Does NO TIME TO DIE have the best ending in the franchise?

The ending is perfectly in tune with the sentiment established by Ian Fleming: Bond lives in the shadows and has resigned himself with the knowledge that men like him do not get normal lives. Often Bond would dream about being normal, but know that he had to play the role expected of him. The tragedy for Bond in NTTD, is that he starts as a man without a reason to live and ends with a family worth dying for. The film cruelly reminds Bond that he cannot have a normal life. It's truly heartbreaking. The Louis Armstrong song perfectly adds some honey to that brutal ending.

I think the tragedy of NTTD is that unlike say Logan or the Last Jedi which are built around the hero's death being an inevitability, NTTD teases Bond with the chance of a happy ending. Bond really wants to live, however, he is unable to. It's v sad. I'm not surprised NTTD will prove a divisive film. I think it'll reach OHMSS levels in years to come.

I'm the type of fan who enjoys the subversion. If you like 'more of the same' from your Bond films, you're a staunch traditionalist, etc. Then I think this film will polarise you. I actually think the sentiment that this is both Craig's silliest and most serious film is very accurate.

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Comments

  • edited December 2022 Posts: 2,877
    It's a controversial ending for many different reasons. I actually agree with much of what you wrote, it's in-keeping with the idea of the character never being able to have that 'normal life'. So in a sense it's sufficiently tragic.

    Personally, it doesn't do much for me on an emotional level. I think this is because I don't feel it's an ending that's earned. The Logan comparison is interesting, and I agree with you, but Wolverine's death in that film works for me because it's framed as a redemption. The character in that film is a man who openly shuns being the hero he once was. Over the course of the film he has to make the decision to protect Laura and help her get to Eden. He learns that the remaining mutants essentially idolise him from the comics written of him and the other X-Men, which is itself a fictional image he'll never be able to live up to fully. By sacrificing himself at the end to make sure the gang can get over the border, he lives up to that ideal as best he can. It's a very poignant ending and says a lot about the nature of heroism and how we view it.

    NTTD plays with this idea somewhat. At the end of the film, Bond lives on through the stories Madeline tells to Mathilde. Much like the comic books featured in Logan, Bond has essentially become this mythical hero, at least to this little girl. He's a man who saved the world and sacrificed himself doing so. The problem is NTTD's story doesn't have anything to do with redemption, or even necessarily the idea of James Bond as a hero. Yes, he breaks off his relationship with Madeline but it's because he's tricked by Blofeld into believing Madeline is a SPECTRE agent. A contrived and (for me anyway) un-believable plot point, but it's a decision that's not framed as being a flawed one for Bond to make per say. Again, just a tragic one.

    At no point are Bond's heroism nor his decisions as a man questioned, which would be interesting given the controversies with the character over the years. Without this NTTD relies instead on that element of tragedy. The film sets up Bond's demise by constantly giving us laboured exposition about nanobots, contrived plot points with Blofeld, a villain who seems to change motive by the very end for no obvious reason. Sure, Bond's a Byronic Hero who saves the world one last time, but so what? For me, because the film is so overstuffed with plot designed to lead up to that moment it kills any impact of Bond's death. Much of the film fails in this sense because none of it feels plausible, much less organic to the story being told. It's just tragedy for tragedy's sake.

    If it works for others, fair play. But for me I have a tough time with it and don't feel it's the best way they could have depicted the character's death. Like I said, it's a controversial ending in this sense.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    Posts: 8,021
    I’m not clutching my pearls over Bond’s death like so many other fans, and I thought Bond’s last stand played well as executed. Is it the best ending of the franchise? I dunno, I’ll have to let that simmer more.
  • edited December 2022 Posts: 614
    007HallY wrote: »
    At no point are Bond's heroism nor his decisions as a man questioned, which would be interesting given the controversies with the character over the years. Without this NTTD relies instead on that element of tragedy. The film sets up Bond's demise by constantly giving us laboured exposition about nanobots, contrived plot points with Blofeld, a villain who seems to change motive by the very end for no obvious reason. Sure, Bond's a Byronic Hero who saves the world one last time, but so what? For me, because the film is so overstuffed with plot designed to lead up to that moment it kills any impact of Bond's death. Much of the film fails in this sense because none of it feels plausible, much less organic to the story being told. It's just tragedy for tragedy's sake.

