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

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  • GadgetManGadgetMan Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 4,247
    Sometimes, I can't help but think SP was the Bond film Nolan should have directed. Mendes evidently ran out of ideas after SF...he needed a break. Just look at the stellar job he did with 1917. I'm not saying I wanted him to return, but sometimes I do wonder what Bond 25 would have looked like, if he and Roger Deakins did it after a long break from Bond.
  • Posts: 6,137
    I still think SP (and I'm a big fan of it too!) would have been better if Bond and Madeleine took on Blofeld at his lair, intercut with M, Q taking down Denbigh in London. On Bond/Madeleines return on the train, Hinx turns up for a final reel showdown! Much neater and we omit all that daft stuff with the photos and the boat/ helicopter chase, one of the daftest chases they've ever concocted!
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    Posts: 4,539
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    How it didn’t even occur to the filmmakers to write in Bond having to fight Bautista in the ruins of MI6 before rescuing Madeleine blows my mind.

    No matter how much I love SP, I absolutely agree with this. Hinx was established early on as the toughest and most brutal killer ever. We get two chase scenes with him and one fight that is over too soon. It would have made sense to have Hinx confront Bond at the MI6 building one last time. Then Bond wouldn't have had to just look for Madeleine. He could've known where she was but had to get past Hinx first, a bit like Bond facing Oddjob at Ford Knox. Hinx would have had to know the building was going to explode; his absolute loyalty to Blofeld would have been even more frightening that way.

    I agree 100%. This is a NTTD thread, so I don't want to get too deep with the SP screwups. But the third act of this script was a mess, and we all knew it.

    As for Hinx. Talk about a blunt instrument. His job was capture Madeleine, and my guess is that he became focused on Bond, instead.

    Remember, when they arrive at the meteorite, Blofeld has an odd line: I'm glad we're all here, all of us together...and I'm especially glad you came too, dear Madeleine. He was not expecting Madeliene to be there. We could dig deeper into why Blofeld refers to himself and Bond as an "all" but I'll leave that for another day: it is deeply Jungian.
  • edited December 2021 Posts: 369
    Barbara says Bond will be back! Oh yeah!
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    edited December 2021 Posts: 2,516
    Would have loved for him to show up with some big weird neck brace, would have given him the physical deformity classic of Bond villainry.
    Yes, definitely something like that. When Charlotte, the 'CIA black ops traitor', was still in SP she was to have received an 'iconic facial wound' from Bond during the ski chase - that shows that they're aware of the continued potential for this kind of imagery, so it's another missed opportunity. Also, when Bond gets to the top of the MI6 building he looks at Blofeld's helicopter through the semi-circular apse that was Dench's office at the start of SF - it would have been fitting if he'd finally killed Hinx in the ruins of DenchM's office, no?
  • Posts: 369
    The whole third act of Spectre is hammed up. Nothing happens in it, it's only clichés.
  • edited December 2021 Posts: 11,998
    More random thoughts:

    -Looking back when it was first announced Seydoux was returning and the implication was that we were getting a direct sequel to SP, I was very disappointed and didn’t really have much expectations. I am still surprised they made as great of a film as they did going off the mess SP left in its third act. Madeleine’s character skyrocketed for me with NTTD and Blofeld was done better too despite not being a focus (still not on the level of amazing or anything, but I liked seeing him pull the strings from the shadows again and also just get him dying).
    -Several of the things I had heard rumored that I expected to not like turned out much better. Bond’s “rogue-ness” before rejoining MI6 felt way less forced than in SP, Mathilde ended up being a nice little highlight, Nomi was a surprisingly decent character (both the daughter / new 007 I thought could easily have been annoying), and even Bond dying didn’t offend me near as much as I expected it to.
    -If they had wanted more parallelism / tragic ending, they could have found a way to kill both Bond and Madeleine to leave Mathilde a full orphan like James was at a young age. I bet it crossed their minds and they wanted to give some hope in the ending anyway.
    -I apologize for not remembering which MI6 member it was on here, but someone suggested a parallel that would have been brilliant / a big missed opportunity: that near the end, Madeleine is in a situation where she is drowning like Vesper, but this time Bond is able to save her.
    -ANOTHER parallel I wish had happened, though you’d probably have to change the context of the climax a bit, is for Bond to have drowned/strangled Safin as his final kill, like he had done for Fisher as his first in CR (but of course, an added gunshot afterwards since there was no full death yet).
    -Like most Bond films, I think the first half is stronger than the end. The end here is at least far more captivating than the series of cliches we got in SP, but I do wish they had worked on it just a little more.
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    edited December 2021 Posts: 2,516
    Funnily enough, Bond saved Madeleine from drowning in an early draft of SP, so it shows that they considered it seriously at one point. Ironically, of course, it's Safin who saves her from drowning in NTTD - which Bond wasn't able to do for Vesper.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 39,436
    Stamper wrote: »
    Barbara says Bond will be back! Oh yeah!

