No Time To Digest Part 13: No, Time To Die!

It’s all come down to this folks, the rest of this film and all my commentary to this point has only been a warm up to this scene! Of course I am referring to the death of “James Bond,” but we’ll cross that bridge in a moment, first the Craig-Bond and his 27th one true love must share some stilted, maudlin dialogue!

“Hello, Vesper? (No, no, she’s dead) Severine? (No, she’s a former child prostitute and also dead) Madi… Madi… Mads Mikkelsen? (No, he’s an actor and his character is also dead) Madeline! That’s it! I knew it would come to me!” 

The Craig-Bond climbs a ladder to the roof of the 90 year old crumbling bunker which can withstand the full brunt of everything the modern Royal Navy can throw at it. As he does so he mumbles back and forth over his earpiece with Madeline. He informs her Safin is dead, he’s not going to make it off the island and everyone is sad.

Someone’s got a case of the Mondays!

The Craig-Bond says, “Madeline you have created the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” 

Obviously referring to her macaroni art!

Oh no, sorry he was referring to her daughter! Madeline replies, “Oh god, the vial, you’ve been poisoned!” How she came immediately to that conclusion I’ll never know. She continues, “There must be a way, we just need more time, if only we had more time!” My dear there is plenty of time, the problem is your “one true love” can’t be bothered to to take that time and try to find a cure, since he can’t be arsed, you’re on your own to raise his daughter and she is doomed to grow up without his fatherly guidance.  

“Nice meeting you kid, I’m going to go kill myself now.”

The Craig-Bond responds to all this with, “You have all the time in the world.”

“Ugh!”

Great, more On Her Majesty’s Secret (fan) Service theft! Guess who else has all the time in the world numbskull? You! Get off that island and the best and brightest British doctors and scientists will be happy to work on a cure to this ailment! Hell, by their experimentation, you may even save lives, as I’ve pointed out there are other strains of this stuff already out there! 

Considering the electro-mechanical nature of these nano-bots it’s too bad the Craig-Bond didn’t have an EMP emitting device handy to try and negate the deadly effects of the “virus.” 

Only one pulse per film, reserved for cheap overwrought dialog gags.

Of course this defeatist character isn’t the James Bond most of us grew up with (unfortunately Craig has been “Bond” so long a generation of fans have no clue), the Bond I knew never said die, when a villain had him dead to rights he didn’t knuckle under, when a lair was exploding all around him he didn’t cower in a corner, Bond always found a way. 

“Duces, I’m out this piece!”

They share their “I love yous” as the missiles begin to streak by. Madeline says, “She does have you’re eyes.” Obviously referring to Mathilde and her being the Craig-Bond’s biological daughter. He replies, “I know.” I say who didn’t know? I’d like to meet the person who was legitimately surprised by this revelation, I have a bridge in New York City I’d like to sell them!

At this the Craig-Bond looks up at the incoming rockets and smirks:

 

“The smug, self satisfied smile of an actor who has his producer tightly wrapped around his little finger.”

And make no mistake Daniel Craig has Barbara Broccoli firmly tucked deep in his pocket. How else can an actor demand as condition of his return the producer do the unthinkable and kill off the golden goose her father bequeathed to her all while commanding a salary that accounted for a full 10th of the production budget! 

$25 million of a $250 million budget.

Not to mention the continuing stage relationship, I didn’t see Cubby producing Dalton in The Tempest On Ice.

Daniel Craig is Macbeth in Barbera Broccoli’s production of: oh who cares.

Suddenly the missiles rip into the island, if any of you held out hope that EON and Craig would leave the window open for a Craig return, through an explanation that he ran off at the last minute or was blown clear or any other such nonsense, they made sure to shut that all the way down!

Full evisceration of the Craig-Bond!

So let me get this straight, EON Productions decided to have James Bond kill himself because he contracted a virus that won’t allow him to have physical contact with his family… During a worldwide pandemic featuring a virus which prevents physical contact with one’s family?

“Great going EON!”