    Completely agree. The film is so laboured, overlong and nonsensical, I simply didn't care when Bond (finally) met his end. I'll also add that, in general, I believe that any long-running movie series that has to kill off its main character and recycle another entry's theme song from literally decades ago ("We Have All the Time in the World") to generate pathos has run out of ideas.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    Posts: 5,869
    Yeah I'd also say, even as someone who was content with what the film gave us, that the context surrounding his death is the problem as opposed to the idea of killing James Bond.

    The only thing that really frustrated me personally was afterwards. Everything after his death felt so abrupt. I know the film was long enough already but still.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited December 2022 Posts: 7,526
    Denbigh wrote: »
    Yeah I'd also say, even as someone who was content with what the film gave us, that the context surrounding his death is the problem as opposed to the idea of killing James Bond.

    The only thing that really frustrated me personally was afterwards. Everything after his death felt so abrupt. I know the film was long enough already but still.

    The abruptness of the aftermath really helps it's rewatchability I think. They don't belabor it.

    It definitely felt like the origin point of the film was "Bond dies", and then pretty much everything was contrived to put Bond in a situation where it was impossible for him to decide to try and live. I liked the film a lot still, I feel Craig was firing on all cylinders, and it's possible I suppose for people to come away from the film confused about what happens but it follows it's own internal logic just fine.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Born on the bayou. I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'.
    Posts: 8,680
    I don't know if it is the best ending in the franchise. I just know that it is a fitting ending of DC's tenure, which always had its own timeline, as compared to his predecessors. I think the film is fantastic, and I've rewatched it more often than, say, SPECTRE (not a big feat), but I'm ready to rewatch it several more times. And I'm not likely to tire of it any time soon. I truly think that NTTD is one of the five best movies of the entire franchise. Although it is not one of the most uplifting Bond movies.

    But I'm also sure that EoN will give us a "James Bond Coming Back" moment within the next three years, and starting from scratch (I hope).



  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    edited December 2022 Posts: 8,021
    I do like how it ends relatively quickly. That scene in MI6 is perfect. I could actually do without the Madeleine scene, but it’s not ruinous
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited December 2022 Posts: 7,526
    Yep exactly. The MI6 scene is a beautiful looking scene, the quote was great and everyone there was great.
  • Posts: 1,001
    The worst ending to any Bond film ever.

    Unnecessary, contrived, derivative of comic-book movies and not even well staged in a movie that featured Moore-ear comic moments from other characters.
    A mess.
    James Bond deserved better.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Born on the bayou. I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'.
    Posts: 8,680
    The worst ending to any Bond film ever.

    Unnecessary, contrived, derivative of comic-book movies and not even well staged in a movie that featured Moore-ear comic moments from other characters.
    A mess.
    James Bond deserved better.

    Disagree completely. Just for the record.
  • I liked the idea behind killing Craig’s Bond off, it works well for his tenure, just not entirely a fan of the execution of it. Having said that, I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by an ending to a Bond film. The only example I can think of is the winking fish in Licence to Kill, but even that is pretty minor in a film I mostly enjoy.
  • Posts: 12,258
    CR by a landslide for me. The epitome of bittersweet, but still giving us triumphant Bond at the very end with the most classic line. OHMSS’s heartbreaker is a great unique one too of course. But most of the time they have pretty similar endings.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,526
    j_w_pepper wrote: »
    The worst ending to any Bond film ever.

    Unnecessary, contrived, derivative of comic-book movies and not even well staged in a movie that featured Moore-ear comic moments from other characters.
    A mess.
    James Bond deserved better.

    Disagree completely. Just for the record.

    +1
    FoxRox wrote: »
    CR by a landslide for me. The epitome of bittersweet, but still giving us triumphant Bond at the very end with the most classic line. OHMSS’s heartbreaker is a great unique one too of course. But most of the time they have pretty similar endings.

    Yeah, actually, CR probably takes Best Ending for me as well.
  • Posts: 1,001
    j_w_pepper wrote: »
    Disagree completely. Just for the record.

