Where does Bond go after Craig?

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  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    Posts: 1,132
    Police - v- MI6's top 00? Would Plod have even a hope in Hell of tracking down, let alone apprehending, Bond, tbf?
  • Posts: 430
    slide_99 wrote: »
    BMB007 wrote: »
    slide_99 wrote: »
    This is slightly off topic, but can anyone give an example of a non-superhero/non-supernatural character in myth, literature, or film who was killed off but then brought back without a massive retcon? Because I honestly can't think of any.

    Me neither.

    I'm now waiting for the staunch NTTD defenders to once again defend the indefensible on how Bond's death `works' for the good of the franchise, and that this genius creative decision had nothing to do with a desperate attempt to lure Craig back for one more film, how this death was not following current crappy trends one little bit, how this somehow keeps in line with what Fleming would have really wanted, how most people on earth except a few disgruntled members on here will not question Bond's death whatsoever when Bond 26 appears, etc. etc.

    Rinse and repeat...

    So "Casino Royale" sets up the choice the character makes by becoming a 00 — everyone he loves will die, and he will have to watch them die. He loved Vesper, and then that love killed her because she chose to die instead of selling him out. What a pain it is to see someone who love die, especially because of you!

    This happens in the book too, and at the end of the book (just like the film) — Bond decides "Well, I guess I can never love anybody ever again!". Not because he didn't trust, but because of that fear of it happening again.

    Now you get to ":Quantum of Solace", and what happens here is Bond (like all mythic figures) wanders in a desert in solitude brooding in pain and angst at his loss. And at the end of the movie, he has a choice again: he can kill the man who lead to the woman he loved dying, or let him go. And he puts down the weapon. Because when you respond to violence with violence, you're just creating more violence...

    Which leads to "Skyfall", where Silva for all intents and purposes is Bond-who-kept-killing. Silva was angry at betrayal (M) and that anger festers into creating a monster. It's no surprise why Silva is costumed with blonde hair and exaggerate suits — he's a distortion of Bond. The monster who will become if Bond can't let go of his anger towards his two mothers: his biological mother and M. The whole movie is Oedpial. Bond has to go to his ancestral home (the family he's spent life running from) to defend his surrogate mother (M) from his own rage (Silva). But in the end, M still dies. Another person Bond loves, dies. Only this time — the ending scene isn't Bond rushing off for revenge a la "Casino Royale", but him at peace with it. Because he understands now. It's in one of M's last lines, probably the most important line in all five films "At least I got one thing right. Think about M in the film — everything she does fails. MI6 goes down the tubes, Silva escapes. Everything looks lost. Except Bond! Who grows up and doesn't succumb to anger. Because that's the goal of any "parent" — having a good kid.

    Now "Spectre" is when Mendes flexes his fairy tale chops (see "Away We Go" for the same film as "Skyfall"/"Spectre") a bit. You have a king (The Pale King aka Mr. White aka the man who Vesper sent him to), and his daughter (who must be a princess) who are in grave danger. Why? Because the Pale King grew a conscious and stopped killing. And Bond, now more at peace with his emotions and ready to become a big boy, is finally able to navigate that. The whole film twists into a Sisyphean nightmare, where Bond is confronted with the haunted house of MI6 and a bunch of skeletons as the ultimate reminder of the theme for all these films — killing ain't living, and if you keep killing you'll keep killing yourself. This, by the way, is underlying in all the Fleming books too. So at the end of the film, Bond has his "Return of the Jedi" moment and throws down his weapon. Finally able to stop killing.

    Which brings us to "No Time to Die" — which sort of combines all four of these into one, but also permeates on this a bit. Because Bond has been able to let go of his anger and his violence, but he hasn't overcome the toughest battle of them all. Fear! He's terrified in the PTS that it's happening again with a girl. He let his armor down (again) and she betrayed him (again). So, once more he shuts up and isolates himself. But then he gets sucked back into it again (the Sisyphus stuff — if you don't change, like actually change, you're doomed to repeat all of this over and over and over again forever). And as the plot of the film unfolds, Bond learns he had a child and his whole world view shifts. What's that line M says, again?

    So this is how the death of Bond works in the logic of the film — he's ensuring his daughter and wife will be safe forever ("Everything's good now. There's no one left to hurt us.). And he's not afraid anymore! Safin was deadly afraid of dying, like all these villains are. So they try to accumulate power and status to cheat death. But Bond, the hero, isn't afraid of death. Because he knows death isn't death ("Final Ascent" and the lighting of the scene, Linus Sandgren calls "No Time to Die" a religious movie for a reason!).

    You're free to not like it, that's okay. But the logic and arguments and emotion have been there from the beginning.

    Silva isn't trying to mock Bond with his look. That's what Moon is doing with his "Gustav Graves" persona in DAD. Silva doesn't know Bond beyond reading a couple of reports on him. His look is clearly a hit against Julian Assange, who was at the height of his notoriety when SF was made.

    Also, Bond doesn't rush off to avenge M because the person who killed her was already dead, not because he grew up or anything like that. I interpret Skyfall's ending as more of a comeuppance for how M betrayed both Bond and Silva.

    As for the rest of your post, I have a different interpretation of Craig-Bond's arc, and I think it's because, in my opinion, Skyfall fundamentally altered the purpose of the Craig era. Casino Royale was meant to be a reconstruction of Bond, as in, "this is how James Bond became 007." The ordeal with Vesper is how he turns from a hotheaded adrenaline junkie into a professional killer for MI6. QOS continued that trajectory.