If the last two years have taught us nothing else, it’s that there are a plethora of options to communicate remotely. Zoom, Skype, Go To Meeting just to name a few, nope, none of that for our man Craig-Bond! No, he’ll “sacrifice” himself for his family, rather than get to know them!

“Sorry darling, I need to get going, I’d rather slash my wrists than speak to you any longer.”

Now that we’ve witnessed the Craig-Bond’s suicide, reducing him to a cloud of human mist we cut to M’s office several days later. We find the Massive Incompetence 6 team assembled around a small table with a lone glass of whiskey upon it.

M says, “It’s very hard to know what to say, but I thought we should gather… And I thought this was appropriate.”

“Since he loved to poison his liver so much!”

M continues, reading from a book; “The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” 

“So Flemming!”

Not so fast old boy! Many a Craig wag like to point at this quote as coming from master Fleming due to the final line appearing at the end of the obituary featured in the novel You Only Live Twice, however it is in fact from early 20th century author Jack London. The problem is these same wags, EON writers included misunderstand Fleming and why he enjoyed this quote so much. This quote doesn’t fit with the nihilistic, fatalist tone of the film, Fleming had a much more, for lack of a better term, “hedonistic” relationship with the passage. Unfortunately it was Fleming’s adherence to this credo that proved to be his undoing. Fleming notoriously smoked 80 cigarettes a day and washed them down with an entire bottle of gin until his doctor suggested he switch to bourbon as a healthy alternative!

“Take two of these and call me in the morning.”

Fleming didn’t want to deny himself his enjoyment of life in the name of living longer, because after all, is life worth living if done tediously? Knowing this, I imagine Fleming taking delight in the “joie de vivre” expressed by the except echoing his own lifestyle. Instead the producers have read a degree of fatalism into the passage, essentially transforming it to a suicide note, “If I can’t have what I want I’m checking out.”

“Farewell cruel world!” 

The MI6 team each take a turn clinking their glass with the one on the table 

an act reminiscent of gangsters “pouring one out for the homie.” 

“Rest in Gangstas Paradise Jimmy B!”

Smash cut to Swann bombing around in the Craig-Bond’s Aston Martin Vantage along the same coastal highway she and the Craig-Bond were traveling at the start of the film. Inside the vehicle we find Swann and her daughter having a conversation, Swann says, “I’m going to tell you a story.” Mathilde stares blankly at her. Swann continues, “I’m going to tell you a story about a man… a man named Bond, James Bond.” Unfortunately stories are all this girl is going to have of her father, because he decided to take himself out in the most selfish of suicides ever recorded in cinematic history! 

“I can’t bear to be without the woman I abandoned on a train platform five years ago and the daughter I never met!”

Cut back to the exterior of the car and “We Have All The Time In The World” plays, not the rearranged instrumentals from earlier, not a new cover of the song. NO! They have the unmitigated bald-faced cheek to play the original Louis Armstrong version! Have you no decency EON?! They waste no opportunity to dig up a long dead artist and violate their corpse! Bloody hell, such is the state of the James Bond franchise. 

“Just wait until I get you back home and out of that box!”

Well, that’s it the end of the film, the credits roll and at the end the obligatory “James Bond Will Return.”

I’ve been waiting over a decade for that to be true, we’ll see if the next film starring whomever is cast is true to that statement.

Until next time friends keep Bond alive!

 

Coda:

As I was writing this installment an event occurred at this year’s Oscar presentation, an act of disrespect so callous, so scornful I could not let it pass without speaking on it.

 

Of course I’m referring to the 60th anniversary tribute to Bond. Consisting of a generic two minute montage which could have been culled from any fan made YouTube channel:

Introduced by three has-been American extreme sports competitors.

Specifically a skateboarder, surfer and snowboarder (sounds like the beginning of a bad joke). Why? Were the surviving Bond actors too busy? Lazenby couldn’t fit the biggest event in cinema into his tight schedule? Dalton couldn’t find the time? Brosnan and Craig couldn’t be arsed?

As I said above such is the state of the franchise, EON productions are at a crossroads, continue pandering to the people who exhibit this begrudging contemptuousness in their lazy obligatory montage, or return to the fans and give us back our classic Bond. Only time will tell, but I’m not holding my breath.