    That's cool too!
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited December 2022 Posts: 4,438
    I think there trow Sand In The Eyes (One of my Bond 26/27 title sugestions). A couple of times you see a couple of hints in movies like Bond get sand in his eyes in maintitle of QOS, Hinx making somebody blind in Spectre, Statue with sand in ''Naomi Harris'' eyes in NTDD maintitle. Just another dropping a b*mb (like airplane guy in CR, The end with Bond James Bond line, Dog fight scene in QOS) again.

    Do you expect me to die, no we expect you to talk :-SS
    Fool me once, fool me twice
    . Wil producers fool us again, but this time other way around of Die Another Day. One of biggest quistions about Bond 26.
  • edited December 2022 Posts: 2,877
    FoxRox wrote: »
    CR by a landslide for me. The epitome of bittersweet, but still giving us triumphant Bond at the very end with the most classic line. OHMSS’s heartbreaker is a great unique one too of course. But most of the time they have pretty similar endings.

    True. The CR ending is pretty cool. The only thing that annoys me about OHMSS is the fact that they decide to have the Bond theme blare at the end over the bullet shattered glass. Presumably with Tracy's corpse slumped just offscreen.

    But that's actually a minor quibble. My favourite ending is SF personally. It manages to be simultaneously a cynical, quite ambiguous ending while still having something weirdly upbeat about it.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 8,028
    The best ending is the one that pays of the build up of the previous three acts. No Time To Die's ending on its own terms is a ballsy, unique conclusion. But there are several others that finish their stories in better ways. CR is a great one, as is OHMSS.

    I'd probably go with SF as the one that caps off everything, both narratively and thematically, the best. It's really damn good.
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    Posts: 3,390
    007HallY wrote: »
    FoxRox wrote: »
    CR by a landslide for me. The epitome of bittersweet, but still giving us triumphant Bond at the very end with the most classic line. OHMSS’s heartbreaker is a great unique one too of course. But most of the time they have pretty similar endings.

    True. The CR ending is pretty cool. The only thing that annoys me about OHMSS is the fact that they decide to have the Bond theme blare at the end over the bullet shattered glass. Presumably with Tracy's corpse slumped just offscreen.

    But that's actually a minor quibble. My favourite ending is SF personally. It manages to be simultaneously a cynical, quite ambiguous ending while still having something weirdly upbeat about it.

    I think that Bond theme flaring on it would have made sense had they followed it with the revenge sequel.
    Like when Bond theme was played at the end, we all expect to have Bond gone berserk and show his killer side, like "yeah, Bond's coming after you!" kind of thing.
    I have no problem with it, it decreased the depressing mood, so for it not to be too much of a downer.
    Though that ending would have worked as a PTS for the next film though.

    I agree about Casino Royale too, but would it make more sense had they moved the ending at the beginning of Quantum of Solace?
  • edited December 2022 Posts: 2,877
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    FoxRox wrote: »
    CR by a landslide for me. The epitome of bittersweet, but still giving us triumphant Bond at the very end with the most classic line. OHMSS’s heartbreaker is a great unique one too of course. But most of the time they have pretty similar endings.

    True. The CR ending is pretty cool. The only thing that annoys me about OHMSS is the fact that they decide to have the Bond theme blare at the end over the bullet shattered glass. Presumably with Tracy's corpse slumped just offscreen.

    But that's actually a minor quibble. My favourite ending is SF personally. It manages to be simultaneously a cynical, quite ambiguous ending while still having something weirdly upbeat about it.

    I think that Bond theme flaring on it would have made sense had they followed it with the revenge sequel.
    Like when Bond theme was played at the end, we all expect to have Bond gone berserk and show his killer side, like "yeah, Bond's coming after you!" kind of thing.
    I have no problem with it, it decreased the depressing mood, so for it not to be too much of a downer.
    Though that ending would have worked as a PTS for the next film though.

    I agree about Casino Royale too, but would it make more sense had they moved the ending at the beginning of Quantum of Solace?