    Then Skyfall basically resets his Bond. Again he starts taking things personally like he did when he was a novice, quitting MI6 for several months because of a friendly fire incident. Not that he didn't have a right to be angry, but it felt out-of-step given what happened in CR and QOS. SF deconstructs Bond's origin, imposing "childhood trauma" on his character and giving him all sorts of Oedipal issues that you mentioned, which I think are out of place in this series.

    This trend continued with SP, and by then the series was no longer about reconstructing Bond, but deconstructing him to the point where he was no longer recognizable as Bond. Whereas the point of CR and QOS was to show how Bond became 007, SF and on was about Bond gradually rejecting being 007. Like you say, these movies are about him turning away from his life of killing, but I find that silly. It's not like Bond is a serial killer. He's killing terrorists.

    As for NTTD's ending, the message seems to be that Bond HAS to be 007 and that if he rejects that to enjoy a family life, he'll be killed by his own Navy as some kind of divine punishment. I don't find that logical, it's just the message the filmmakers wanted, and they wrote an awfully-contrived script to get to that conclusion. They could just as easily have had a Winner Take All ending where Bond saves the day and retires to live with his family. They didn't want that, so we didn't get that. It doesn't have anything to do with logic, it's just the filmmakers following trends in major franchises.

    I'm not saying Silva is trying to mock Bond, I'm saying the filmmakers costumed Silva in a way to be evocative of Bond so the audience would associate the two together. Mendes talks about this in the Skyfall commentary — he views Silva as a sort of "fallen angel".

    And the other thing (good post by the way), with the Oedipal stuff — Fleming was a a nut for Jungian psychology and injected a lot of that into the books. The films mostly sanded that stuff out, but the Craig ones brought that all back.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 20,780
    slide_99 wrote: »
    BMB007 wrote: »
    slide_99 wrote: »
    This is slightly off topic, but can anyone give an example of a non-superhero/non-supernatural character in myth, literature, or film who was killed off but then brought back without a massive retcon? Because I honestly can't think of any.

    Me neither.

    I'm now waiting for the staunch NTTD defenders to once again defend the indefensible on how Bond's death `works' for the good of the franchise, and that this genius creative decision had nothing to do with a desperate attempt to lure Craig back for one more film, how this death was not following current crappy trends one little bit, how this somehow keeps in line with what Fleming would have really wanted, how most people on earth except a few disgruntled members on here will not question Bond's death whatsoever when Bond 26 appears, etc. etc.

    Rinse and repeat...

    So "Casino Royale" sets up the choice the character makes by becoming a 00 — everyone he loves will die, and he will have to watch them die. He loved Vesper, and then that love killed her because she chose to die instead of selling him out. What a pain it is to see someone who love die, especially because of you!

    This happens in the book too, and at the end of the book (just like the film) — Bond decides "Well, I guess I can never love anybody ever again!". Not because he didn't trust, but because of that fear of it happening again.

    Now you get to ":Quantum of Solace", and what happens here is Bond (like all mythic figures) wanders in a desert in solitude brooding in pain and angst at his loss. And at the end of the movie, he has a choice again: he can kill the man who lead to the woman he loved dying, or let him go. And he puts down the weapon. Because when you respond to violence with violence, you're just creating more violence...

    Which leads to "Skyfall", where Silva for all intents and purposes is Bond-who-kept-killing. Silva was angry at betrayal (M) and that anger festers into creating a monster. It's no surprise why Silva is costumed with blonde hair and exaggerate suits — he's a distortion of Bond. The monster who will become if Bond can't let go of his anger towards his two mothers: his biological mother and M. The whole movie is Oedpial. Bond has to go to his ancestral home (the family he's spent life running from) to defend his surrogate mother (M) from his own rage (Silva). But in the end, M still dies. Another person Bond loves, dies. Only this time — the ending scene isn't Bond rushing off for revenge a la "Casino Royale", but him at peace with it. Because he understands now. It's in one of M's last lines, probably the most important line in all five films "At least I got one thing right. Think about M in the film — everything she does fails. MI6 goes down the tubes, Silva escapes. Everything looks lost. Except Bond! Who grows up and doesn't succumb to anger. Because that's the goal of any "parent" — having a good kid.

    Now "Spectre" is when Mendes flexes his fairy tale chops (see "Away We Go" for the same film as "Skyfall"/"Spectre") a bit. You have a king (The Pale King aka Mr. White aka the man who Vesper sent him to), and his daughter (who must be a princess) who are in grave danger. Why? Because the Pale King grew a conscious and stopped killing. And Bond, now more at peace with his emotions and ready to become a big boy, is finally able to navigate that. The whole film twists into a Sisyphean nightmare, where Bond is confronted with the haunted house of MI6 and a bunch of skeletons as the ultimate reminder of the theme for all these films — killing ain't living, and if you keep killing you'll keep killing yourself. This, by the way, is underlying in all the Fleming books too. So at the end of the film, Bond has his "Return of the Jedi" moment and throws down his weapon. Finally able to stop killing.

    Which brings us to "No Time to Die" — which sort of combines all four of these into one, but also permeates on this a bit. Because Bond has been able to let go of his anger and his violence, but he hasn't overcome the toughest battle of them all. Fear! He's terrified in the PTS that it's happening again with a girl. He let his armor down (again) and she betrayed him (again). So, once more he shuts up and isolates himself. But then he gets sucked back into it again (the Sisyphus stuff — if you don't change, like actually change, you're doomed to repeat all of this over and over and over again forever). And as the plot of the film unfolds, Bond learns he had a child and his whole world view shifts. What's that line M says, again?

