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Yea, I do hope they revert to formula after this. We could do with a Goldeneye for the 2020's.
Give the man an assignment, some gadgets, a bad bastard with an evil ingenious plot, and no emotional baggage beyond the urge of wanting to eat good food, drink quality booze, shag great women and save the world. Would that be too much to ask?
Count me in.
When CR came out (which is a film i really loved), the promise of the makers was: At the end of the movie, "he's the Bond we all know and love". I can't say, how many times i've heard these words in 2005/2006. Okay. But the thing for me is: The Bond i know and love, doesn't die at the end of the f*** movie. Sorry for that!
I've got the feeling, all the talk about this so called self contained Craig-Universe emerged with Spectre, when they clumsily tried to connect this movie to its 3 predecessors.
And now this is the main justification for killing off an 60 year old cinematic icon, who had it in his DNA (at least for this fan), that he always finds a way, not only to save the day, but escape the most desperate situations. "When the world is the target, you can still depend on one man". And i'm no fan of Brosnan by the way. But this is the spirit i liked about this character the most. Let him be human, hurt him, destroy him allmost, i love that, because it even makes the heroic moment stronger, when he finally stands up, fights and prevails.
Up to this point, Bond never was someone, who quits life. But now all of sudden he's a tragic hero, who dies, when he sees no sense in living anymore. Who is not going on, because Q told him over his earpiece, there's no hope anymore.
Two weeks after watching this movie, i still hate it from the bottom of my heart.
Because I found the ending such a miss-step, it's hard to say how I'll feel about this movie in the future. I think when it's in my DVD collection, I'll be able to re-address it. I've always been slightly suspect about the Craig era, due mostly to him not looking like the traditional Flemingesque 'tall dark and handsome' Bond. I was never convinced by him on screen. But despite that, I think his run of films are the most solid run of entries since the 60's. In a nutshell ..
Casino Royale - Brilliant, a top ten Bond film.
QOS - A worthy curio, ruined somewhat by the editing.
Skyfall - Great, daft fun.
SPECTRE - More great daft fun, but not quite as good as SF.
And if I were to rate them as films, I'd go CR, SF, SP, QoS.
But where I would put NTTD I don't know. Most of the film beats SP and QoS, but then there's the ending. So should I let the ending define the whole movie? I dunno.
Damn them. I'm a traditionalist and I wanted James Bond end up on a high with a witty remark and me coming out the cinema on a high. If I want to feel miserable I'll go and see a movie at the arthouse. I wanted to come out of a Bond film punching the air. In fact, the ten-year old in me wanted the island to explode, and Bond to emerge from the dust on his TSWLM jet ski with the Bond theme blaring out. Because that's what the cinematic James Bond does.
Or, he used to.
I think Bond was in shock that the *second* love of his life had (seemingly) betrayed him. It's one of the better moments.
The entire film is a brilliant inversion of OHMSS. Craig's arc has always been focused on Bond's mortality, as was Fleming. I can now see why Craig said, with NTTD, they wanted to finish the themes started in CR.
And going back to Bond coming out of the ocean in CR or "Do you think I give a damn," his entire era has specialized in inverting the (frankly tired) tropes of the series.
This is the point I made earlier. He gives up too easy, it doesn't work. It's not worthy of the character at all.
It's ironic they used Fleming's Garden of Death in the movie, because if you read that book, at the end, Bond is battered and bruised almost beyond endurance, and he still finds a way to escape.
I think they're having their cake and eating it. He still used the 'shaken not stirred" line in NTTD. But I do get your point, and certainly the Craig films felt fresher than Bond has for years.
I also loved the nanobot idea. When you compare the storyline to QoS, it's head and shoulders above it. I'm still not sure what the villain's plot was in that movie. But Safin had the plan, the base, everything.
If only I could get my head round that ending, I'd be on board. You guys that can accept it are the lucky ones.
I also know a lot of people on here try to take the timelines a little more serious than I do. I'm a bit more flexible and try not to break my head thinking on it. If it tells a good Bond story, and the key to that being a Bond story, then I'm all down for it. There's continuity between CR, QOS and then SP and NTTD (with some loose call backs to this eras themes as a whole) but for me I just want to be entertained and I'll take it all at face value. Despite some tears, I decided that with NTTD, I really was.
Maybe I'm missing the point because I get that people are emotionally upset over it. But I think even those that enjoyed the movie are. I think that's the point. It's meant to be a shock. You're meant to realise how brutal the reality of Bond's life is. It's a sacrifice even without the addition of a partner and child. He just plays the game and makes the most out of it as he bloody should do. But for me, it really drives the point home that we see his story as the hero but in the end he really is just that glass of scotch on a table... Then it's "back to work" for these people who try to do their best for their country. He is not the only 00 and who is to say the other 00's are not doing the same heroics and we're just not privy to it.. Bond is just a number in a long line of numbers. Not people. Numbers. Yet they die too. We all die in the end.
But I digress.
Where next? Who knows... But I'm looking forward to finding out because James Bond Will Return and with a cleaner slate and no baggage more than ever. Given that conclusion and the acclaim this era had, I really can't argue with it anymore. It gives 'the other fella' a great, fresh platform to start with.
