NO TIME TO DIE (2021) - First Reactions SPOILERS ALLOWED

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  • Posts: 280
    One of the things that bothered me the most was the strange behaviour of the characters. Most notably Ralph Fiennes whose M is a complete contradiction of his character in SF and SP. And the scene where Bond strangles Blofeld. Not in character at all and done just to facilitate the death of the Blofeld. That scene just didn't ring true at all.
  • Posts: 791
    matt_u wrote: »
    Given the fact I'm writing this on this thread I might be in minority... but I really loved Safin's character.

    He's the creepiest and most deranged of all Craig's villains and the scariest thing is that he truly believes to be a good man. He has this insane view of the world, of free will, of love. He literally saw death with his own eyes, he saw his mother dying horribly in front of him and once he saved Madeleine, he started to believe he could play God. It's not your typical evil mastermind and I just loved that he offered Bond a peaceful deal to settle things between the two of them. When he's on screen there's always that unpredictable feeling about him that makes his scenes extremely tense. He has an overall little screen time but his presence is heavily felt throughout the whole film. His last scene is just beautiful and Malek's acting is incredible in his final moments. It's also cool that his men refer to him as doctor.

    Love this post.

    Is it possible to think he's both underdeveloped and underrated? Because I think I'm in that camp.

    Seeing the film a second time tomorrow, so I'll be able to better judge after that.
  • matt_umatt_u better known as Mr. Roark
    Posts: 4,087
    Bond had all the reasons in the world to lose it. Most notably, because Blofeld was right.
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 979
    PJJ wrote: »
    Roadphill wrote: »
    Now the dust has settled, and I have had a second viewing, I feel I can accurately get down my thoughts on probably the most divisive Bond film of all time. Apologies in advance if this turns into an essay, which it probably will.

    Where to start?.
    Daniel Craig's performance is a good a place as any. Much has been said about him, good and bad. I freely admit that he has been far from my favourite Bond, but he absolutely knocks it out if the park here. Phenomenal in the melodramatic scenes, he sells every line, and his physical performance is great too, you can literally feel the weight of the world on his shoulders at the climax. I can't forget, also, that during the Jamaica/Cuba scenes, his Bond for the first time, really looks like he's enjoying himself. This is probably the first time that Craig has been given the insouciant material so prevalent in the other Bond performance's, and he was really bloody good. Why on earth it took EON five films to give him this, one will never know.

    One downside to Craig's performance, and it's perhaps a bit harsh, as it's not really his fault-he has 0 chemistry with Lea Seydoux. No matter how many times the script tries to smash us over the head as them having an epic romance, I just didn't buy it. A bit of a problem as that is so pivotal to the plot. Indeed, Ana De Armas' scenes, actually even Lashana Lynch's (more on those two later) with Dan had far more crackle.


    I thought Cary Fukanaga's direction was mostly excellent, and I didn't even mind the 'trendy' way he directed a couple of the fight scenes. It added some visceral energy, without ever becoming a distraction, as it did in QOS. That being said, yet another muted colour pallet, the third in a row, I could do without.

    As for the 'Scooby gang', they really don't have much to do here, maybe M aside, which is probably for the best. Speaking of M, Ralph Fiennes is as great as ever, but his M basically has become a bit of a tosser. Apart from the scene where they discuss the villain's plans in comparison to those past, I don't care for the dialogue between he and Bond at all.

    Lea Seydoux's Madeline had the heavy lifting, amongst the ladies, and for me,she let the side down Her performance goes from cold, to minus 50c. She needed more warmth, and despite Craig giving a career best performance alongside her, even he couldn't coax it out. Ana De Armas' was a complete delight, and I dearly wish she had been Bond's love interest, not just an extended cameo. Lashana Lynch did fairly well in a cool, but underwritten part. The anti-woke brigade (or should I say plain old racists) that seemed so concerned about her character can sleep safely at night, as she ended up being no more than a secondary sidekick. I actually half expected her to end up being a villain, as she took so long to catch up to Bond in Norway, but it was just plain old poor writing, instead of foreshadowing.