    So this is how the death of Bond works in the logic of the film — he's ensuring his daughter and wife will be safe forever ("Everything's good now. There's no one left to hurt us.). And he's not afraid anymore! Safin was deadly afraid of dying, like all these villains are. So they try to accumulate power and status to cheat death. But Bond, the hero, isn't afraid of death. Because he knows death isn't death ("Final Ascent" and the lighting of the scene, Linus Sandgren calls "No Time to Die" a religious movie for a reason!).

    You're free to not like it, that's okay. But the logic and arguments and emotion have been there from the beginning.

    Silva isn't trying to mock Bond with his look. That's what Moon is doing with his "Gustav Graves" persona in DAD. Silva doesn't know Bond beyond reading a couple of reports on him. His look is clearly a hit against Julian Assange, who was at the height of his notoriety when SF was made.

    Also, Bond doesn't rush off to avenge M because the person who killed her was already dead, not because he grew up or anything like that. I interpret Skyfall's ending as more of a comeuppance for how M betrayed both Bond and Silva.

    As for the rest of your post, I have a different interpretation of Craig-Bond's arc, and I think it's because, in my opinion, Skyfall fundamentally altered the purpose of the Craig era. Casino Royale was meant to be a reconstruction of Bond, as in, "this is how James Bond became 007." The ordeal with Vesper is how he turns from a hotheaded adrenaline junkie into a professional killer for MI6. QOS continued that trajectory.

    Then Skyfall basically resets his Bond. Again he starts taking things personally like he did when he was a novice, quitting MI6 for several months because of a friendly fire incident. Not that he didn't have a right to be angry, but it felt out-of-step given what happened in CR and QOS. SF deconstructs Bond's origin, imposing "childhood trauma" on his character and giving him all sorts of Oedipal issues that you mentioned, which I think are out of place in this series.

    This trend continued with SP, and by then the series was no longer about reconstructing Bond, but deconstructing him to the point where he was no longer recognizable as Bond. Whereas the point of CR and QOS was to show how Bond became 007, SF and on was about Bond gradually rejecting being 007. Like you say, these movies are about him turning away from his life of killing, but I find that silly. It's not like Bond is a serial killer. He's killing terrorists.

    As for NTTD's ending, the message seems to be that Bond HAS to be 007 and that if he rejects that to enjoy a family life, he'll be killed by his own Navy as some kind of divine punishment. I don't find that logical, it's just the message the filmmakers wanted, and they wrote an awfully-contrived script to get to that conclusion. They could just as easily have had a Winner Take All ending where Bond saves the day and retires to live with his family. They didn't want that, so we didn't get that. It doesn't have anything to do with logic, it's just the filmmakers following trends in major franchises.

    How can you tell? You have not seen the film.
  • ByRoyalDecreeByRoyalDecree Stockholm/London
    edited April 22 Posts: 266
    LucknFate wrote: »
    I think SF, SP and NTTD struggled to take ownership of their cartooniness. Their scripts were more fantastical and less subtle, but the execution was going for more dramatic realism than CR and QoS, and fell short every time.

    Agreed. And in my perspective, Mendes brought that disconnect between camp and drama. I admit there was a spark of something interesting with the cartoonish stuff in Skyfall but it quickly lost its way.

    Cinematography was fine, casting was questionable, wardrobe was lacklustre, locations were not extravagant enough, every character was trying to be too cool. Every conversation was basically people trying to put each other down and one upping each other. It was tiring and infantile. No scene had a compelling buildup/arch/twist. There are too few traditional playwright influences in contemporary cinema.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 1,005
    By the way, if you haven’t seen it, here’s the teaser text for the upcoming third Horowitz continuation novel „With a Mind to Kill“, which is set right after TMWTGG:
    M's funeral.
    One man missing from the graveside.
    The traitor accused of his murder.
    Bond.

    *****

    Behind the Iron Curtain, a group of former Smersh agents want to use the British spy in an operation that will change the balance of world power. Bond is smuggled into the lion's den - but whose orders is he following, and will he obey them when the moment of truth arrives?

    In a mission where treachery is all around and one false move means death, James Bond must grapple with the darkest questions about himself. But not even he knows what has happened to the man he used to be.

    Sounds a lot like some of the ideas we have been bandying around here lately. I don’t think Eon is going to pick those books up soon, sadly.
  • CharmianBondCharmianBond Pett Bottom, Kent
    Posts: 136

    I like it. Bond as a fugitive would be a fresh idea (I’m picturing a big GTA style police chase with Bond in a stolen MI6 Aston) and M or anyone else in the MI6 crew doubting his innocence would be a nice source of drama. Maybe they could frame Bond with Deep Fake technology? Basically ripping off the BBC series The Capture. Not sure about the courtroom stuff though, I think it could potentially slow things down too much.

    Yes, I also love the idea of fugitive Bond and the MI6 crew doubting his innocence. I started writing a story where M get sent a video showing a minor British diplomat or a journalist being brutally murdered by Bond that's actually been deepfaked by Spectre because he'd discovered their nefarious scheme, while also embarrassing Bond and the SIS à la FRWL. Then for the technology to fool people it could have a henchman that looks almost physically identical to Bond for him to fight in the second act.

