How do you rate the movie “007: No Time To Die”?

The tone of “No Time To Die” has been revealed in its rather unique opening scene: Madeleine and Bond are living a reclusive life, but see an attack in the water. It points to the ineradicable nature of Bond and Madeleine’s past special careers in life, foreshadowing the inevitable destruction of their simple love life by the general environment from which they cannot escape. The tragic tone is still established. The theme then begins to emerge further in an extremely soothing, slow-paced drama. In the relaxed coastal town, Madeleine follows the town’s custom of setting fire to the sky to “erase the past”, and 007 pays his respects to Linder’s grave, a scene that plays into the tone of the film and the completion of the series – he lights a note that Linder once gave to He lights the note he once gave himself, again with the same small-town custom, symbolizing his farewell to his past career and the imminent start of a new retirement; and this corresponds to the first film in the series, Casino Royale, which also enhances its sense of completion and symbolizes our imminent farewell to the Craig series.

However, the meaning of “Casino Royale” is also made clear later on, allowing the tragic tone to return quickly, and the explosion of the tomb of agent Vesper Lynd, to whom 007 wants to say goodbye, topples 007 to the ground. In a complex situation, 007 is clearly not in a position to end his career as an agent and passively continues to be involved. As his life becomes complicated once again, his love relationship with Madeleine becomes unclear: Madeleine seems to have ulterior motives that make 007 suspicious. This corresponds to the film’s theme that the past is hard to erase and a new life is hard to begin. The lineage of origin and the profession of a secret agent make it difficult for 007 and Madeleine to completely abandon these natural barriers and start a simple life as a couple. The film’s prologue shows 007’s reluctance to return to his career as a secret agent, leaving him at the point of death when he is surrounded by enemies and still unwilling to activate his seat’s weapons. But he can only turn it on at Madeleine’s constant pleading, returning the car to its familiar “combat form”. At the end of the prologue, in the line “we will not see each other again, this is the end”, he and Madeleine were separated by the train door, so that the tone of the prologue rose to the climax. In contrast to the prologue, when 007 makes his first appearance in the main film, it forms a contrast to the prologue. The fast boat, the jungle, the cabin, 007 seems to remain in the small-town life of the prologue, but the close-ups of the drawer mechanism, the gun in the hidden compartment, and the glimpses of him driving past men and women singing and dancing, all pull him away from the prologue – he is no longer truly retired, but, after an attack, is forced to return to to the dashing, cheerful, but ever-vigilant agent of the series.

The compulsion of the larger situation on him is also reflected in the way the new 007 appears. She meets Bond in a bar and proceeds in a kind of Bond girl flow that we are very used to: hook up, flirt, take home, “where’s the bedroom”. What happens next, however, is Bond Girl’s self-revelation of her identity as a secret agent – taking down her long, charming hair, which turns out to be a wig. Here, the director once again borrowed the usual elements of the series and used it to live, aiding the message of “forced to stay in the old life”. This “old life”, in fact, is the traditional content, the classic old story that we are accustomed to in the series. Bond’s resistance to these elements and the director’s breaking of these elements is a hint of “forced, wanting to say goodbye”. The reluctance of Bond’s car to open the weapon is the first one. The appearance of Bond girls in a similar but different way is the second. In addition to the new 007, there is also the appearance of the Spanish secret agent girl – when Bond is undressed by her and begins to seduce, about to enter the passionate scene we are used to, the girl again dispels the misunderstanding and allows Bond to change into a suit and carry out the task. And until the end, she does not have passion with Bond, but ends the handover cleanly. This is certainly a big difference from Vesper Lynd, or even earlier, Michelle Yeoh. For the series’ usual realist critique, the political metaphors of the contemporary Cold War, this film certainly has a focus on performance. Bond is forced to “No Time To Die”, is the mysterious and unpredictable external situation. In the prologue, he was swept up. And in the main film, he discovered that MI6’s Hercules plan – dna gas, in fact, is M’s long-planned. The action in the climactic paragraph is interspersed with the “political pressure” of “international parties are watching closely”. Clearly, over time, the government that Bond once served has become a form of terrorism that will stop at nothing to achieve its goals and has distorted values. The lines between good and evil, between the Sixth Branch and the anti-subversive organizations, between anti-terrorism and terrorism, have begun to blur. This is also a metaphor for the current reality of the international situation. With populism in full swing, the struggle between countries has gradually become superficial, acute and irreconcilable, and their style of action has begun to be unscrupulous, “fighting terrorism” has become a justification for their own purposes, and they themselves are more like the people they declare to fight. In this film, the development of a terrorist-flavored biochemical gas in the name of national justice is a manifestation of this. The lower limit of official values and morality is approaching infinitely to zero.