    I suspect that's the reason they decided to put that music at the end of OHMSS - because it was deemed too depressing otherwise. Like I said it's a minor complaint, and the ending works in the sense that it feels tragic but oddly right. The film has built up the relationship between these characters naturally so the impact of Tracy's death can be felt. It's sombre but it needs to be. I don't think it would have worked as a PTS to the next film even if Lazenby had stayed. The audience needed to feel that impact at the end of the film.

    No, I don't think the ending of CR would have benefited from being at the beginning of QOS. It's an organically more upbeat ending that doesn't feel shoehorned in, gives Craig his first "Bond, James Bond" and makes us feel pumped for the sequel.

    Both CR and SF have quite unusual endings. They're both rather tragic endings taken on a simple plot basis, and yet they both reaffirm James Bond as the character we know.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited December 2022 Posts: 5,869
    I love Skyfall's ending. It was exciting and promised a lot, which is why Spectre was such a disappointment.
  • No, it’s too melodramatic for my tastes. OHMSS ending on the gut punch is more my speed. I also prefer Casino Royale and Skyfall’s endings by quite a lot, and even Quantum of Solace as far as Craig is concerned.
  • Posts: 1,513
    One viewer's heartbreak is another viewer's unnecessary and unsatisfying ending. For me all Bond's death accomplished, and rightly so, was killing off the story arc that tied the hands of the Craig series after an excellent beginning film. The Craig series never got better after CR. I enjoyed them as I enjoy any Bond film, but they weren't great films. SF was the best follow up. I hope the next series features unrelated stories in the tradition of the early films. Since any sort of timeline or connection to previous outings has long been abandoned, I hope for a fresh start with new faces all. Sorting out a why a character younger than Bond is now older than Bond is something I hope we don't have to face. If the producers felt killing off Bond was ballsy, then be equally ballsy by recasting the whole lot.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e per il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,778
    I’m not against the concept of killing Bond, it was just not done well. The writing is contrived, the execution is melodramatic.

    They refer to OHMSS so much, you’d expect they studied how to make a heartbreaking ending elegantly, without the on-the-nose dialogue / music.

    For me, OHMSS is absolute perfection, CR and QOS also have great endings though.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 1,363
    I think excessive comedy in a film that Bond meets his end, is quite disrespectful to the character and very much undermined the film's ending.
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    Posts: 3,390
    I think excessive comedy in a film that Bond meets his end, is quite disrespectful to the character and very much undermined the film's ending.

    "I know, I know"......
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 1,363
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    I think excessive comedy in a film that Bond meets his end, is quite disrespectful to the character and very much undermined the film's ending.

    "I know, I know"......

    Lol. Nice. Craig's acting is always spot on, though. It's just that for a tragic Bond film, the uneven tone is almost palpable.
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    edited December 2022 Posts: 2,925
    Agreed - the tonal shifts in NTTD have only got even more jarring over time for me.
    Best ending in the series? CR. An absolute triumph. Probably literally could not have been done any better.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,458
    I think they gave us too much death in NTTD. Killing off Felix and Blofeld in any other film would be a huge deal but in the exact same installment that you choose to kill Bond too? It's way too much.
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    Posts: 3,390
    Venutius wrote: »
    Agreed - the tonal shifts in NTTD have only got even more jarring over time for me.
    Best ending in the series? CR. An absolute triumph. Probably literally could not have been done any better.

    In terms of triumphant ending, it's Skyfall for me.
    Bond returned to protect England again.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    Posts: 13,894
    The worst ending to any Bond film ever.

    Unnecessary, contrived, derivative of comic-book movies and not even well staged in a movie that featured Moore-ear comic moments from other characters.
    A mess.
    James Bond deserved better.

    Better make that two.

    I know it's the trendy thing to go after fans for questioning choices they feel are disrespectful (though I am not suggesting EON have done this), but that was absolutely the single worst decision EON have made in 60 years. And it's not just the act of killing Bond off, but the ridiculous way it was done. If he was going to die by being shot, why does he need poisoning? Any drama that might be wrung from Bond not being able to have contact with his loved ones, is made void. They might as well had Bond shot, poisoned, stabbed, dropped from a great height, flattened and then blown up. I was going to suggest his ashes be blown away on the wind, but that might be a step too far.

    My mixed feeling on SP aside, that should have been the ending to the Craig era.
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