    There was so many contradictions at play in the film. You have the tone in Jamaica and Cuba (which was a part of the film I loved) very fun and playful, remeniscent of the second act of Thunderball or TSWLM, and then a barrage of melodrama and seriousness towards the climax. The contradiction's permeate the movie. Lashana Lynch's Nomi is as hard nosed towards Bond as can be, but a few minutes later, deferred the 007 moniker back to him. Blofeld orchestrates a madcap scheme from behind bars, but later we see that even though it happened, it should be impossible (his antics wouldn't have even raised a question in a regular Bond film, but when presenting one that is striving for realism, it stands out). Even down to the performance's. Rami Malek's Saffin manages to be passive and understated, to the point of virtually being asleep and simultaneously chewing the scenery. All very strange.

    I rather liked the idea of the Nanobots and targeted virus as a maguffin, even if it was probably a bit far fetched for the rest of the movie. Am I alone in not having any idea of why Saffin wanted to use them once he had effectively ended Spectre? What was his end game?

    Speaking of Saffin, he really was a weak villain. I truly cannot understand the logic of bringing Spectre and Blofeld back, and not making them the true big bad. Particularly as the climax leans heavily on the YOLT novel. Even more so when you think that Blofeld was retro fitted to be the 'author of all Bond's pain' right back to CR. Saffin should have simply been 'Number 2' in Spectre and killed off in the third act, leaving the finale to Bond and Blofeld. Bond even wrings Blofeld's neck and repeats the sentence from Twice, while he does it, for god's sake!

    I actually did rather like the film, until the climax. I suppose it was the obvious culmination to all the continuity knots EON have tied themselves up in recent years, but it really has added a bitter taste to Craig's run. Killing Felix? Ok. Killing Blofeld? Fair Enough. Killing Bond? it just flattened me, and the whole cinema.
    I understand why EON did it, in a way. This gives them an excuse to truly start anew for Bond 26, free of any of the mountains of baggage Craig's run has carried. There's still a huge problem with this. The casual movie going audience don't understand that Craig's story is a contained one. They don't know about Star Trek or Marvel concepts like Prime Universes. They won't get that in 2023, when Henry Cavill/Aiden Turner/whoever walks across the screen and shoots the gun barrel for the first time, that they have simply gone back to the 'Prime' Bond that Connery up to Brosnan portrayed. To them, Bond as a character, is dead.

    I can't really sum up anymore than that. It's impossible to separate what was mostly a good Bond film with that horrendous ending. For that reason No Time To Die is an enormous thumbs down. Please EON, go back to what brought your Father and his friend to the dance 60 years ago.

    Roll on Bond 26...
    Some good points here. Was back in the office today and some of my colleagues have seen this now. Most of them couldn’t understand the ending and how James Bond will return. They go to Bond films as it’s an event. It’s a franchise they understand. You don’t have to understand which heroes have which powers or how the force works or anything like that. They don’t watch marvel and don’t watch Bond films repeatedly like we do on here. I had to explain the Craig films are a separate continuity not connected to the rest of the franchise.

    Blofeld was in this because they couldn’t kill off Bond and have left him alive so they had to kill him off quickly.

    As did I, to my wife. It's really going to confuse the casual folk come Bond 26..
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 35,461
    00Heaven wrote: »
    And MI6 Karl Pilkington (Tanner) has to be the first to go.

    What a perfect way to describe that man.
  • Posts: 4,431
    The strangling scene was like the hand biting scene IMHO. The writers had to get from point A to point B and really struggled. How else would Bond touch Blofeld? I agree, it just feels wrong. Plus THE most iconic Bond villain in the history of the franchise goes out with a whimper.
  • PJJPJJ Formby
    Posts: 6
    patb wrote: »
    The strangling scene was like the hand biting scene IMHO. The writers had to get from point A to point B and really struggled. How else would Bond touch Blofeld? I agree, it just feels wrong. Plus THE most iconic Bond villain in the history of the franchise goes out with a whimper.

    Yes he does. One of the most iconic villains in all of cinema and he’s accidentally killed by nanobots whilst sat in prison.
  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    Posts: 1,095
    patb wrote: »
    The strangling scene was like the hand biting scene IMHO. The writers had to get from point A to point B and really struggled. How else would Bond touch Blofeld? I agree, it just feels wrong. Plus THE most iconic Bond villain in the history of the franchise goes out with a whimper.