    The NTTD credits beat her to it.
  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    edited December 2021 Posts: 2,157
    I always felt Spectre's third act was in between a rock and hard place. The earlier drafts set it up as more of closing chapter of the Craig era, as they thought it was his last film, but in later drafts it was being rewritten to leave it open for him to return.

    In one of the making of NTTD books, they mention they toyed with Bond's death in Spectre but had a change of heart
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    edited December 2021 Posts: 2,516
    Yes, some of the leaked emails referred to SP as 'Bond's last mission' and they were quite positive about that being a good hook for the film, but wanted a bigger emphasis on what it was that made him want to walk away at the end of it. I didn't know there'd been discussions about him dying in it, though - it's interesting to see just how far they went into all the options back then, eh?
  • Posts: 11,998
    A lot of those old leaks about SP like the masked ball and ski chase sounded so much cooler than the final product. A shame to think what could have been.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited December 2021 Posts: 5,526
    FoxRox wrote: »
    More random thoughts:
    -If they had wanted more parallelism / tragic ending, they could have found a way to kill both Bond and Madeleine to leave Mathilde a full orphan like James was at a young age. I bet it crossed their minds and they wanted to give some hope in the ending anyway.

    This is an interesting thought. Say Madeleine had also died, I could see Nomi or even Moneypenny fulfilling this role: "Let me tell you a story about a man named Bond, James Bond."

    It would have been a nice grace note for Moneypenny.
  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,719
    I've finally seen No Time To Die in cinemas. It's only just been released in my country. I haven't been on this forum for two years, only saw the teaser trailer, didn't listen to the soundtrack at all, heard the title song only once, avoided all social media or reviews and so managed to not spoil anything before going in.

    I'm going back to see the movie in a few days at the cinema. Currently I'm still processing my feelings.

    First impressions...
    I liked the film without loving it. I've been a hardcore Bond fan since the 80s and so it was strange that the ending didn't really affect me one way or the other. Unlike Craig's Bond - I didn't get weepy and neither was I angry. I kind of just shrugged my shoulders and went...well, I guess that happened. If you're going to give him a kid you may as well kill him. Although I think introducing a child in peril as a motivation for a third act is about as pedestrian as you can get.

    It is very well made, the cinematography exemplary and I really liked Hans Zimmer's score (especially after Newman's underwhelming soundtracks). The opening titles and song were unremarkable but solid. Craig's performance as Bond was not my favourite of his. The PTS was excellent, the car chase was the best action sequence in the film. I thought the other action sequences lacked invention. The Jamaica and Cuba sequences were good fun. Safin was a fairly ordinary villain, while Blofeld was not salvaged from the wreckage of Spectre. On the other hand Madeline Swan was better than in Spectre and the idea that her betrayal is the thing that triggers Bond is consistent with his interpretation.

    I adore CR and SF, I like QOS and SP is ok with a poor final act. So I kind of gave up a while ago expecting that they would ever return to the one-off adventure. Perhaps the only thing I was disappointed in Craig's era was that the one off adventures never happened - SF was but then SP's retconning somehow meant that it wasn't. But I suspect the modern blockbuster trend of shared universes means that they will never return.

    Modern cinema is obsessed with deconstructing heroes and killing them off. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Iron Man, Wolverine, Superman. They all die and then some of them are reborn, rendering their death ultimately meaningless. Nothing more meaningless than slapping 'James Bond will return' on the film minutes after he's died. Craig's era was Jason Bourne inspired for CR, QOS. Dark Knight inspired for SF and then Marvel inspired for SP and NTTD.

    But Craig's Bond dies - it makes sense. He kind of revels in the pain and misery. The 007 who was the opposite of the classic Connery/Moore cinematic Bond. They always smoothly navigated their way through obstacles and villains - rarely rising to their bait and ended with the woman. This Bond has to go through the nine circles of hell in every movie - ends up with the main female character once. He spends his last movie finding out he has a daughter, that he's wasted the last five years of his life and then dies.

