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Yes I agree with this.
I watched The Dark Knight Rises again recently, and although Nolan wanted to finish off his own arc story for the Batman with Bale, he still didn't want to kill him off outright at the end.
TDKR could very easily have gone down the path of NTTD but chose not to, and I think the film is a lot better for it. Had NTTD ended with Craig still alive, but concludes with an ending where we know this has brought the curtain down on Craig's reign, it would have been a lot better for it too. The film didn't need to go that far.
NTTD hasn't got better with age. If anything, it now sits firmly alongside the likes of DAD at the bottom of my list, something I never thought would ever be possible in the Craig era, which showed so much promise when CR was released.
Craig's Bond would've done well in listening to Q of the Brosnan era:
"I've always tried to teach you two things. First, never let them see you bleed."
"And the second?"
"Always have an escape plan."
Bond failed on both those fronts in NTTD.
His death felt unrealistic with those missiles dropping to him, that scene made his possible death in the Goldfinger laser table more a bit realistic :))
There's so many better and realistic things to kill him off, because I thought they're trying to make the Craig Era more grounded, but it failed on that, because it's still ended on an Over The Top outing!
No Time To Die is no different to the likes of Die Another Day, Goldfinger, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker and etc. Which were accusing of being cartoonish and fantasy (and to the lesser extent, Over The Top and Campy), NTTD is no different to that due to how exaggerated it is.
It's just exaggerated and over the top, heck some of the numerous scenes in NTTD made the sinking CGI Venice Building in Casino Royale a bit realistic too.
No Time To Die is for me now, the campiest, over the top outing of the Craig Era, moreso than SPECTRE.
If they failed at something, it's trying to make Craig's Bond realistic, grounded and down to earth.
Edit: they really failed at this aspect, and it's also because in the way he dodged those bullets, flipped those rovers, the donut thing he made in the PTS, him being confident all the time and him not feeling any fear (something that we saw the Classic Bonds felt in some various situations).
Exactly. I personally don’t mind some of the concepts here, but the main problem
Personally I’m not against the concept of Bond dying, but they forgot what made the older films so elegant and stylish.
Look at how understated Tracy’s death was and how that still remains the single most moving moment in the series.
Now it all has to be:
1. Spectacular and over-the-top
2. Emotionally on-the-nose
So what we got, regardless of how poorly written the movie already was up to that point, was an ending that almost literally tells us how to feel, not helped by Zimmer’s swollen riskfree music, during a big old explosion.
This all betrays the fact that they aren’t able to convey real emotions, they have to explain to the audience that ‘this is all really sad you know’.
An ambiguous ending would have at least kept things a bit more understated.
Perhaps the overall consensus, a few years down the pike will simply be "two films too many". It certainly seems that opinions on NTTD have cooled on here over the past year.
And, I'd have loved an ambiguous ending. Horowitz With A Mind To Kill style.
Nah, that would have been an act of cowardice by the filmmakers to hold back on making Bond’s death explicit.
Sometimes you gotta break some eggs.
But the subtle rumble when James Bond Will Return showed up on screen, looked like the filmmakers telling us not to worry, that Bond isn't dead. I think if they were super-bold about the ending, James Bond Will Return should have appeared without the rumble like in previous instalments.
This much was clear by Skyfall because they kept negating the ending of Casino Royale by knocking Craig's Bond back to square one with each new movie.
CR: He has become Bond because he's realized how cold the world of espionage actually is and that he can't trust anyone.
QOS: Wait, he's not Bond yet. First he has to get over Vesper (even though he already did that in CR's ending, that was the whole point of it), then he's really James Bond.
SF: Actually he's still not Bond yet. First he has to get over his unresolved childhood trauma and get M, Q, and Moneypenny into their classic offices, now he's really, truly ready to be James Bond finally... even though he's suddenly old for some reason.
SP: Whoa, hold your horses, pal, he's not REALLY Bond yet. Like Moneypenny says, he's just getting started four movies into his tenure. Now he has to defeat his evil adoptive brother and conquer his Jungian shadow or whatever, then he's really, truly, finally James Bond. Oh wait, actually he retires.
NTTD: Uh yeah now we're just going to kill him off. We get to reboot this thing and try again, right?
The "becoming Bond" aspect worked so well for CR that they tried to do it with every movie, apparently because they didn't feel that simply giving Craig a normal mission would work for him. It points to a lack of confidence on the part of the filmmakers that they couldn't just have Craig BE James Bond from start to finish in a single movie, even though I think he could easily have pulled that off.