    I've not seen The Capture? Is it any good?
  • ByRoyalDecreeByRoyalDecree Stockholm/London
    edited April 22 Posts: 266

    I like it. Bond as a fugitive would be a fresh idea (I’m picturing a big GTA style police chase with Bond in a stolen MI6 Aston) and M or anyone else in the MI6 crew doubting his innocence would be a nice source of drama. Maybe they could frame Bond with Deep Fake technology? Basically ripping off the BBC series The Capture. Not sure about the courtroom stuff though, I think it could potentially slow things down too much.

    Me like. And he needs to stealth into their lair and kidnap and force a confession out of their scientist to clear his name.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    Posts: 4,443

    slide_99 wrote: »
    This is slightly off topic, but can anyone give an example of a non-superhero/non-supernatural character in myth, literature, or film who was killed off but then brought back without a massive retcon? Because I honestly can't think of any.

    Me neither.

    I'm now waiting for the staunch NTTD defenders to once again defend the indefensible on how Bond's death `works' for the good of the franchise, and that this genius creative decision had nothing to do with a desperate attempt to lure Craig back for one more film, how this death was not following current crappy trends one little bit, how this somehow keeps in line with what Fleming would have really wanted, how most people on earth except a few disgruntled members on here will not question Bond's death whatsoever when Bond 26 appears, etc. etc.

    Rinse and repeat...

    Set Bond 26 aside. That's a non-issue, because the franchise will reboot. I just finished watching The Batman, which is now the fourth cinematic version of this character. Each one is completely different. And unless you're Marvel/Disney and want to get wacky, by bringing all of the characters together in a "multi-universe," what we have are different Bonds. Nobody questioned that James Bond seemed to get younger, from Connery to Moore to Dalton???

    So, no, his death in this version of Bond does not bother me at all, and in fact it only elevates his myth-like status. As we are only left to ponder, Mathilde will grow up believing her father was a grand man, a hero, a savior...unlike Madeleine, who grew up realizing her father was a murderer and not the man she thought he was (a doctor).

    My only issue with Bond's death is that the nanobots didn't need to be part of his decision. The grander gesture is to make sure he is on the island to open the silo doors. That is the ultimate sacrifice.






  • edited April 23 Posts: 2,537
    Where does Bond go after Craig?

    I'm not a film producer, but let's pretend Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have decided to ask a random person in the street for his advice. And he turned out to be me.

    Obviously the first step is finding a new Bond. He should be in his early 30s, so he can be signed to a four-film contract, but also should look mature. He needs to look equally good wearing a tuxedo and throwing a punch, because Bond is the only sophisticated action hero left in modern cinema--the gentleman tough-guy.

    As Craig aged the Bond films began skewing toward older audiences. To ensure their survival, they need to appeal to younger people again. Audiences need to be assured of utter excitement when they see a Bond film, not family drama or angst. Since 2006 the series has been on an ongoing mission to show Bond is human and encumbered with personal problems. That mission has been more than accomplished--now it's time to let the public expect Bond films to be fun.

    Therefore the films need more sex, violence, and lifestyle porn. Young people are clearly into the latter--look at all the influencers on Instagram and TikTok. So ramp up the glitzy clothes, ritzy decor, high living, posh food and drink, and exotic locales. A Bond movie should be on the cutting edge of not only spy gadgets but luxury tech. Dubai turned up to 11! Take audiences into the world of the super super-rich...and then blow it up.

    That leads us to action. The recent Bond films haven't had stunts or set-pieces that truly made audiences buzz. Nowadays the Mission Impossible franchise covers that territory. The Bond films need to re-establish themselves as top-rank purveyors of cutting-edge action. Every Bond film should have at least one action scene so spectacular it's worth the price of admission, like the ski-jump in TSWLM. Even more down-to-earth Bonds like FRWL and OHMSS had the train fight and ski/bobsled chase.

    So hire directors and second-unit directors and editors who have shown aptitude in filming action--no more middlebrow drama directors! Audiences used to line up for Bond films to discover what incredible stunts and action the filmmakers had in store for them. They need to feel this again. In an age of inconsequential CGI carnage, encourage the crew to craft action scenes that look and feel real: performed before the camera. Film them in a way that takes advantage of all the recent advances in technology, including ultra-portable cameras, and edit them as effectively and stylishly as Peter Hunt did. Advance the boundaries of action cinema in the way that the 60s Bond films did! Set the template instead of aping whatever the Bourne/Batman directors are doing.

    Let's not stop at more action--we need more sex. As an older gentleman once told me, a major reason why audiences used to go to Bond films was the babes, including the male babe, Bond himself. CR got that right in 2006, but by the time NTTD rolled around Craig was too old to be a playboy and the eroticism of the films was dialed down. Dial it back up. More beautiful women and men, more flesh, more sleeping around, and more eroticism; even if nudity is out of the question it can be hinted at.

    Bond movies are ultimately a brand. They customarily stood for sex, action, and high living--things people will be interested in until the end of time. So make a greater effort to deliver on those or your competitors will triumph and make your movies look antiquated. Better action, swankier luxury, and gritter and more spectacular action: if audiences get these, you get the audience.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson Moderator
    Posts: 1,193
    Good suggestions.
  • ByRoyalDecreeByRoyalDecree Stockholm/London
    edited April 23 Posts: 266
    I concur with @Revelator. But as well as better choreographed high octane action we need wittier, more flattering yet subtly endearing dialogue, a fleshed out plot heavy story with lots of unpredictable twists. Fast paced, but still really, I mean really squeeze the suspense out of every scene. Up the ante and then some.

