up, it works as a plot and it even homages Fleming; the problem is that you step back and realise you've made James Bond and Blofeld foster brothers, which is a bit silly.
The characters of Oberhauser and Blofeld have a history of coincidence as well. The short story Octopussy has a minor coincidence in terms of connections between Bond and the villain, and in the film Octopussy, a pretty huge one. And then the way Blofeld shows up in the novel You Only Live Twice may be the biggest coincidence in either the film or book series. The conceit in Spectre is not out of left field for this series, or even for these characters.
Also, while NTTD very obviously cribs from the YOLT novel, I would argue that SP already begins to in its tone. The filmmakers wanted to do justice to the mythological relationship between Bond and Blofeld, and there is absolutely a logic to what they did, as you point out.
I know that. I'm not talking about the people who thought she would be (as you described it) a 'walking righteous message', and they would probably be pleased by what I'm talking about anyway. I just wondered if some people felt she wasn't a positive portrayal of a black woman.