    Yeah completely agree on this mate
    Instead of having Blofield be one of the maniacal villians in history, he's a plot point

    I wish they would have left that brilliant Blofeld showdown from the YOLT novel well alone, if they weren't going to do it justice in NTTD
  • BondAficionadoBondAficionado Former IMDBer
    Posts: 1,828
    Back from my second watch on the big screen and at first I thought No Time To Die was good but now I think it's fantastic. There were so many things I missed the first time about character's allegiances (Primo, Obruchev, Logan spring to mind) that had confused me but after seeing it again everything just fell into place.

    There are one or two lines in the film that perfectly encapsulate what's going on. Safin telling Bond that they are both in a tragedy of their own making (?) makes sense when you look back at his era and realise everything has been a disaster and there's no point in doubting so will his future. Although I am of course still uncomfortable with his death. I'm too invested in his Bond not to care. It will be a different experience watching the man in Casino Royale knowing he will have a child and eventually die on the job. But then again 00s have a very short life expectancy.

    One scene that needs a mention is the one where Bond and M are talking outdoors because it explains why Mallory eventually agrees to send the missiles. Also explains why Bond is okay with that. He understands the game they're playing. Always has. At the end it's actually Bond who pushes M to make the decision to follow through and it goes back to that discussion/mutual agreement.

    There's so many other amazing things I picked up on this rewatch, so I'd definitely recommend going a second time if you're uneasy about the film and especially the ending. I'm already planning to see it a third time.
  • Posts: 2,268
    One scene that needs a mention is the one where Bond and M are talking outdoors because it explains why Mallory eventually agrees to send the missiles. Also explains why Bond is okay with that. He understands the game they're playing. Always has. At the end it's actually Bond who pushes M to make the decision to follow through and it goes back to that discussion/mutual agreement.

    This (and about a half dozen other reasons) are why OHMSS is playing over that scene. Might be my favourite understated scene in all of Bond. I can't wait to return to this movie in two days and then again the day after.
  • Posts: 523
    Jordo007 wrote: »
    patb wrote: »
    The strangling scene was like the hand biting scene IMHO. The writers had to get from point A to point B and really struggled. How else would Bond touch Blofeld? I agree, it just feels wrong. Plus THE most iconic Bond villain in the history of the franchise goes out with a whimper.

    Yeah completely agree on this mate
    Instead of having Blofield be one of the maniacal villians in history, he's a plot point

    I wish they would have left that brilliant Blofeld showdown from the YOLT novel well alone, if they weren't going to do it justice in NTTD

    They did the same thing with Mr. White.
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 95
    You can have Bond survive in Bond 26 and he decides not to see Madeleine and Mathilde ever again. He will bring too much pain into their lives so he cuts them out of his life. No emotional bagage. No Bond with family. That's the way to end that subplot.

    All it takes is Barbara Broccoli to say to the screenwriters "Bond isn't dead... let's find a way to bring him back" and Bond comes back.

    If anything, fans are looking at NTTD too seriously. It's not meant to be real. It's escapism. This is why I reckon a reboot will not happen.

    If you think of No Time To Die as the Bond equivalent of Star Trek 2 The Wrath of Khan you may see what I'm getting at. Spock dies but brought back to life in Star Trek 3 The Search For Spock. Bond 26 can be Bond equivalent of Star Trek 3.

    As I say, fans are taking the death too seriously but Barbara Broccoli and the writers may be playing a huge practical joke on the audience. Playing with your emotions. Indeed, the final line of NTTD is...

    James Bond will return.

    .... which is Eon telling you James Bond is not dead. He's not dead. The text doesn't say

    A rebooted James Bond will return.

    It's just James Bond and there's only one James Bond. Not six clones played by six actors. One Bond played by six actors. Conclusion: Craig's Bond is alive and will be played by a new actor.

    See what I mean? 😊

    There is only one James Bond therefore it is impossible for Bond to have died in NTTD. Each Bond film features James Bond. The actors change and the time period moves on but it's still James Bond. There's no alternative reality Bonds (lol). It's always the same guy. If you kill Bond it can never be the same guy again so you establish a paradox. Bond dead but still alive.

    The only alternative is Bond remains alive.


  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited October 2021 Posts: 4,691
    bondywondy wrote: »
    James Bond will return.