Agreed. Many false starts, empty promises, and missed opportunities.
In SP Craig is doing his most Classic Bond performance from the very beginning. That's his starting point in the movie. His end is deciding to pack it in with Madeline.
I do think SP undercuts SF's ending though when considering that it's not only the very next film, but supposedly takes place only a few months later in universe.
For what it's worth I never really saw Craig's Bond having an arc where he 'becomes Bond'. It's just an incarnation of Bond which shows him at all the stages of his career as 007.
I'm sympathetic to those who critique the CR-QOS jump though, because they do adjust where he is mentally from smiling at Mr. White and signalling with the Bond theme that the man himself has arrived to bullshitting either M, himself, or both about Kabira. It can be said to make sense in universe, but it is a shift for the audience.
They are so indecisive how to kill Bond they set up multiple causes of death, its really poor.
Agreed, and thanks for the laughs :)
The Craig era is a real Frankenstein’s monster.
Mining profundity in Bond’s psyche worked spectacularly in Casino Royale but galloped way out of control after that.
I’d be happy for Bond to merely exist in a taut espionage thriller in exotic locales at this point.
Like the ambiguous death in DAF?
If you must draw comparisons to other movies...
1) Spartacus is a historical figure. You treat those differently than fictional characters. Or not. Even then, films can allow themselves whatever freedom they choose to 'mess' with historical facts.
2) Even then, Spartacus and Scarface are characters in, at best, a couple of films. James Bond is a character in a big franchise, i.e. a 60-year old film series, a 70-year old book series, tons of comics, video games, and more. He's been played, voiced, written, drawn, 'conceived'... by many different people who all put him in specific eras (the '40s, '50s, '60s, ...) as if the other incarnations of Bond don't even exist. We can at least establish that various 'versions' of Bond exist.
3) Was it 'silly' to suggest that James Bond "will be back" at the end of NTTD? Well, we can argue about that. They could have ended the film without these words. But James Bond was always going to come back anyway. Pretty much everyone in the audience could at least have guessed that there would be a Bond 26 at some point. And in a few years from now, when that film has been released, the words "James Bond will be back" will make perfect sense, at least in a fourth-wall sort of way.
4) Look, @ColonelAdamski, we're never going to agree and that's fine. But let us agree about one thing. The words are shown when the film is virtually over. Most people don't care about anything that comes after the final frame. So maybe we're getting worked up over something that's not really essential to the enjoyment of the film anyway.
I was thinking more about the one in the FRWL novel :)
I'd be all for a return to this, though I'm not sure how lucrative such a direction would be in today's large scale action movie world. They could always include a couple of really tremendous and unique setpieces to balance it all out but I watch something like DN and am desperate to see Bond return to that style.
I have said similar in the past. I do have a problem with Bond dying, I will be upfront about that. That is why I haven’t watched NTTD, nor bought the DVD, since seeing it on the big screen. I wouldn’t have such a problem with it, if there were an ambiguity to it. But the po-faced goofyness of having Bond being also poisoned, when that ultimately doesn’t make any difference. Bond had already been mortality wounded, with the missile strike imminent. He wasn’t getting off that island, when he could barely climb the ladder.
True, they should just have just Bond get weak from that gunshot and multiple wounds then him escaping the island would take more time that the missiles were now on board, he just ran out of time.
I bought the digital copy of NTTD I don't get beyond the pre title sequence when I watch it now. I only recently watched the ending again as it was on ITV when I was at work. I was appalled by his death, this film is getting worse for me as time passes. The nods to OHMSS increasingly smack of creative bankruptcy, I don't like that I feel this way as the film technically has a lot of positives.
I mean the sacrifice there is to Bond save Madeleine and Mathilde, get them off the island and out of Safin's reach, that's the most important of it at the time, with Bond thinking that he could be with them but Safin gunshot him and he still trying to escape the island, because he's willing to be with them, but he already didn't have any strengths to do so, and he just runs out of time, as much as he tried, the destiny decided that it's his time.
That's a lot more sad than what we've got, because it's really tragic, that he tried but it can't, think of it like the Titanic situation with Jack sacrificing for Rose so she could live and kept warm with Jack dying from the cold by guarding Rose, it's not forced, the way it's happened, it's natural.
And the title would've make much more sense in that Bond was thinking that he have "no time to die" because he needs to be with his family, but the tragedy was he can't.
He saved his family from Safin, sacrificing his own life to save them by going to that island and taking them out of that lair.