No Time To Die? Well, How About Tomorrow? #cheese #cliche #jamesbond #filmreview

Warning: there are some plot spoilers, but nothing really big, and certainly nothing that gives the plot away (as you’ll understand if you read on)

I was in Derbyshire with the parents of my daughter in law – we wondered if there was a term for this relationship; the outlaws, perhaps? – and saw the latest Bond film at their cozy local screen, all push velvet and bring your own wine (I had coffee).

stunning the Derby dales around Belper

As people have noted it’s long – 2 hours 45 minutes – which, when you add on the interminable ads etc at the start takes you into the realms of wanting a meal break. Or a comfort break in my case. Am I getting so old that I now fidget for the last 20 minutes wondering if I’ll have to be ‘that old git’ who excuses me’s his way down the row, just when missing even a second might render the denouement moot? Suffice it to say, that walk of shame was avoided this time.

The plot. Now there’s a talking point. Bond starts with an action sequence. Always. This one, around some Italian ancient, was so far so typical, though they threw in some mumbled love interest and an exploding sarcophagus for good measure. It was well done, if a touch cliched. Then we have five years later and Bond’s living his version of a sybaritic life on some Caribbean atoll, ostensibly retired and out of the ‘game’.

looking for the plot

Now, let’s just consider what we understand by a Bond movie. Crash, bang, wallop, sanitized but regular violence, gadgetry, petrol-head cars, glamour, men in suits and women in not much… What we don’t want is some long, dry plot exposition, lots of philosophizing and talking heads. But here’s the thing: there’s a balance between keeping the story moving onto the next set piece whizz-bangery – Cuba in this case; or was it a London tower block? – and explaining why X is doing Y to Z. Or WTF has tweaked Bond’s tail that suddenly he’s no longer retired? I concentrated, really I did but somewhere between M’s office, Miss Moneypenny and Bond crashing Qs flat and a weird Orwellian scene involving Blofeld, I missed something.

And here’s a second thing; it really doesn’t matter because you know they’ll be: a baddy intent on world domination/making egregious amounts of money/an ends justifying means despot; a love interest; several chases and fights where Bond takes a pummeling yet gets out of bed the next day; and a sooper-dooper ending with everything on the line. Plot, schmlot… who cares.

Through here?

There is some humour which we are told is the result of Phoebe Waller-Bridge helping with a rewrite – I can’t say I noticed her hand much which may be a good thing. The female American agent who helps Bond out of his sticky hole in Cuba must have been covered in the most extraordinary body-glue because there really is no other way to explain how she fought as she did and yet stayed inside the two pelmets of fabric that made up her evening gown. And the ending…

We had been sort of warned; we were waiting in the bar area when the customers from the previous showing filed out. We’d joked we’d need to cover our ears to avoid plot spoilers. Then we saw their faces: blank, expressionless; stunned; quiet. Then we saw the ending. We understood.

You really need to see it to understand. It’s, erm, well unexpected. Worth it for that? Yes, probably.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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22 Responses to No Time To Die? Well, How About Tomorrow? #cheese #cliche #jamesbond #filmreview

  1. Does he die then?


  2. noelleg44 says:

    The probably got me. Not sure if I’ll see it in the theater, but I figure he must die at the end so another 007 can arise. I take it no Dame Judy Dench.


  3. Good stuff Geoff- but I’m still undecided about dragging myself to the expensive theater, trying for a perfect seat with no one to nudge past should I forget to drink any fluids from the previous 3 hours, blah, blah.
    The experiment of trying to sell us on a female bond intrigues but only a tad. In their place, I’d look for some semblance of a plot that did not break the mold which has been fun & successful even if never credible.
    Thank you for the review.


  4. JT Twissel says:

    That is a beautiful area. The original Bond movies relied more on sex appeal and satire than explosives. The latest movie doesn’t really sound like my cuppa but thanks for the review!


  5. L.K. Latham says:

    You convinced me: I’ll wait till it comes to cable to see it. BTW: Lovely pictures of the countryside.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review. You had me at wine.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. petespringerauthor says:

    Bond retired? We can’t have that. We’ll just get a new and more athletic Bond to run around when the time comes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. V.M.Sang says:

    Well, I’m not a Bond fan, but your review intrigued me. I’ll probably wait until it’s on TV, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I, too, was mesmerised by Ana de Armas’s dress. Perhaps that was the trick. It distracted her opponents so much they didn’t stand a chance against her.
    Have to say, I enjoyed it – though, after SPECTRE, my expectations were pretty low. In many respects, a fitting ending. After nearly 60 years, the franchise has been getting tired, so it could have been the ideal way to bring it to an end.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have enjoyed his previous efforts more than anyone since Connery. But is looks as if it might be time to die.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Widdershins says:

    I think this Bond ‘retired’ at the end, or beginning of every movie. And yes, the ending – I haven’t seen it but read it somewhere before I could unsee it – made sense for the ‘last of Daniel Craig’, but for the franchise? We’ll have to talk to Barbara Brocolli, I suppose. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Your photo “looking for the plot” said it all. I’m still grinning. Yes, I’d call them the outlaws. 😉 Said with a smile it might work.

    Liked by 1 person

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