NO TIME TO DIE (2021) - First Reactions vs. Current Reactions

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  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    Posts: 676
    This is getting tiresome, the way some people are intentionally misrepresenting the criticisms of this movie. Nobody is "confused" by the ending. Everyone understands that Craig-Bond has his own timeline. What we're saying is that Craig having his own timeline is an inherently dumb idea to begin with, particularly when it ends on this note. It creates meta-narrative issues when previously there weren't any. Now it seems we're going to have multiple "hard" timelines like Batman and Captain Kirk when previously we had a simple and effective loose continuity where Bond was just an ever-present character. This reeks of Eon taking bad cues from other franchises, the biggest sin of the Craig era: riding other franchise's coattails instead of letting Bond be Bond.
  • JamesKJamesK Canada
    edited October 2021 Posts: 35
    The issue with the nanobots thing was that that didn't have to happen at all, and seemed like such a bolt-on contrivance it reeked of insincerity – it was an unnecessary and last minute plot element to attempt to justify Bond giving up. He was home free, silo doors open, on his way out, missiles in the air. A final confrontation with Safin could easily have occurred without Safin, one of the least well developed villains in Bond history, breaking the vial on Bond's face and signing his death warrant. [Edit: This is in response to posts back a few pages]

    Leaving that aside though, there seems to be a couple of different issues floating around in the last couple of pages: one is continuity, the other is Bond's death. I think they are separate. Those arguing it makes sense to have killed Bond seem to ground that viewpoint on some version of the idea that:

    (a) from a continuity perspective, Craig's Bond started with a bit of a reboot (becoming a 00, etc.) and so it makes sense to end that reboot with finality; and/or

    (b) Craig's Bond has, from the get-go, made an effort to subvert the character a little bit and play up the tragic/flawed elements that have always been a part of Bond and therefore having him die in a tragic and possibly heroic way was the only way to go (or at least that it works).

    On the other hand, those arguing it doesn't make sense, seem to ground that viewpoint on some variation of:

    (a) the idea that from a continuity perspective, it doesn't make sense to kill him and then bring him back; and/or

    (b) the fact that the constant threat of Bond's death, but that it never actually occurs, has been a fundamental tenant of the series, both novels and films, from the start - so much so that this is in fact integral to the character of Bond, regardless of who plays him.

    I don’t think the continuity point supports either view. From a continuity perspective, there's nothing really wrong with bringing back a character previously killed in a series with so many continuity errors and issues we could fill these last 145 pages again listing them all. Bond gets older, gets younger, significant events which happen in one movie are entirely ignored in subsequent ones, supporting cast changes with no explanation, villains disappear, reappear, and then there are the continuity issues within various movies themselves. It's a film series that has lasted 60 years - its not all going to hang together perfectly and it absolutely doesn’t have to.

    On the other hand, and along the same vein, I'm not at all swayed by the idea that Craig's Bond is somehow separate from the rest of the cannon with his own separate story and otherwise, from a continuity perspective, 'it doesn't make sense', or that another actor couldn’t have picked up after Craig had he lived at the end because of any sort of continuity based concerns (i.e. Bond’s wife and child). To make such an argument implies it always made sense before and that we were all of the view that there were no real continuity issues as we went through Connery, Moore, Lazenby, Dalton and Brosnan, which is not the case. Each Bond has brought something different to the role and each one, while maybe not having quite as clearly defined a 'story arc' per-se as Craig, is to some degree separate from the last. Craig is maybe slightly different in degree, but not in concept. He's part of the series and does not stand alone and I don't think you can convincingly argue from a continuity perspective, that it therefore makes sense to have killed him off. With Daniel Craig, they told a set of stories about Bond, and that's just fine – had he lived, I personally would have had no problem with a new guy walking into M's office in the next movie for the next mission and have them just stay silent on the wife and child – this is frankly not really any different than what they’ve done pretty much every time a new actor picked up the gauntlet, to one degree or another – it would have been just fine.

    Continuity in the James Bond films has always been a loose concept, and one that we have generally found not be particularly problematic - its always been easy to overlook these sorts of issues in favor of what Bond brings with each new iteration, and so it is with all of Daniel’s films – CR starts with him becoming a double-0, but he was a double-0 in Die Another Day – who cares? We ignore it and enjoy the film. So I'm not sure the continuity discussion is helpful either way.