The good old days are completely extinct in “Skyfall”. The death of Judi Dench’s old M, the arrival of the new Iron Curtain, and the extreme darkness of the night when the “old is gone and the new is here” have ushered in a more desperate and crazy time for the world. In this film, we can also see some remnants of the old times – q, Moneypenny, Bond and other old people’s party, to revive the warmth of the old days. But, again, it’s the departure of the “old men” under the blanket of the situation – 007 goes from a warm Bond to a soldier-like task machine (when he first appears); Felix drifts away under Bond’s watchful eye, and there’s nothing Bond can do about it. At the Ghostbusters party, there is an extremely symbolic scene. The poisonous gas representing “Government Terrorism: Project Hercules” envelops Bond, and he cannot break free. They are unable to escape from the complex situation that has given them their identity and destiny, which makes them desperately seek the temperature, but in the end can not be obtained. The coldness of the general environment is transformed into a gradual change in the atmosphere of the scenes in the film – the calm and comfort of the prologue, after the transition to the Cuban tropics, falls into the middle and later paragraphs of almost every fight: jungle, fog, gray. The gradual change in scenery corresponds to Bond’s state in it, from momentary simplification to being re-involved in the situation, fighting and shooting reluctantly through the scenes. As mentioned earlier, Bond’s relationship with Madeleine becomes an excellent way to show this. The film maintains the complexity of the portrayal of their relationship. They love each other, but their original identities ultimately prevent them from fully trusting and simply getting along as lovers. In the prologue, Bond is easily divorced. And the main film, the villain reminded Madeleine’s identity, but also created Madeleine and his organization’s relevance. Madeleine wants to get rid of the past, but because of the “past” and used by the villain, resulting in Blofeld’s death. Further, this makes it difficult for her to maintain the ideal pure relationship with Bond, and is drawn into the vortex of this complex situation.

In the movie, Bond has always maintained independence from all forces, even in the impact of these forces, to their own personal emotions. He will taunt the “terrorist” M, “is the table too big, or you small”, will also violate the rules of the agent in front of Blofeld, anger choke him, and will protect his family in the chaos of the parties. Except for his family, he is in fact not subordinate to all forces. This makes him the one who is in opposition to the overall situation, trying to break free in this environment, to get their own “out of the world”. Therefore, the warmth of family, the interaction between Bond and his family, is a very central element in this work – Bond’s goal is to return to the small town life in the prologue, amidst the “split” between himself and Madeleine given by the complex situation. This gives the work a warm feeling, but is also shrouded in a cold, gray atmosphere. Each reunion between Bond and Madeleine is quickly interrupted by circumstance, and subsequently separated. After the prologue, they are reunited in the prison, and for a time, they make peace, but are quickly undermined by Madeleine’s complex identity, and she quickly escapes, following the prologue, once again separated from Bond by automatic doors. Next, Madeleine’s home, in the Bond “do not care about your past” statement, the two found the warmth of family. But then, the villain snatched Madeleine’s mother and son from Bond’s hands. Because of her own identity, Madeleine is always being taken away by the villain, and let this become the biggest obstacle to her relationship with Bond’s family. This is in fact the main role of the villainous Safin in the film – to be the embodiment and symbol of a complex situation, repeatedly pestering, evoking, and exploiting Madeleine’s identity to undermine her family life with Bond, forcing them to struggle with their respective background attributes. Since this film, as a commercial film, ultimately cannot be too explicit and revealing, cannot point the finger directly at the real references behind those, and must seek such a condensed existence. His real meaning is guided by his substantial equivalence with MI6 – both seek to use poison gas, in a terrorist way, to achieve their goals; and his words to Bond, “We all kill to achieve our goals”, make equates himself with the work style of MI6.

On the other hand, the role of Safin’s “situation incarnate” also constitutes a test of choice for Bond and the others, as does the “splitting of the family” caused by his specific actions. In the climactic passage, he first uses Bond’s daughter to make Bond give up his pride as an agent and apologize, and then does an extremely symbolic act – after Bond’s daughter bites him, he lets her “leave” without making an entanglement.

This seemingly unconventional move by the villain makes Safin’s symbolism even stronger. And a similar counter-normality also occurs in his actions at the end. In the face of his opponent’s counter-attack, he does little to actively and effectively confront Bond, instead almost obstinately confronting him, keeping him from escaping, making him stay with him, only to inject Bond with dna gas so that he can no longer get close to Madeleine, thus destroying his return to Madeleine’s family and preventing him from becoming the “non-007 ” Bond.

This shows that, more than a normal villain, Safin is performing the function of a reminder of the bloodline of Madeleine’s mother and son, and a saboteur of Madeleine’s and Bond’s “efforts to break away from their identities”, so that they, including their related Bond, are constantly facing their original selves, unable to move towards a new life. His shadowing of the Bond family also acts as a barrier to the “environment” he represents, keeping him from breaking away from his original environment.

Therefore, when Bond’s daughter abandons herself as the “heir of righteousness”, he does not stop her, but leads the film to the theme, a glimpse of hope – the next generation after Bond, they will escape from the current situation, like his daughter Mathilde, to a sunny exit. Out, like daughter Mathilde, towards a sunny exit. And before that, she almost touched the highly poisonous plant at one point, but also in a piece of sunlight with the tension of the atmosphere at the time, the hand retracted.