    I get why EON and especially Craig would want to kill the character off. I'm glad that they made the film that they wanted to. It wasn't what I would have chosen to do but it was still a well made, enjoyable film with good performances, a decent pace and great music. But I remember coming out of the cinema after DAD and thinking 'oh well, I guess that's what Bond is now.' and then they changed tack with CR which I loved when it was released and still do. So I'll be curious to see where they go next.

    I'm really looking forward to rewatching it at the cinema this week.
  • mattjoesmattjoes I think I've been hurt sir.
    Posts: 6,317
    Coming 1997!



    Actually, it appears to be just a video, not an actual mod for GoldenEye. But with all the GE mods that have been made or are in progress, maybe one day...

    The ending is hilarious. Bond just throws himself off the bridge. It just needs a *thud* sound effect.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,476
    Enjoyed that lol

    I'd kind of love an FPS of NTTD. I know IOI is coming out with their thing, but a FPS film tie in would be super enjoyable.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson Moderator
    Posts: 1,958
    @Major_Boothroyd , welcome back. Very fair assessment, I would say.
  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,719
    Birdleson wrote: »
    @Major_Boothroyd , welcome back. Very fair assessment, I would say.

    Thank you very much, sir! It's good to be back. The delay on NTTD really took the wind out of my sails for a couple of years - and then once it was announced I really wanted to avoid spoilers otherwise I would have been back on this great forum much earlier. Funnily enough one of the first things I thought while driving home from the cinema was...I wonder what the Mi6 board's feelings are? Because that ending had Star Wars sequel divisiveness written all over it.

    What did you make of the movie?
  • FoxRox wrote: »
    Madeleine is in a situation where she is drowning like Vesper, but this time Bond is able to save her.

    The way I took this is that Bond was unable to save Vesper under water but in the opening scenes of NTTD Safin was able to save Madeleine under the ice. Madeleine thought she was letting go of Safin through the burning of a wish and James thought he was letting go of Vesper by offering forgiveness. The mirror as it were but inverted between them. Blofeld intervened and made neither correct.

    I also thought about Vesper's drowning when the story on the freighter with Leiter was unfolding.

  • BirdlesonBirdleson Moderator
    edited December 2021 Posts: 1,958
    I’m not happy at all with the decision to kill off Bond. That is the one thing I don’t abide. Without that, it is a strong entry. Craig is mostly very good, with the odd lapse here and there (this has been discussed in detail on various threads), much better than in SP. The other aspect that keeps it safely out of my Top Ten is the bloated melodrama melded to forced continuity. Scaled back forty-five minutes to essentially the same story without the death and without hanging so much (as in any) of the plot on Bond’s family life and this could have been a Top Ten.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    edited December 2021 Posts: 12,454
    Welcome back, @Major_Boothroyd! Yes, of course it is divisive. And historic. EON didn't back down. I didn't follow the Star Wars hating/disappointed\outraged fans( efforts, but I've heard a little about that now. For NTTD, there's not much "in between" feeling with Bond fans on the forum, it seems.

    Reactions are mostly love it or hate - hinging on the ending. To be expected. I found the ending very appropriate for this Bond's journey. I enjoyed NTTD immensely aside from the ending, too. I think the whole film is so very well done. Looking forward to the next one, and new Bond actor very much. Surely it will be something different, which most of us are ready for. B-)
  • Welcome back, @Major_Boothroyd! Yes, of course it is divisive. And historic. EON didn't back down. I didn't follow the Star Wars hating/disappointed\outraged fans( efforts, but I've heard a little about that now. For NTTD, there's not much "in between" feeling with Bond fans on the forum, it seems.

    Reactions are mostly love it or hate - hinging on the ending. To be expected. I found the ending very appropriate for this Bond's journey. I enjoyed NTTD immensely aside from the ending, too. I think the whole film is so very well done. Looking forward to the next one, and new Bond actor very much. Surely it will be something different, which most of us are ready for. B-)

    I echo your thoughts a well written intelligent view. But I also echo your thoughts in another way.

    I have no idea what happens in the Marvel/Star Wars world and I suspect a lot of my generation (Connery start point ) are the same. I spoke on here in 2019 about the ending and predicted he would die. It made sense of the forgoing narrative.

    Is it possible that the story was written for Craig Bond in isolation rather than riff other films. After all is there a lot of controversy in the Star Wars films over deaths would a strategic financial assessment suggest one should not go there.

