No Time to Die

I don’t often write about films, especially ones that aren’t even released and that I don’t have any particular inclination to see but I do love some of the Bond films and today’s title leak provided me a moment to talk about them with some fond memories.

From the beginning of the Bond series in the the 1960s, it has brought entertainment to many using a formulaic writing style. The the characters may change but elements of each story remain the same, the villain character has long been a fixture as have the ever revered ‘Bond Girls’ a badge of honour much like the 007 badge itself. Debates on the best Bond’s have raged for decades, who did it best? For me no question Sean Connery others would disagree and that’s another discussion for another day.

Books & Films
As with all great authors the publishing house that Ian Fleming approached to publish his first James Bond novel was extremely reluctant, but with its success you can see why they would then support someone taking over the reigns to continue writing the books to support such a large film franchise such as 007.
The 25th film has now has its title revealed – “No Time to Die.” If you change to Google the title you will find a slew of articles discussing whether Bond will be killed off and this will be the final film, there’s those that argue it cant be because the title basically means the same as three or other four titles “Die Another Day”, “Live and Let Die”. Then there are other articles reporting the latest filming – exclusive reveal – it ends with Bond falling off a bridge – its going to be a real nail biter! Ruined for some? I think so, ruined for me? no unfortunately I exited the franchise after Quantum of Solace despite some of the older films being questionable they were still in keeping with the spirit of the brand, the formulaic nature was still entertaining. The change of Bond was not for me, sorry Daniel Craig, hes not blonde and hes not you, the change in writing showed that they had forgotten the true roots of the books, Officers do not have emotions. Lest we forget that if we really analyse James Bond’s misogynistic attitude towards women, and his relationship with alcohol, he maybe a mysterious and incredibly talented spy but his psychopathic disregard for human life is not someone you would want to meet in real-life nor is it appropriate to glorify the behaviour.

This is not a chance for me to lambaste Hollywood for the unequal way in which women are portrayed, there were often female villains or at least assistants, Onatop for example leveraged her physical power. Bond girls are often portrayed as strong and beautiful, with a slightly masculine look, then there is Moneypenny, feminine and sweet, the original character was M’s assistant and viewed in the same manner by Bond who used her as and when it suited him for tasks, forever implying an underlying sexual tension which was added by the film writers not Fleming, Moneypenny was never really considered a Bond girl because of their solely professional relationship. One thing that the newest Bond films do have in their favour is the strengthening of Moneypenny’s character who has evolved over the past few films into a field agent, something that is quite the opposite of the original Lois Maxwell who often remained behind the desk the entire time. Naomie Harris is an amazing choice for the role and challenging ingrained Hollywood stereo types.

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