    This is beginning to sound a lot like Casino Royale lol.

  • Yes to all of the above, especially to making Bond more about enjoying the finer things again and putting real stunts and spectacular action sequences on screen. I'm not sure why, but in the push for more character-oriented stories and greater critical recognition, these are two aspects of cinematic Bond that largely fell by the wayside in Craig's run, the odd parkour chase or snazzy poker tournament aside. As you suggest, @ByRoyalDecree, Casino Royale was a pretty good blend of traditional cinematic Bond and the more grounded storytelling the rest of Craig's films would pursue. Maybe that's why many regard it as Craig's best.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited April 23 Posts: 4,443
    Yes to all of the above, especially to making Bond more about enjoying the finer things again and putting real stunts and spectacular action sequences on screen. I'm not sure why, but in the push for more character-oriented stories and greater critical recognition, these are two aspects of cinematic Bond that largely fell by the wayside in Craig's run, the odd parkour chase or snazzy poker tournament aside. As you suggest, @ByRoyalDecree, Casino Royale was a pretty good blend of traditional cinematic Bond and the more grounded storytelling the rest of Craig's films would pursue. Maybe that's why many regard it as Craig's best.

    I get this. But how many "spectacular" action sequences has this series had over these 25 films? Let's be honest: some of the very best Bond films have very little action in them. Two of my faves, Goldfinger and Thunderball, are primary examples.

    The spectacular moments, such as the ski base jump in TSWLM or the bunjee jump at the beginning of GE are quick.

    Some of the longer action sequences are drawn-out, tiring, and overblown: the Miami Airport chase in CR is a good example. It's overcooked.

    All in all, almost every Bond film is more character-oriented than action-driven. QoS is the exception, and it's one of the reasons critics skewered it.

  • edited April 23 Posts: 2,537
    TripAces wrote: »
    I get this. But how many "spectacular" action sequences has this series had over these 25 films? Let's be honest: some of the very best Bond films have very little action in them. Two of my faves, Goldfinger and Thunderball, are primary examples.

    GF has the Aston Martin chase and fight in Fort Knox, both spectacular and over-the-top for their time. TB's underwater battle, with its armies of divers, was also spectacular in 1965. These action sequences are among the most iconic and remembered parts of those films.
    All in all, almost every Bond film is more character-oriented than action-driven.

    I think very few Bond films would qualify as being character-oriented. The Craig films to varying degrees, but not most of the series.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ At The Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited April 23 Posts: 636
    It depends on the plot of the film, and what type of villain is Bond will going to face.
    I think for it to work as a Best bond film, have all of what @Revelator said, great action sequences, excitement, sex and locations, then you also have a great plot and villain, and it can work.
    No Time To Die have spectacular action sequences, excitement but the villain and the plot was muddled. Maybe something like that of Cuba sequence could work.
    Die Another Day also comes to mind of "having it all" Bond film (Sex, Great action, locations, excitement, the cinematography, and all) but the plot and villain was a meh.
    A great plot and a convincing villain can lift a movie up in my opinion and it can be hailed as the best with some spectacular action and locations added, with also some beautiful girls and sex.
    Yes, Casino Royale got the right balance, then so are Goldfinger, Skyfall, OHMSS and FRWL.

    Plot + Villain + Action + Locations + Set Piece + Sex + Fashion = Great Bond Film!
  • TripAces wrote: »
    Yes to all of the above, especially to making Bond more about enjoying the finer things again and putting real stunts and spectacular action sequences on screen. I'm not sure why, but in the push for more character-oriented stories and greater critical recognition, these are two aspects of cinematic Bond that largely fell by the wayside in Craig's run, the odd parkour chase or snazzy poker tournament aside. As you suggest, @ByRoyalDecree, Casino Royale was a pretty good blend of traditional cinematic Bond and the more grounded storytelling the rest of Craig's films would pursue. Maybe that's why many regard it as Craig's best.

    I get this. But how many "spectacular" action sequences has this series had over these 25 films? Let's be honest: some of the very best Bond films have very little action in them. Two of my faves, Goldfinger and Thunderball, are primary examples.

    The spectacular moments, such as the ski base jump in TSWLM or the bunjee jump at the beginning of GE are quick.

    Some of the longer action sequences are drawn-out, tiring, and overblown: the Miami Airport chase in CR is a good example. It's overcooked.

    All in all, almost every Bond film is more character-oriented than action-driven. QoS is the exception, and it's one of the reasons critics skewered it.

    I'm not sure I agree with either of those premises to be honest, but regarding spectacular action sequences, I guess definitions will vary, but I count several across the series, from the tanker chase in LTK to the Thames chase in TWINE to the free-fall in MR. As @Revelator mentions, just about every Bond film has had one (though I'll admit the really impressive stunts didn't start until the 70s). I too find CR's Miami Airport chase overly long, but that's beside the point. By and large, the Bond series has been known for its imaginative and thrilling action sequences, whether that means skiing off a cliff, jumping over crocodiles, putting a tank in city streets, using a cello for other purposes, or taking over a national landmark.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ At The Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited April 23 Posts: 636
    Anyway, thanks for your opinions about my idea about Bond being framed up, I really found that interesting, I mean this is something that EON haven't done yet. I want to see Bond's job as a secret agent gone wrong, then Bond's adventure will be him doing all to clean his name and finding the man responsible for the crime that he didn't done, proving his innocence. With some few fixes and revisions, it could have been great!