    The more compelling point I think is whether or not killing him in this film is the one step too far because it cuts directly across one of the most fundamental characteristics of the James Bond character, and, to add insult to injury, without good reason. I think it is. It doesn't mean I hated NTTD (I quite liked (most of) it) but I do not agree that Bond’s death ‘had to happen' because the 'subversive interpretation' of Bond which Craig (et.al) created during his time with Bond meant he stood alone and therefore they had to end his story with finality. Maybe they explored some different elements of Bond’s character but through all 5 movies he's still been Bond, through and through – a few minor compromises or the glimpse into his childhood don’t change that.

    Bond, regardless of the changes over the years, whether it be his attitude towards women, drinking, smoking, etc., how the world in which he lives has progressed, the technology he uses, the enemies he fights, or the elements of his past explored, has always remained true to the very basic elements of his fundamental character – and maybe the most basic is his drive and ability to endure. For the first time, this has been thrown out the window, and, to me at least, without good reason. This is what really stings – there is no clear reason why it ‘had to happen’. It was a choice they made, whether because they believed it was the right one, or that they just wanted to send Daniel out with a bang and stir up some controversy. Frankly, I tend to towards the latter – it all feels a bit disingenuous – like they wanted to make a big statement for the sake of making a statement. It taints the Craig films for me and I wish they’d gone a different route.

    One last point - none of this is based on the view that killing Bond is something ‘Fleming wouldn’t have done’. I agree we need not hold every plot decision or direction up against the Fleming-lens, however this is not a decision to have one of Bond’s missions take him into space rather than the Caribbean or eastern Europe (these sorts of updates are just a feature of the different decades in which the movies have been made). This was a fundamental shift in how we perceive Bond. Through all the books and films, Bond varies in different ways, the stories vary in different ways, but his fundamental character has remained generally intact – until the last 10 minutes of NTTD.
  • MinionMinion Don't Hassle the Bond
    Posts: 1,165
    If Purvis & Wade came up with a giant squid, or a killer who's most dangerous when there's a full moon, or had Bond believe he saw a statue move in response to his prayer, or did a comedy dream sequence of Bond's married life, I feel confident it would not be loved.

    As is, Fleming soaked Blofeld's story arc in coincidence, and people don't like that movie Blofeld is steeped in it as well. :-??

    Fleming's Bond in the minds of some:
    (Warning: NSFW)
    https://www.ign.com/videos/2011/01/12/drive-angry-red-band-clip-xxx-gun-fight

  • edited October 2021 Posts: 3,333
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I have no thoughts about B26 yet. I am still in the now, with NTTD just released. B26 is distant future. When it comes, I will see it and make up my mind about it. But I see no rational reason for either worrying or being optimistic about a film that is highly speculative at this point. I am, however, very confident that what played out in NTTD won't influence the new film much.
    Then that's where we both differ @DarthDimi, as I do. The here and now for me is Bond's RIP and we're just discussing his eulogy. I've already lit my candle, said my prayers and moved on. I now want to know more about Bond 26.

    PS. Very good post @JamesK. Sorry I only got to read it after replying to Darth. I think I'm coming to the end of discussing NTTD. I've said my piece and want to focus on B26.
  • notimetocrynotimetocry Bristol
    Posts: 22
    Matt007 wrote: »
    I think my main issue is that bond having a kid, failing to leave and dying makes his life more normal. I don’t watch James Bond because he’s normal.

    I watch it to escape normality.

    You must live a very exciting life if what you see in NTTD is 'normality' 😂
  • matt_umatt_u better known as Mr. Roark
    Posts: 4,343
    It makes his life heroic, not normal.
  • MinionMinion Don't Hassle the Bond
    edited October 2021 Posts: 1,165
    Matt007 wrote: »
    I think my main issue is that bond having a kid, failing to leave and dying makes his life more normal. I don’t watch James Bond because he’s normal.

    I watch it to escape normality.

    You must live a very exciting life if what you see in NTTD is 'normality' 😂

    What, haven't you ever erupted in an explosion of stinger missiles as you tell your wife you love her on your way to work?
  • notimetocrynotimetocry Bristol
    Posts: 22
    bondsum wrote: »
    Nanobots were only a factor. There was also having to go back to open the doors and getting shot up. Everything was stacking against him that even if he had no nanobots he wouldn’t have been able to hobble out of the firing range.
    You're right. There was the additional being shot up, which Bond had recovered from before in SF and on many other occasions, plus the opening of the missile doors that Bond had to stick around for (not sure why?)—but these are both plot contrivances that I can see having been written to try and justify his self-sacrifice. For me, I just didn't buy any of them. It was almost like if you don't buy the nanobots then there's always being shot, or the missile doors for you to pick 'n' choose from.