 

  13 comments for “No Time To Digest Part 13: No, Time To Die!

  1. Brilliant rant as expected, DirtyBenny. Of all the insulting things they could have come up when it comes to destroying James Bond, they have chosen the most pathetic and insulting idea that we have seen even since that day of January 1952 when Ian Fleming started writing Casino Royale. It was bad enough to see “Bond” bowing down to an enemy Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton and Brosnan would have killed with a slap, now he euthanises himself and they put up the mis-interpretation of the Jack London quote you bring up. You will remember that in YOLT Fleming only uses the second sentence of the quote (“I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them, I shall use my time”) not the first one (“The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist”), which has a much more fatalistic meaning. If anything, by saying “I shall use my time”, Fleming is already leaving the decision to end earthly existence to something above him. Agreed, he kind of let himself go with too much booze and tobacco, but still, it alll circles around pleasure, not pain or grief. I’m sure that he didn’t smoke a cigarette or drank gin while waving goodbye to Anne and Casper. In his mind, he would live as long as the Almight wanted him to – in this case, 56 years old. Anyway, it’s way too far from suicide or tireness of earthly life. And we all know that the final paragraphs of TMWTGG are a cult to Bond’s polygamy (“The same view would always pall” re: Mary Goodnight becoming his girlfriend). In the very same novel, he rejects a knighthood becuse he abhors that kind of pretentiousness and only in special occassions he introduces himself as a Commander, yet in TTD he brags that “It’s Commander Bond, by the way”. This Bond and this film is as close to Fleming as if we had a giant squid stalking a Teletubbie, but then again, if that happens the mice following the pied piper of EON will say this is “the closest adaptation of Dr No that has ever existed”, as they already say this is YOLT because there is a meagre “Garden of Death”.

    The words “James Bond Will Return” at the end of this film are an insult to my intelligence and the intelligence of anyone having a little bit of common sense. And those who know James Bond isn’t something that should be mixed with vulgar things like Marvel and Star Wars who love to do reboots and retcons and prequels and regenerations of dead characters. No offense to the quality of those franchises, but compared to Bond’s class, style and elitism, they are vulgar.

    At least after watching this, I don’t care anymore if Idris Elba or John Boyega play Bond, because Bond is not Bond anymore and has lost a supporter for 23 years. I still have my Special Edition DVDs, and if that’s all we have, you will find we need nothing more 😉

    Cheers!

  2. Addendum:

    “The tremendous impact with the water had at first knocked all the wind out of Bond, but the will to live, so nearly extinguished by the searing pain in his head, was revived by the new but recognizable enemy of the sea.”
    -Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice (1964)

    There you have it. THE WILL TO LIVE. Fleming’s Bond never wanted to die, unless you count the buzz saw trying to cut him in half in Goldfinger, but that’s hoping for a less painful death, not a death wish. Also, throughout YOLT, Bond rejects the idea of suicide, he tells Tanaka so quite a couple of times when they discuss both cultures. This film is to Ian Fleming’s YOLT what Casino Royale 1967 is to the 1953 novel, and is to Casino Royale 1967 what… a depressing replica of that film should be. LOL.

    • Thank you for the kind words NS, yes Fleming spoke on Bond’s innate desire to live many times. Where Bond knocked down and dying goes into autopilot his body and subconscious take over and propel him towards life.

  3. Bravo, DB. I too am infuriated that they took one of my fav movies of the series, OHMSS and retconned, crapped on, etc. to make their “masterpiece” ending. It is appalling that Ms. Broccoli let an actor make a call on killing Bond. It’s fitting in a way though because Craig has done nothing to build the Bond Franchise or mystique; just tear it down. Regarding your epilogue about the “tribute” to Bond at the Oscars you are spot on. I don’t think a Hollywood that is as debased and bankrupt of ideas and class could ever make a Bond now that is classy, sophisticated and relevant.