    .... which is Eon telling you James Bond is not dead. He's not dead. The text doesn't say

    A rebooted James Bond will return.
    Casino Royale was a reboot, and at the end of Die Another Day, it said James Bond will return.

    Also, Craig's Bond is in no way connected to any other. He's his own universe. It's been pretty clear that's the case since before Casino was even released. And again, even if Craig's Bond didn't die, they'd still reboot it, because to carry on his narrative with a different, younger actor, would make no sense.
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 95
    Denbigh wrote: »
    bondywondy wrote: »
    James Bond will return.

    .... which is Eon telling you James Bond is not dead. He's not dead. The text doesn't say

    A rebooted James Bond will return.
    Casino Royale was a reboot, and at the end of Die Another Day, it said James Bond will return.

    Also, Craig's Bond is in no way connected to any other. He's his own universe. It's been pretty clear that's the case since before Casino was even released. And again, even if Craig's Bond didn't die, they'd still reboot it, because to carry on his narrative with a different, younger actor, would make no sense.

    And killing Bond makes sense? Lol

    Tell that to all the fans that feel betrayed by that decision!

    Oh well I tried. I can't convince you lot you are all wrong. Wait and see... in three years time Bondywondy will be proven right and you can say "sorry, Bondywondy, you were right all along."
    😎 😉
  • bondywondy wrote: »
    Denbigh wrote: »
    bondywondy wrote: »
    James Bond will return.

    .... which is Eon telling you James Bond is not dead. He's not dead. The text doesn't say

    A rebooted James Bond will return.
    Casino Royale was a reboot, and at the end of Die Another Day, it said James Bond will return.

    Also, Craig's Bond is in no way connected to any other. He's his own universe. It's been pretty clear that's the case since before Casino was even released. And again, even if Craig's Bond didn't die, they'd still reboot it, because to carry on his narrative with a different, younger actor, would make no sense.

    And killing Bond makes sense? Lol

    Tell that to all the fans that feel betrayed by that decision!

    Oh well I tried. I can't convince you lot you are all wrong. Wait and see... in three years time Bondywondy will be proven right and you can say "sorry, Bondywondy, you were right all along."
    😎 😉

    It actually does make sense. You (and others) may not like it, but this separate continuity allows them to kill Bond without and real impact to future films. What wouldn't make sense is to carry on this iteration of Bond who has been aging in-story over the past 3 films.
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    Posts: 242
    It actually does make sense. You (and others) may not like it, but this separate continuity allows them to kill Bond without and real impact to future films.
    If it's a separate continuity they could also have kept Bond alive with no impact to future films.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Alpha Quadrant
    Posts: 5,520
    slide_99 wrote: »
    It actually does make sense. You (and others) may not like it, but this separate continuity allows them to kill Bond without and real impact to future films.
    If it's a separate continuity they could also have kept Bond alive with no impact to future films.

    True, but they wanted to tell a story where Bond does die.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited October 2021 Posts: 4,691
    slide_99 wrote: »
    It actually does make sense. You (and others) may not like it, but this separate continuity allows them to kill Bond without and real impact to future films.
    If it's a separate continuity they could also have kept Bond alive with no impact to future films.
    They definitely could have, but I personally find, and I've said this before, the ending they went with extremely poetic in terms of the arc that Craig's Bond went on. Throughout his tenure, we've had Bond faced with this idea that he can't have a normal life, and even when he's presumed dead, something will bring him back into the fold.

    So I feel it's extremely full circle to, in the end, have Bond face a hard choice created by something that'll always be a part of him. Literally, the nanobots, but figuratively, you could say it's also his life as a 00.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Alpha Quadrant
    Posts: 5,520
    patb wrote: »
    The strangling scene was like the hand biting scene IMHO. The writers had to get from point A to point B and really struggled. How else would Bond touch Blofeld? I agree, it just feels wrong. Plus THE most iconic Bond villain in the history of the franchise goes out with a whimper.

    Could be worse. Craig Bond could have slam dunked Blofeld into a chimney stack.
  • Posts: 523
    What if I watch NTTD, but leave 10 minutes before the movie is over? I don’t want to see what happens to Bond. How much would I miss?
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Alpha Quadrant
    Posts: 5,520
    You would miss the best parts!
  • Posts: 523
    You would miss the best parts!
    Dang it. Lol. How about 5 minutes before?
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Alpha Quadrant
    Posts: 5,520
    You have to watch everything including the end credits!