    I hope you get equally worked up about the 5000 plot contrivances that have saved his life up until now. He's probably owed a death don't you think?
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,847
    bondsum wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I have no thoughts about B26 yet. I am still in the now, with NTTD just released. B26 is distant future. When it comes, I will see it and make up my mind about it. But I see no rational reason for either worrying or being optimistic about a film that is highly speculative at this point. I am, however, very confident that what played out in NTTD won't influence the new film much.
    Then that's where we both differ @DarthDimi, as I do. The here and now for me is Bond's RIP and we're just discussing his eulogy. I've already lit my candle, said my prayers and moved on. I now want to know more about Bond 26.

    PS. Very good post @JamesK. Sorry I only got to read it after replying to Darth. I think I'm coming to the end of discussing NTTD. I've said my piece and want to focus on B26.

    Well, yeah, that's perfectly fair, @bondsum.
  • notimetocrynotimetocry Bristol
    Posts: 22
    Bond fans: Bond isn't fantasy or a superhero film like Star Wars or Batman

    The same Bond fans: I watch Bond to escape reality and don't want to see my hero die
  • matt_umatt_u better known as Mr. Roark
    Posts: 4,343
    There’s a brief moment right before the impact where the missiles in the sky reminded me of fireworks. A subtle hint to the great and passionate celebration of a true hero NTTD is.
  • Posts: 3,333
    I hope you get equally worked up about the 5000 plot contrivances that have saved his life up until now. He's probably owed a death don't you think?
    Worked up is perhaps an overstatement on your part. I prefer slightly peeved.
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Well, yeah, that's perfectly fair, @bondsum.
    Cheers @DarthDimi. :)>-
  • Posts: 3,293
    Bond fans: Bond isn't fantasy or a superhero film like Star Wars or Batman

    The same Bond fans: I watch Bond to escape reality and don't want to see my hero die
    We are damn fickle, us Bond fans. A bit like football fans. ;)

  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    edited October 2021 Posts: 3,025
    JamesK wrote: »
    there is no clear reason why it ‘had to happen’. It was a choice they made, whether because they believed it was the right one, or that they just wanted to send Daniel out with a bang and stir up some controversy. Frankly, I tend to towards the latter – it all feels a bit disingenuous – like they wanted to make a big statement for the sake of making a statement. It taints the Craig films for me and I wish they’d gone a different route.
    Agreed. It didn't 'have to' happen - EON and Craig decided to do it. They had other choices, but went with this one. And if they really did film three alternative endings, doesn't that mean that the choice to go this route was made very late on, in post-production, presumably after Fukunaga had assembled the different versions for them to view? Unless the other two were done for misdirection, to keep everyone guessing, obviously. I hope there were three genuine endings and they chose this one because it carried the biggest punch and it wasn't done just as a stunt. I mean, they're EON and he's Daniel Craig, they can do what they like and that's fair enough. Some of us like it, while others are less happy, and that's also fair enough. But JamesK's right, it didn't 'have to' happen this way - one of the alternative endings was said to be Bond, Madeleine and Mathilde on a beach, looking out to sea as the sun started to set. If they'd gone with that, how many of us would be going 'no, no, he had to die'?
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 3,333
    RC7 wrote: »
    No one knows what to expect from B26. Until we hear further I don’t see the point in being unnecessarily negative.
    Talking of being unnecessarily negative @RC7 what are you current thoughts on using the OHMSS Theme and WHATTITW in NTTD? I can distictly recall you saying that both these musical cues didn't belong in a Craig Bond movie because they belong exclusively to OHMSS. Has your view now changed after watching NTTD? Just curious as you were very adamant and unnecessarily negative about it a few year's ago when I made the suggestion.
  • JamesKJamesK Canada
    Posts: 35
    Venutius wrote: »
    JamesK wrote: »
    there is no clear reason why it ‘had to happen’. It was a choice they made, whether because they believed it was the right one, or that they just wanted to send Daniel out with a bang and stir up some controversy. Frankly, I tend to towards the latter – it all feels a bit disingenuous – like they wanted to make a big statement for the sake of making a statement. It taints the Craig films for me and I wish they’d gone a different route.
    Agreed. It didn't 'have to' happen - EON and Craig consciously decided to do it. They had other choices, but went with this one. And if they really did film three alternative endings, doesn't that mean that the choice to go this route was made very late on, in post-production, presumably after Fukunaga had assembled the different versions for them to view? Hopefully, that means they felt this ending carried the biggest punch and it wasn't done just as a stunt. They're EON and he's Daniel Craig, they can do what they like and that's fair enough. Some of us like it, while others are less happy, and that's also fair enough. But JamesK's right, it didn't 'have to' happen this way - one of the alternative endings was said to be Bond, Madeleine and Mathilde on a beach, looking out to sea as the sun started to set. If they'd gone with that, how many of us would be going 'no, no, he had to die'?