The film has a nice hint of the referential nature of the villain to the real environment. The terrorist equivalence between MI6’s Hercules program and the Safin program, the equivalence in style between Safin and government agents, is the first layer. The poison gas they shared, and that Safin cultivated and planted, becomes the second layer. In the Ghostbusters party, the gas then surrounds Bond, making it impossible for him to get out. Such a picture makes the gas a typical symbol of the environmental situation that also “envelops” Bond, along with its master, Safin.

At the end, the director gives an expression of both despair and hope. On the one hand, he completely denies the “present” represented by Bond. Bond is injected with poison gas and can no longer get close to Madeleine and return to his family. The reality of the circumstances represented by the gas is also made clear afterwards – under the helplessness of “international attention to this operation”, M can no longer “try to get around the countries”. The shot over Bond’s shoulder, which greets the missile, also brings to the fore the message that Bond has been killed by the “international”. Bond picks up his daughter’s doll and climbs to the zenith overlooking the coast, as if returning to the town of Prologue, but he is greeted only by the missiles fired under international pressure, and the bombing of everything. He confirms the existence of those feelings in reality, believes in the simple love and affection that cannot be deprived of even in complicated times, and says “I know”. However, in the present moment, he can only face the missiles and death brought by the “international”.

Bond is in the present moment, which is ultimately such a cold time, that everyone is unable to break free from these complex and dark international circumstances. This even includes M – he mediates several times to buy time, but in the end, he can only launch missiles, just as he stares at the old M photo helplessly. However, the work also gives hope for the future: the next generation, perhaps, will have a positive world that welcomes the light. The choice of Bond’s daughter, the sunshine that Madeline and her son are bathed in at the end, and the new 007 of the next film series, from the rigidity of the “organization’s mission machine” to the warmth of the jokes with Bond, all give hope for the “future of the next generation”. You’ll have plenty of time for that later”.

“No Time To Die” continues the realistic metaphorical style of the Craig series, but also has the usual problems generated by it. The villains are too symbolic, and their presence as individual characters is too weak. Their own actions, often lacking logical rationale, even seem to “have no plan”, only to create trouble for Bond, leading and forcing him deeper into the darkness, rather than to complete their own goals. Thus, their so-called grand plan, but also only an empty frame, will not have too many follow-up changes, the overall stay in the vague rhetoric.

Throughout this work, the limitations caused by the overwhelming symbolism of the villain is a consistent problem of the series, except for “Casino Royale”, almost none of which is spared. However, the real battle in this film is not between Bond and Safran, but between Bond and the circumstances of the time, and furthermore, his struggle to defend his family in the circumstances. The love line between Bond and Madeleine is the main focus. The excellent emotional power of the portrayal, the teasing, the flirting, the entanglement, and the final parting, Bond’s ultimate confirmation of the warmth of his family, all make the most central part of this work, solid enough to be flawed.

More interesting than the flaws of the villain, is something else. At the end, the director gives a positive hope for future times, that things will get better. However, the film, including the James Bond series, seems itself to be the perfect statement of the poor present – not, of course, in terms of the realistic revelation of the subject matter, but in terms of the new Black+Woman 007. They are things that do exist in life and can be reflected in any production if needed. The “Life of Adele,” in which Léa Seydoux stars as a lesbian, and the “male” version of “Call Me by Your Name,” as well as “Carol,” which focuses on female independence, and “Moonlight Boy” and “Green Book,” which reflect the presence of black people in society, are all great works. But the premise is that “where necessary” – a character set that combines all the “politically correct” attributes of Europe and the United States, it is difficult to clear the suspicion that it is deliberate. And this kind of intentionality will make the movie creation leave the completely content-oriented, and mixed into too many non-film motives, so that the creation is no longer pure.

There is no reason not to accept the work around the need to do normal expression. This is the case with Madeleine’s repeated attempts to control the enemy in this film. The work from the level of deliberate, it must be abrupt, but also must be forced to insert, artificial accumulation, a glance can be seen. The “Avengers IV”, a sudden group photo, and then scattered, no sense of the plot of the “female alliance”, is such. The appearance of the new James Bond, who is politically correct in a way that is unnecessary in the context of the film and completely contrary to the original novel, makes it hard not to be a little repulsed, no matter how successful her performance is in subsequent works, which is certainly not against the actor. It’s not about the standard of the film, it’s more about the “non-film aspect” and the fact that the film is not purely about the act itself.

However, from another perspective, this may also constitute the underlying psychology of the film’s creators to give “No Time To Die” the tendency of expression – “express your position, show political correctness, even if you avoid it, you are still a public enemy”. The “present moment” is making their film creation in this kind of environment impossible to be pure, impossible to be detached from it, “no time to die”. In this way, this work, in addition to the already good emotional power of the content, seems to be more “sincere”.