    Another idea of mine:

    What if there's a new organization, maybe a modern SPECTRE or SMERSH and it's agents also has gadgets in counterpart to Bond and MI6?
    I mean Bond has gadgets but what if the agents of this organization that he's going to face also has gadgets that can match his, maybe a bit more advanced than him?

    There's an evil version of Q, who also supplies gadgets to them?

    Just think of an evil Wai Lin? She's an agent who has a gadgets that can counterpart Bond's, maybe a bit more advanced than his?
    So for example, what if there's a SPECTRE/SMERSH agent who also has gadgets than can match Bond's maybe a bit more advanced than Bond and Q's gadgets?

    I can think of many fresh ideas that EON would find interesting. :)
  • edited April 23 Posts: 2,537
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    What if there's a new organization, maybe a modern SPECTRE or SMERSH and it's agents also has gadgets in counterpart to Bond and MI6?
    I mean Bond has gadgets but what if the agents of this organization that he's going to face also has gadgets that can match his, maybe a bit more advanced than him?

    This was the case with SMERSH in the novels. In FRWL Bond's gadgets are matched by Red Grant's. In light of current events a modern-day version of SMERSH would not be far-fetched and quite appropriate for Bond to fight, but the films have tried to stay apolitical. Perhaps Bond could fight a thinly disguised version of the Wagner Group...
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited April 23 Posts: 4,443
    Revelator wrote: »
    TripAces wrote: »
    I get this. But how many "spectacular" action sequences has this series had over these 25 films? Let's be honest: some of the very best Bond films have very little action in them. Two of my faves, Goldfinger and Thunderball, are primary examples.

    GF has the Aston Martin chase and fight in Fort Knox, both spectacular and over-the-top for their time. TB's underwater battle, with its armies of divers, was also spectacular in 1965. These action sequences are among the most iconic and remembered parts of those films.
    All in all, almost every Bond film is more character-oriented than action-driven.

    I think very few Bond films would qualify as being character-oriented. The Craig films to varying degrees, but not most of the series.

    I disagree on GF. Neither of those sequences are anything special...and the latter is rooted in character, as Bond has to outwit his opponent. As for TB: yes, I agree. It just takes us the whole film to get there. It's a slow burn.

    By comparison, I think many of the action sequences in the Craig era have been very good. The opening car chase in QoS. The parkour chase. The fight with Slate. The fight between Bond and Patrice in Shanghai. The helicopter sequence in SP, as well as the train fight. And the PTS in Matera in NTTD.

    A good Bond film has to have a good mix. With the exception of QoS (which I still loved), all of DC's films were up to that task.
    TripAces wrote: »
    Yes to all of the above, especially to making Bond more about enjoying the finer things again and putting real stunts and spectacular action sequences on screen. I'm not sure why, but in the push for more character-oriented stories and greater critical recognition, these are two aspects of cinematic Bond that largely fell by the wayside in Craig's run, the odd parkour chase or snazzy poker tournament aside. As you suggest, @ByRoyalDecree, Casino Royale was a pretty good blend of traditional cinematic Bond and the more grounded storytelling the rest of Craig's films would pursue. Maybe that's why many regard it as Craig's best.

    I get this. But how many "spectacular" action sequences has this series had over these 25 films? Let's be honest: some of the very best Bond films have very little action in them. Two of my faves, Goldfinger and Thunderball, are primary examples.

    The spectacular moments, such as the ski base jump in TSWLM or the bunjee jump at the beginning of GE are quick.

    Some of the longer action sequences are drawn-out, tiring, and overblown: the Miami Airport chase in CR is a good example. It's overcooked.

    All in all, almost every Bond film is more character-oriented than action-driven. QoS is the exception, and it's one of the reasons critics skewered it.

    I'm not sure I agree with either of those premises to be honest, but regarding spectacular action sequences, I guess definitions will vary, but I count several across the series, from the tanker chase in LTK to the Thames chase in TWINE to the free-fall in MR. As @Revelator mentions, just about every Bond film has had one (though I'll admit the really impressive stunts didn't start until the 70s). I too find CR's Miami Airport chase overly long, but that's beside the point. By and large, the Bond series has been known for its imaginative and thrilling action sequences, whether that means skiing off a cliff, jumping over crocodiles, putting a tank in city streets, using a cello for other purposes, or taking over a national landmark.

    I suppose what I am getting at is that in an average 120 minutes of film, how much of it is "on the edge of your seat" action and thrills? Not as much as we might think. It's not Rambo and it's not Die Hard, and it's certainly not F&F. Maybe we do have different definitions, but when I think of the very best action/chase sequences (in Bullitt or The Seven-Ups, or more recently the car chase in Jack Reacher) those are a whole different level and the films become known for those sequences.

    Bond is much, much more than that. There is more witty dialogue, more Bond sneaking around, more Bond using cunning, sex, and instinct than action/chase sequences. That is what I mean by "character-driven." And TBH, I like it that way.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ At The Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited April 23 Posts: 636
    Revelator wrote: »
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    What if there's a new organization, maybe a modern SPECTRE or SMERSH and it's agents also has gadgets in counterpart to Bond and MI6?
    I mean Bond has gadgets but what if the agents of this organization that he's going to face also has gadgets that can match his, maybe a bit more advanced than him?

    This was the case with SMERSH in the novels. In FRWL Bond's gadgets are matched by Red Grant's. In light of current events a modern-day version of SMERSH would not be far-fetched and quite appropriate for Bond to fight, but the films have tried to stay apolitical. Perhaps Bond could fight a thinly disguised version of the Wagner Group...