    Wait, what?? I didn't know they'd put together three endings - source for this (for my own curiosity)? If NTTD had ended with them on a beach at the end I'd be saying it was one of the best Bond films of all time and would bet the vast majority wouldn't have been hoping for his death.

    Goddamn it, that would have been amazing. Maybe they'll release the alternate endings on the Blu-ray or something and I can just pretend that's the way it went.
  • MinionMinion Don't Hassle the Bond
    edited October 2021 Posts: 1,165
    I don't know how true that is. Based on the James Bond & Friends podcast (which admittedly are not infallible), Bond's death was one of DC's conditions for returning. If there were multiple endings shot, it would likely only cover the events after Bond heroically sacrifices himself.
  • matt_umatt_u better known as Mr. Roark
    Posts: 4,343
    They never filmed three different endings. They always had this end in mind, and coincidentally it was reported back in 2018 as the main reason behind the divorce with Boyle. So, fake rumors.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    Bond fans: Bond isn't fantasy or a superhero film like Star Wars or Batman

    The same Bond fans: I watch Bond to escape reality and don't want to see my hero die

    They could give the next Bond superpowers because why not?
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    Posts: 3,025
    I don't have a source to hand, unfortunately - it was something I read a couple of years ago now, when the news first broke that they'd filmed different endings. Who knows if it was even reported accurately - but I'd kept it in mind ever since and was hoping they'd gone with that. If Boyle really did leave because he refused to kill Bond, that suggests they'd planned to go the death route all along and the alternative endings were there to wrongfoot the media. But I know which ending I'd've preferred.
  • JamesKJamesK Canada
    Posts: 35
    Ah, I see. Damn - never have I grasped for a straw so quickly or completely.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    bondsum wrote: »
    RC7 wrote: »
    No one knows what to expect from B26. Until we hear further I don’t see the point in being unnecessarily negative.
    Talking of being unnecessarily negative @RC7 what are you current thoughts on using the OHMSS Theme and WHATTITW in NTTD? I can distictly recall you saying that both these musical cues didn't belong in a Craig Bond movie because they belong exclusively to OHMSS. Has your view now changed after watching NTTD? Just curious as you were very adamant and unnecessarily negative about it a few year's ago when I made the suggestion.

    I don’t think it does belong. But here we are. It is what it is. For clarity, negativity around B26 just seems premature to me. Negativity around NTTD, fill your boots.
  • JamesKJamesK Canada
    Posts: 35
    Agree with that - how can we be negative about 26 yet? We're months away from anything concrete it seems, and go knows there's plenty of other negatives to focus on.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Why is it just hard to accept that some people are fine with the ending and some aren't. There is no "right or wrong" or ultimate truth. We all have our own personal and nuanced history with the character that informs how we react to this on a conceptual level, as well as to the cinematic experience. I could try to summarize my thoughts, and have, as most of us do, but ultimately my reaction to NTTD and Bond (a part of my life since 1965) is visceral. Any debate or rationalizing on either side will not sway my feelings much at all. Time may do that.

    Ultimately I think most people would agree with this. I think most of the back and forth is bogged down in the logic of it. On a visceral level I can see both sides of the coin.
  • JamesKJamesK Canada
    Posts: 35
    RC7 wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Why is it just hard to accept that some people are fine with the ending and some aren't. There is no "right or wrong" or ultimate truth. We all have our own personal and nuanced history with the character that informs how we react to this on a conceptual level, as well as to the cinematic experience. I could try to summarize my thoughts, and have, as most of us do, but ultimately my reaction to NTTD and Bond (a part of my life since 1965) is visceral. Any debate or rationalizing on either side will not sway my feelings much at all. Time may do that.