    I know this, because I haven’t seen it yet
  • Posts: 523
    I gotcha. I’m almost about to talk myself into it. Extremely apprehensive about it. I know it’s going to gut me. Maybe Friday at 1:10. Are you in the US Makeshiftpython?
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Alpha Quadrant
    Posts: 5,520
    Yup.

    Got tickets to Wednesday 7pm IMAX. I’m beyond stoked.
  • Posts: 3,045
    bondywondy wrote: »
    You can have Bond survive in Bond 26 and he decides not to see Madeleine and Mathilde ever again.
    A sane person would go "Well, okay I can't touch them, but that doesn't mean that I can't be in the room with them and be part of their lives."
  • Posts: 2,268
    Yup.

    Got tickets to Wednesday 7pm IMAX. I’m beyond stoked.

    I can't remember, are you one one of the MI-6C members based around Toronto? I only ask because I have a ticket for IMAX at the same time in Whitby.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Alpha Quadrant
    Posts: 5,520
    I reside in Southern California.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Riding a white swan to Matera
    edited October 2021 Posts: 12,409
    I appreciate and like that the Craig era gives us Bond's complete story. Just now, I want to talk a little about Blofeld in NTTD.

    Blofeld was not the focus of this film (even though evil plot, birthday party, head of Spectre, yes, yes) - and any more of him would have been distracting and we would have ended up with a 3 hr film. I was pleased with the way this story handled him and killed him off pretty quickly. Give him a menacing enough intro, having Madeleine leave in a high state of stress, Bond and him one on one, and that very unexpected death after Bond saying "Die, Blofeld, Die" (which I keep reading members say IS from Fleming). Then he is tossed aside, done. I like that.

    Shoot me now, but I did not want him to be a huge part of this movie. NTTD is a long film, but it moves along very well, does not lag. If the story were to spend more time on Blofeld himself, it would have taken away from the main thrust of this entire film. Which is, in my opinion, is Bond's personal life, his soul, as well as the end of his career. So yes that means saving the world (naturally) from this new techno biochemical weapon AND resolving his relationship with Madeleine; to give himself some happiness in his life of always living in the shadows.

    I am glad we did NOT get more time with Blofeld ... or MI6 office in turmoil ... or longer drawn out scenes in the poisonous garden.

    I would have like a bit more with Felix, for sure. And I would have cut some of the evil scientist's scenes in order to give us that.

    But my quibble with this film are very slight. I think it does a good job telling this particular, personal, final story of this particular James Bond. It is gut wrenching, and sad, and truly tragic. But also noble and heroic, and therefore fitting for James Bond.
  • EinoRistoSiniahoEinoRistoSiniaho Oulu, Finland
    Posts: 73
    thetruth wrote: »
    I'm not sure why people are confused why I, and others, feel that this irrevocably changes/undermines Bond. 24 films in 60 years and Bond never dies. Think about that. How can Bond dying not change the character completely. The whole point of Bond is he's a fantasy figure that always finds a way out. We're not talking about Fellini/Bergman/Tarkovski films here. We don't need to work on developing and closing a narrative arc. Once the curtain has been pulled back and we can see the wizard, there's no going back to believing in Bond.

    I disagree with this take. One of the appeals of Bond is that he’s human, and there’s nothing more human than facing your own mortality.
    Indeed. Part of the appeal of Bond is that he is human who puts his life on the line in the shadows. Fleming's Bond knows that some mission will kill him probably sooner than later.
    The ending of NTTD doesn't endanger the series one bit. The mere fact there will be a new Bond actor will lure people to the theatres in droves.
    When Skyfall came out I had a chat with then around 60 year old man and his wife about Bond films and how long they've been going to see them. Both had seen some of Connery ones on their first release. They were convinced that it was established in Brosnan films that Brosnan's Bond was the son of Bond played by Connery. I told them that it was supposed to be the same guy. Both shook their head in amused disbelief. Based on those clearly long time (casual) Bond fans the ending of NTTD doesn't mean a thing in the long run.
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