    Clearly Bourne informed this era and Sam seemed to make his own artie vision of Bond built around Daniel and then got in a muddle in the third act of Spectre as well as in my view shoeing horning Spectre in. (I would have preferred Oberhauser to be the arch architect of Quantum, it would have been fresher and had the same impact without the distraction) and left Silva as a standalone antagonist of M.

    But NTTD seems much more about the grounded TSWLM feel than Marvel.





  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,719
    Welcome back, @Major_Boothroyd! Yes, of course it is divisive. And historic. EON didn't back down. I didn't follow the Star Wars hating/disappointed\outraged fans( efforts, but I've heard a little about that now. For NTTD, there's not much "in between" feeling with Bond fans on the forum, it seems.

    Reactions are mostly love it or hate - hinging on the ending. To be expected. I found the ending very appropriate for this Bond's journey. I enjoyed NTTD immensely aside from the ending, too. I think the whole film is so very well done. Looking forward to the next one, and new Bond actor very much. Surely it will be something different, which most of us are ready for. B-)

    Thanks for the warm welcome! It's good to be back. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I can see both sides of why people love or hate this film. After first viewing I'm in the middle with it.

    I really loved Craig's Bond in CR through SF, but I think after SP I was ready for a new Bond. But it's difficult to begrudge him and Barbara their victory lap with NTTD. For the series on-going, I do question whether they'll ever do one off adventures again. This is more to do with wider cinematic trends where everything is connected. I can't think of a series that does individual standalone films anymore. Fast and the Furious, Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Mission Impossible, even horror film franchises all run together.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Stamper wrote: »
    Barbara says Bond will be back! Oh yeah!

    The NTTD credits beat her to it.

    I suspect this is where she has it from.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    Posts: 7,719
    Part of why it’s become a trend to have long running arcs between films is because of the advent of home media. The more advanced it got over the years, the more accessible films became for people to catch up. The Connery films would have never attempted it in the 60s because the filmmakers didn’t expect all audiences to have been caught up. Nobody could watch all four Connery films at home before heading off to see YOLT in 1967. It’s also why there wasn’t so much concern over continuity like OHMSS ignoring that Bond and Blofeld already met in the last film. Bond fans would notice, but the average joe might not have remembered that detail so it wasn’t important.

    Whereas today, if you wanna watch the latest AVENGERS film but not feel lost, no worries, there’s a streaming service that can help you catch up easily.

    Bond films has always adapted to the times, and EON deciding to making Craig’s Bond have continuity and growth between films is just the latest example. I’m sure we’ll see some form of it with the next actor but it may be handled differently.

    I do think Bond fans should stop trying to set their expectations of Bond ever returning to the old Cubby formula. I don’t think that’s happening. That’s just a pipe dream. You might as well try hoping for the filmmakers to make the movies with 1.66 aspect ratio and monaural sound mixes.
  • Posts: 369
    Actually that's a good idea. Like for an intro next time, like the Mad Max 2 intro which then cuts to stereo!
  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,719
    Welcome back, @Major_Boothroyd! Yes, of course it is divisive. And historic. EON didn't back down. I didn't follow the Star Wars hating/disappointed\outraged fans( efforts, but I've heard a little about that now. For NTTD, there's not much "in between" feeling with Bond fans on the forum, it seems.

    Reactions are mostly love it or hate - hinging on the ending. To be expected. I found the ending very appropriate for this Bond's journey. I enjoyed NTTD immensely aside from the ending, too. I think the whole film is so very well done. Looking forward to the next one, and new Bond actor very much. Surely it will be something different, which most of us are ready for. B-)

    I echo your thoughts a well written intelligent view. But I also echo your thoughts in another way.

    I have no idea what happens in the Marvel/Star Wars world and I suspect a lot of my generation (Connery start point ) are the same. I spoke on here in 2019 about the ending and predicted he would die. It made sense of the forgoing narrative.

    Is it possible that the story was written for Craig Bond in isolation rather than riff other films. After all is there a lot of controversy in the Star Wars films over deaths would a strategic financial assessment suggest one should not go there.

    Clearly Bourne informed this era and Sam seemed to make his own artie vision of Bond built around Daniel and then got in a muddle in the third act of Spectre as well as in my view shoeing horning Spectre in. (I would have preferred Oberhauser to be the arch architect of Quantum, it would have been fresher and had the same impact without the distraction) and left Silva as a standalone antagonist of M.

    But NTTD seems much more about the grounded TSWLM feel than Marvel.