One question I'd ask people that are on board with the movie; do you think the death of James Bond improved your overall experience of seeing the movie, or detracted from it.
I can't imagine there were many fans of this movie series who were pleased that he died on-screen.
Thank you. I think as well there's a subsection of fans that are also a little wary of the unknown as this is the unknown waters that we're charting right now. I've suggested it before but once B26, B27 and B28 come out (as have others) maybe NTTD will be viewed in a different light and change the minds of those who are concerned right now. That doesn't account for all and that's fine too :).
To answer your question, it's a tough one. My overall reaction to the movie is positive. The ending is a tough pill to swallow, it's meant to be, but I see why they did it (from both the Bond/movie/thematic side of things and the Daniel/EON/logistics side of things) and I don't think it makes the overall movie any better or worse for it. The movie was well crafted and clearly a lot of thought/love went into it... If they did a bad job around that part then we'd have heard more dissenters and I think at that point rightfully so.
I do think a slight issue with this film is he does nothing like that in the whole film; maybe the Matera stuff, but after that he doesn't do anything especially Bondy, and even Spectre got that right.
I think our own individual personalities come into play here. It'd be easy for me to say "those bastards, look what they've done". But anyone who thinks they made that movie with the intention of pissing off Bond fans, would be wrong. There was a lot of fan-service there. And to people who are used to reboots and whatever, they don't give a fiddler's fart that Bond died, because the next series will be another reboot. It's mostly only older traditionalists like me, who don't watch much superhero or sci-fi, who don't get this 'character arc' malarkey.
I mean, if I read a book series, and the main character died, I wouldn't expect another book to come along afterwards with the same character in it, as if nothing had happened. I'd expect a Holmes-like explanation of how they cheated death. I doubt we'll get that with Mr Bond. It'll just be assumed he's a different character.
No, sorry, same character, different arc.
I think that's how it works.
Unless you’d prefer Nomi or Madeleine to stay behind to die, which would only support my “You view women as disposable” theory. It’s ok, EON did too… fifty-years ago.
The Bond of just having a wild rollercoaster ride in a movie had been altered significantly. With CR I already felt that the old ways of Bond were somewhat left behind, or even broken.
And when I first heard Adele's great Skyfall song before seeing the movie, I thought: "Sounds like he might even die based on this song." I couldn't totally discount it, given what had happened in CR. And the death of M in Skyfall was almost as intense.
And so for me, and for some others, looking back on it, this is where this group of films has potentially been heading toward since the start, when Bond said that 00s have a short life expectancy.
We are headed into the unknown with this character.
Then, everybody gradually realized that the new films had actually moved the franchise into uncharted territories, partly because of Craig's take on the character which was quite distinctive, and that a few elements couldn't just be "updated" by this point, they had to be entirely reinvented or they wouldn't work. Too much elements in the eighties and nineties were already exhausted tropes based on choices made in the sixties. The new Moneypenny and Q from Skyfall did work. Blofeld from Spectre didn't (partly because the script was botched, partly because, due to decade of parodies, he may have been beyond redemption as a believable threat).
And they ultimately decided to give this arc some definite end, rather than milk out the new choices with another actor for another decade, where, at this point, they would have felt stale and overplayed too.
That said, when people think these five films are some treason to the franchise, I don't think that either Cubby or Harry had any grandiose plans when they started the series beyond a few sequels. Nobody could have predicted that the franchise would turn into such a phenomenon. They also moved along with some kind of behemoth and adjusted to the new situation, just like Barbara and Michael did with the reboot, especially when Skyfall broke records everywhere. And this time they didn't take it as the new statu quo but some invite to take even more risks.
But, if Fleming had been alive for a few more years, he might also have been appalled with the creative direction the franchise took as soon as the early seventies, and the lack of development for the character he had created. So, if we accept Diamonds Are Forever or Moonraker, we have to accept Syfall and No Time to Die.
I suppose they'd done the 'Bond retires happily' ending in SP, and the 'Bond is ready to get back to work' ending twice as well. I'd have been happier with that a third time to be honest, but I get it that they want a different ending. A more final ending. And they certainly did that!
A good ending for a Bond film would be where he's with a woman, and then gets somehow discovered by M and Q, using radar or some other technology. And they go "oh, 007, what are you up to!"
Someone phone eon, I think they'd love it!
Agreed. I think he might even had been appalled as early as YOLT.
Saw a Craig interview recently where he said they discussed doing standalone films but negated the idea as the continuity thread they established was too good and too interesting to leave behind. So probably not planned before CR but not clear as to when they doubled down on the overarching story. I'm thankful for it though. Been quite a ride.
1. They could have gone with Flemings YOLT ending instead of infecting Bond with a deadly virus. As a filmmaker your never have only two choices.
2. I wouldn't have complained. My problem is, that they committed themselves to the basic idea of letting Bond die. Everything in NTTD is constructed around that premise. It's a storytellers choice, and i don't like it one bit.
Yes, was just about to say as I couldn't say it in the minor spoilers thread... But in that podcast he alludes to the arc as being something that was discussed early-ish.
Thank you, sir. Very much appreciated.
The foil on the cigar in Bond's home says "Delectados", which is a call back to Die Another Day, where Bond asking for Delectados in the cigar factory is a code phrase to meet with the Cuban sleeper agent.