    Ultimately I think most people would agree with this. I think most of the back and forth is bogged down in the logic of it. On a visceral level I can see both sides of the coin.

    I agree with this as well. The ending hit people so hard the drive to discuss it to achieve some sort of peace with it is strong for many (this is why I joined this forum). This I suspect is at least part of what drives such passionate debate in this case vs. discussing any other aspect of any other film in the series.
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    edited October 2021 Posts: 3,025
    False hope quickly dashed and all that. Thinking about it, when the three alternative endings stories surfaced in 2019, it was also claimed that Fukunaga was the only person who knew which one was going to be used - yeah, as if Barbara Broccoli would just accept that! Ah well.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    edited October 2021 Posts: 1,705
    As for giant squid's, this seems to be one of the things Fleming haters keep falling back on to emphasise their point that going back to the books for unused material is bad.

    I don't hate Fleming, and I suspect you're confused about anyone else you're referring to with "Fleming haters". I have no problem with the giant squid in Dr No. It's wonderful. But if Fleming didn't write that, and Purvis & Wade did, people would crucify them. Same idea, different author, it's bad instead of good.
    Minion wrote: »
    Fleming's Bond in the minds of some:
    (Warning: NSFW)
    https://www.ign.com/videos/2011/01/12/drive-angry-red-band-clip-xxx-gun-fight

    :))
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 6,115
    bondsum wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    00Heaven wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    What's more, people complain about how Blofeld in SP explains that Bond will never recognise Madeleine anymore once the drilling has taken place, yet he still does regardless of said drilling. Now they yell that a cure for the nanobots should have been invented quickly by Q, even if the film definitively states you are stuck with them forever. A deus ex machina? Please, no.

    Personally, I think people are giving the film too much thought. It's a Bond film, roll with it. Yes, the ending is pretty dramatic, I get it. But does anyone start watching OHMSS, arms folded, because we know what happens at the end? Is the romance between Bond and Tracy tainted and is her presence in the film devastating because of the end? Is Bond's proposal scene vomit-inducing because of the darker shadows that hang over it?

    Now then, are we never going to enjoy NTTD for about 98% of the movie because of the ending? I know the answer; I have gone back to rewatch the movie and I've had a blast from start to finish.

    And in case someone screams FLEMING!, yes, I've been a good boy, I've read all the books, several times. It's a non-argument. "Fleming wouldn't have done this." Fleming wouldn't have had an oil tanker swallow up nuclear submarines; he wouldn't have shot Bond into space; he wouldn't have hollowed out a volcano; he wouldn't have built an invisible car... Shall we continue?

    Yup! You have a different way of trying to reason with people than I do but all this and more.

    I wish people could just take it on face value and enjoy the story thats presented for all its flaws and ups and downs. Bond will return yadda yadda but alas...

    Precisely. Bond will return. Not this Bond, but Bond.
    The fundamental difference is those of us that are ambivalent to the third act of the movie (like myself), or thoroughly dislike it (like some other members here), aren't trying to dissuade you from your unwavering love of the movie. We're merely trying to understand why it hasn't resonated with us the same way it has for you.

    You see, Bond 26 is where I have my own concerns going forwards. It's almost a given by many of you that Bond 26 is going to be a resounding success and not encounter any of the problems NTTD has brought up. Until I know more about B26, I'm afraid I can't share your wild optimism.

    Sky. Falling.
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    edited October 2021 Posts: 676
    matt_u wrote: »
    The thing that Daniel brought to the character and the series is Bond’s inner life, the emotions and the complexity of his emotional life that was in the books but never really translated it into the screen.

    Barbara Broccoli.

    I've read most of the Fleming novels and not once ever encountered anything remotely resembling complexity. It's Bond's lack of complexity that makes him effective at his job. Blunt instrument and all that. Bond only got emotional in YOLT and that was because his wife had just been murdered. The "complexities" of the Craig era are really just plot contrivances that make his Bond keep quitting and going rogue because the producers fell on a winning formula with CR ("Bond becoming Bond") and kept repeating it for movie after movie, regardless if it made sense or not.
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