    Something like Wagner Group would be interesting. Thanks @Revelator

    Based on Wikipedia, it really sounds like a Bond Villain organization:

    The Wagner Group came to global prominence during the war in Donbas in Ukraine, where it aided separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics from 2014 to 2015. Its contractors have reportedly taken part in various conflicts around the world—including the civil wars in Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Mali, often fighting on the side of forces aligned with the Russian government. Though welcomed by some allied factions, such as the governments of Syria and the CAR, Wagner operatives have been accused of war crimes in areas where they are deployed.[37][38]

    Because it often operates in support of Russian interests or foreign policy objectives, and is reportedly trained on installations of the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD), several sources consider ChVK Wagner an arm's-length unit of the MoD or Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU.[39] Likewise, the group is widely believed to be owned or financed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman with close links to Putin.
  • edited April 23 Posts: 2,537
    TripAces wrote: »
    I disagree on GF. Neither of those sequences are anything special...As for TB: yes, I agree. It just takes us the whole film to get there. It's a slow burn.

    I think those sequences are part of what made GF special--there was nothing like them in cinema thrillers at the time. Conceptually they were spectacular, even if the filmmaking itself looks conventional today. TB nowadays is a slow burn, especially on the small screen, but audiences in 1965 apparently felt differently, judging by the film's reviews and popularity.
    By comparison, I think many of the action sequences in the Craig era have been very good. The opening car chase in QoS. The parkour chase. The fight with Slate. The fight between Bond and Patrice in Shanghai. The helicopter sequence in SP, as well as the train fight. And the PTS in Matera in NTTD.

    I think the only special thing about the car chase in QoS was the incompetent editing. I agree with you about the parkour chase in CR. Many of the remaining examples--Slate/Patrice fights, the SP helicopter scene--are fine but not quite on a level with the most spectacular Bond action sequences, the sort worth the price of admission. The PTS in Matera is well-done, but a film of that unusual length could have used another scene like it, since none of the action afterward had a similar charge.
    TripAces wrote: »
    I suppose what I am getting at is that in an average 120 minutes of film, how much of it is "on the edge of your seat" action and thrills? Not as much as we might think. It's not Rambo and it's not Die Hard

    I don't think modern Bond films are very far away from those sort of films though. They still fall under the category of modern action cinema and audiences have certain expectations. I remember part of the buzz on Tomorrow Never Dies was it being "wall to wall action." Unfortunately that's an example of a film with lots of action that's not memorably filmed.
    Bond is much, much more than that. There is more witty dialogue, more Bond sneaking around, more Bond using cunning, sex, and instinct than action/chase sequences. That is what I mean by "character-driven." And TBH, I like it that way.

    I don't think it has to be an either-or situation. Bond can use instinct and cunning in an action sequence as much as anywhere else. I also don't think there's been much witty dialogue in the past few Bond films, and Bond's tactical use of sex--in the scenes with Severine and Madame Sciarra--has tended to come off as awkward or worse. And despite Bond's jury-rigged personal arc, I don't think the character has ever been deep enough to make a Bond a film character-driven rather than plot driven. The story of every Bond film ultimately involves a villain with a dastardly scheme that Bond must stop. Even the most personal Bond films are a long way from Chekhov or Tolstoy.

    In any case, I don't want to turn this into a referendum on the merits or demerits of the Craig era. The series has to attract a young audience to survive, and I think doing so requires stressing the core appeal of the Bond films, and thus taking a different approach.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Omaha, NE
    Posts: 6,222
    I didn’t mind that the Craig films emphasized less on action and more on character and intrigue. To me, that was what was refreshing about Craig’s run after the Brosnan films were overloaded with those set pieces by Vic Armstrong.

    I remember being surprised by this teaser because there was no attempt to sell the film on action set pieces. It’s all focused on intrigue and mood. You would have thought it was a La Carre adaptation instead of a Bond film. And you know what? I kinda liked that at the time. But that was from when Craig had gained enough goodwill from audiences.


  • Posts: 430
    I didn’t mind that the Craig films emphasized less on action and more on character and intrigue. To me, that was what was refreshing about Craig’s run after the Brosnan films were overloaded with those set pieces by Vic Armstrong.

    I remember being surprised by this teaser because there was no attempt to sell the film on action set pieces. It’s all focused on intrigue and mood. You would have thought it was a La Carre adaptation instead of a Bond film. And you know what? I kinda liked that at the time. But that was from when Craig had gained enough goodwill from audiences.


    Same here, especially the look Mendes and Hoytema developed for the film. It's so singular compared to the other Bond films.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 1,005
    I don’t want to tank this into a conversation about modern morals, but social media has a very weird stretch between sex selling and surprising prudishness. I agree that the vision for the new Bond could be „luxury Instagram“, but I have recently discovered is that teens on TikTok (and it’s bleeding into Instagram) are developing new slang to get around the content moderation on that platform. You can’t write Sex, or your video is downgraded by the algorithm, so it’s „seggs“ or some metaphor. You can write about death so people are „unalive“. I don’t know where our man Bond fits in there, but it doesn’t bode well for an assassin who’s a series adulterer, right?