    Just to be clear, I see the Marvel influence on Bond in 'Spectre' and NTTD's need to create a overarching continuity, connected universe and killing off protagonists.
  • I suspect the killing off of James Bond was made 'allowed' by superhero movies. But even if it wasn't, It still spoiled the movie for me.
    Nothing more meaningless than slapping 'James Bond will return' on the film minutes after he's died.

    Yep, totally meaningless. It just doesn't work in an way, shape or form.

  • Posts: 6,137
    I've finally seen No Time To Die in cinemas. It's only just been released in my country. I haven't been on this forum for two years, only saw the teaser trailer, didn't listen to the soundtrack at all, heard the title song only once, avoided all social media or reviews and so managed to not spoil anything before going in.

    I'm going back to see the movie in a few days at the cinema. Currently I'm still processing my feelings.

    First impressions...
    I liked the film without loving it. I've been a hardcore Bond fan since the 80s and so it was strange that the ending didn't really affect me one way or the other. Unlike Craig's Bond - I didn't get weepy and neither was I angry. I kind of just shrugged my shoulders and went...well, I guess that happened. If you're going to give him a kid you may as well kill him. Although I think introducing a child in peril as a motivation for a third act is about as pedestrian as you can get.

    It is very well made, the cinematography exemplary and I really liked Hans Zimmer's score (especially after Newman's underwhelming soundtracks). The opening titles and song were unremarkable but solid. Craig's performance as Bond was not my favourite of his. The PTS was excellent, the car chase was the best action sequence in the film. I thought the other action sequences lacked invention. The Jamaica and Cuba sequences were good fun. Safin was a fairly ordinary villain, while Blofeld was not salvaged from the wreckage of Spectre. On the other hand Madeline Swan was better than in Spectre and the idea that her betrayal is the thing that triggers Bond is consistent with his interpretation.

    I adore CR and SF, I like QOS and SP is ok with a poor final act. So I kind of gave up a while ago expecting that they would ever return to the one-off adventure. Perhaps the only thing I was disappointed in Craig's era was that the one off adventures never happened - SF was but then SP's retconning somehow meant that it wasn't. But I suspect the modern blockbuster trend of shared universes means that they will never return.

    Modern cinema is obsessed with deconstructing heroes and killing them off. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Iron Man, Wolverine, Superman. They all die and then some of them are reborn, rendering their death ultimately meaningless. Nothing more meaningless than slapping 'James Bond will return' on the film minutes after he's died. Craig's era was Jason Bourne inspired for CR, QOS. Dark Knight inspired for SF and then Marvel inspired for SP and NTTD.

    But Craig's Bond dies - it makes sense. He kind of revels in the pain and misery. The 007 who was the opposite of the classic Connery/Moore cinematic Bond. They always smoothly navigated their way through obstacles and villains - rarely rising to their bait and ended with the woman. This Bond has to go through the nine circles of hell in every movie - ends up with the main female character once. He spends his last movie finding out he has a daughter, that he's wasted the last five years of his life and then dies.

    I get why EON and especially Craig would want to kill the character off. I'm glad that they made the film that they wanted to. It wasn't what I would have chosen to do but it was still a well made, enjoyable film with good performances, a decent pace and great music. But I remember coming out of the cinema after DAD and thinking 'oh well, I guess that's what Bond is now.' and then they changed tack with CR which I loved when it was released and still do. So I'll be curious to see where they go next.

    I'm really looking forward to rewatching it at the cinema this week.

    Very fair review! Pretty much where I am with it.
    Like it, but don't love it! And I also was strangely unmoved by the ending!!
    I am looking forward to watching it on bluray though, am wondering if it will be a different experience ( though last time I said that, it was for SF.....and it wasnt!!!)
  • Mathis1 wrote: »
    Like it, but don't love it! And I also was strangely unmoved by the ending!!

    In a normal drama movie, when a character dies, if you are involved with the movie you feel an emotional attachment to that death. Because James Bond's death is in this grey area of being a 'character timeline', you can't be moved when the character hasn't really died. It's not like, say, Thelma and Louise, where the ending is a complete 'wow' and a proper emotional punch.
    I mean, imagine Thelma and Louise driving off the cliff, then the credits saying "Thelma and Louise will return". You'd be going "eh? so they didn't die?"
    The first time I watched Bond's death, I wasn't in the least effected by the storyline, I just thought 'what the hell have they done now'. I was completely out of the film, and thinking about the whole chunkiness of killing off a character in such a long running series. I wasn't the least bit involved in the movie.
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