    Daniel Craig killed a character created by Connery, Terrence Young, Fleming, etc. Wow, just wow. I am not hopeful DB that this gets turnaround. Mr. Bezos is outraging LOTR fans by flirting with canon and making it woke. Bond goes down that same rabbit hole IMO; even more so than the debacle of Ms. Broccoli and Craig have perpetrated. God speed, DB

    • Thanks Jason, yes the only thing “Bond” about the series at this point are the ham-fisted, on the nose “homages” shoehorned into the nihilistic, weep fests we’ve been subject to. As I said in my article reacting to the purchase of MGM by Amazon things aren’t getting better anytime soon.

  4. An excellent series of articles DB. What a derivative, unimaginative pile of crap this film was. The pre-credits scene had me rolling my eyes in disbelief, specifically the blatant ripoff of John Carpenter’s Halloween. I was half expecting a resurrected Donald Pleasence to turn up in his Doctor Loomis raincoat and start ranting about “the Boogeyman”
    Falling through ice? Surely they did that with Sky-awful?
    A plot so far fetched and implausible that it gives the lie to the supposed “gritty realism” that Auntie Barbara constantly brags about. It’s the same old jaw dropping absurdity, but without the flair, grandeur or wit that Gilbert or Hamilton would have imparted to the proceedings. Instead we get Cary Fookinwanka’s cut price Christopher Nolan tribute act, minus the cerebral touch that Nolan generally gives his films.
    Second biggest eye rolling moment award goes to the utterly blatant stealing of Roger Moore’s moment of ruthlessness from “For Your Eyes Only” tacked onto the end of the main product-placement… sorry, action scene. Yes, Land Rover should definitely demand their money back. Why purchase the latest Landie when it can be run off the road en masse by an angry short bloke in a ratty old Toyota? Perhaps it was a homage to Sir Roger’s Citroen 2CV. Without the entertainment value.
    Biolab technicians wearing Dr No’s radiation suit? Groan!
    Soap opera standard moist eyes and pouting? Eurgh, I’m going to be sick.
    Faux stepbrother Blofeld dead? Somewhere, dear old Charles Gray is laughing his arse off.
    Felix dead? Sorry Jeffery old boy. You were pretty good in “The Batman” though.
    Tragic, emotional finale to some Hans Zimmer music? Yawn. I really was expecting Craig to briefly morph into Connery a la Man of Steel {steal?) as the missiles approached.
    Never mind, those nanobots (in a virus no less) will put our “hero” back together again. Hopefully remodelled taller, better looking and with some capacity for actually being able to succeed at, well, anything really.
    But sadly I doubt it. Who knows what further abominations EON are planning for the future now they basically have a clean slate to start with yet again.
    Apologies for my rather disjointed comments but I am having genuine trouble remembering anything about NTTD despite watching it twice. Once in open mouthed disbelief that they managed to cobble together an even crappier offering than Specturd, and once to prove to myself that the first viewing wasn’t a rather surreal dream. Thank heavens it didn’t cost anything…

    • Thanks Vin, good to hear from you, long time no see! No apologies necessary, disjointed are the only comments a sane person can make about this non sequitur of a film., all of them spot on by the way. You must be some sort of sadomasochist to have viewed this pile of celluloid twice! I commiserate having watched it slow motion, forward and backward to write my series, that is the price I must pay for my “art” LOL.

  5. I took the time to read these articles, wanted to give it all a chance, tried to be fair. What a let down, low quality analysis, just consistent negativity. Works for the small community of Craig haters, but you know the world thinks otherwise, all Craig movies are super successful and that includes No Time To Die.

    • Blah blah blah. It’s still the same talking points from the Craig idolatry. I stumbled upon these articles looking for decent reviews other than the usual gushing erections from you Craig fan boys and the BS mainstream media. These articles contain heart for the author speaks his mind. NTTD is nothing more than a plundering of OHMSS. A bad reconstruction. Oh and NTTD didn’t do all that well when you take account of the ridiculous production cost. Deal with it.

      I commend you, dirtybenny. Thank you for publishing the reviews.

  6. I just stumbled across this site. Omg. Everything I have been thinking and wanted to say about the Craig/Bond all right here. I be spending time reading your previous installments.

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