    That’s part of the reason why I don’t think they should focus on a younger audience (or maybe 20-40 year-olds instead of 40-60 year-olds) but do something really fun for an adult audience. The teenagers can have their MCU and Star Wars (which doesn’t do Sex btw).
  • edited April 23 Posts: 474
    I don’t want to tank this into a conversation about modern morals, but social media has a very weird stretch between sex selling and surprising prudishness. I agree that the vision for the new Bond could be „luxury Instagram“, but I have recently discovered is that teens on TikTok (and it’s bleeding into Instagram) are developing new slang to get around the content moderation on that platform. You can’t write Sex, or your video is downgraded by the algorithm, so it’s „seggs“ or some metaphor. You can write about death so people are „unalive“. I don’t know where our man Bond fits in there, but it doesn’t bode well for an assassin who’s a series adulterer, right?

    The whole 'luxury instagram' bit is like something a person 'of a certain age' would suggest to appeal to younger people, speaking as someone in my 20s. Social media is quite reactive in a sense and is run by specific people with vested interests, hence why there's that mixture of attitudes you were talking about. Simply amping up the 'glamour' and throwing in some cool action sequences won't necessarily result in a better film nor bigger, younger audiences, and if social media doesn't respond to the 'aesthetics' of the Bond films (which has to be set out by the specific visuals, costumes etc. of the individual film itself, not trying to evoke what the producers have seen on social media) then the luxury instagram approach will just come off as artificial and vapid.

    Personally, myself and I think many other younger viewers would welcome more sex, having Bond engage in fine dining, the nice clothes and cars etc. (insofar as these could be brought out more, as this has always been seen in Bond films) but one dimensional characters are a big no no nowadays, especially with the Bond girls. More women now than ever watch the Bond films and are Bond fans. Along with Bond having sex appeal to many women, the Bond girls need to be interesting, have some sort of agency in the narrative but not be vapid. Viewers will respond more to a beautiful femme fatale than a 'Bond's equal'. Bond himself also needs to be flawed and multi-layered - still a hero, but an anti-hero. I think viewers are more willing to accept these traits in their protagonists now than in the early days of the Bond series. Also many younger people, especially Bond fans (many of whom are, let's say on the more 'geeky' side) love classic aesthetics and culture - 60s music, vinyl, 80s aesthetics etc - many more so than modern 'instagram luxury'.

    For today, I think if Bond 26 had more of a Film Noir element to it - a gripping low key mystery at its heart, a flawed multi-layered hero, twisted villains, beautiful femme fatales - alongside the Bondian elements such as the locations, clothes, cars, gadgets, action sex etc. then I think you'd see a better reaction than just a Mission Impossible-esque action film.
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    edited April 23 Posts: 1,132
    007HallY wrote: »
    if Bond 26 had more of a Film Noir element to it - a gripping low key mystery at its heart, a flawed multi-layered hero, twisted villains, beautiful femme fatales - alongside the Bondian elements such as the locations, clothes, cars, gadgets, action sex etc. then I think you'd see a better reaction than just a Mission Impossible-esque action film.

    That all sounds genuinely great to me - I'm in. I suspect they're going to launch NewBond with a high octane blockbuster, though.

  • I don’t need more action, but I would like more creative action. When I think of my favorite action sequences in the Bond series they are rarely Bond shooting his way through armies of goons. A little of that is fine, but I prefer sequences that have tension/suspense, a good stunt or two, and Bond having to come up with solutions other than just shooting to get out of them. The parkour chase, Red Grant vs Bond, the ski chase in OHMSS, climbing up the cliff in FYEO, etc all tick those boxes for me. We’ve certainly had some of that in the Craig era but as it went on I feel like it became progressively more about him shooting lots and lots of people.

    Anyway, sign me up for a more low-key espionage mystery (with a dash of that over the top pulp flair of course) in the spirit of FRWL would be a great way to launch the next Bond and set him apart from Craig. It will obviously have action, but it doesn’t need to be BIG action to be good action.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ At The Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited April 23 Posts: 636
    Venutius wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    if Bond 26 had more of a Film Noir element to it - a gripping low key mystery at its heart, a flawed multi-layered hero, twisted villains, beautiful femme fatales - alongside the Bondian elements such as the locations, clothes, cars, gadgets, action sex etc. then I think you'd see a better reaction than just a Mission Impossible-esque action film.

    That all sounds genuinely great to me - I'm in. I suspect they're going to launch NewBond with a high octane blockbuster, though.

    I liked it, find it interesting but like @Venutius said, I also doubt it, I think the Producers are going to make a bond film that can appeal to younger audiences in my opinion.
    A High Octane blockbuster Bond Film can attract more audiences, even the non Bond Fans (casual viewers) in my opinion.
    I liked the idea of a film noir, count me in as one of those who's interested to see it, but I doubt it.
    Maybe it's just me, but I think it will not clicked with the general audience, especially the younger ones.
    But maybe I'm wrong, many films are doing it already.
    Let's hope.
  • Many have already theorized that Eon will be looking to The Batman for inspiration, and its success at relaunching the character with a smaller scale noir mystery plotline could be just the thing they use as justification to do the same for Bond.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Senior Goldfarb, Seymour
    Posts: 5,300
    I have recently discovered is that teens on TikTok (and it’s bleeding into Instagram) are developing new slang to get around the content moderation on that platform. You can’t write Sex, or your video is downgraded by the algorithm, so it’s „seggs“ or some metaphor. You can write about death so people are „unalive“. I don’t know where our man Bond fits in there, but it doesn’t bode well for an assassin who’s a series adulterer, right?

    I know all about you. Seggs for dinner, unaliveness for breakfast.
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