NO TIME TO DIE by Victoria Alexander

Updated: Oct 1


You’ll be thrilled to know that the Woke Army has won. The masculine icon of a 60 year reign is over. Bond, an archetype who was desired by all women who met him and an unrepentant warrior is now monogamous and madly in love. He almost cries. And there is a logic problem with the plot.


In CRY MACHO, 91 year-old Clint Eastwood directs every female in the film to look at him with sex on their mind. He’s bemused but still has the time to please the hungry ladies, no matter how young they are. Well, Clint works on a tight budget, a fast schedule and produces, directs and stars. If he wants to be seen on screen as a 91 year old virile movie star, as he usually does, no one is going to tell him his demographics stay home and do not have cable channels.


What NO TIME TO DIE has done is neutered the iconic James Bond of the novels and past films. Bond was a man with a steel temperament and a passionate libido. He has always been portrayed as a well-built tall man with beautiful manners, a sophisticated air, and a sexual charm that does not need convincing. Women can tell by looking at him that he is slightly cruel (his line of work requires that type of personality) yet a passionate lover. He was every woman’s bad boy for a night.


Who talked Daniel Craig into taking the persona of James Bond and killing off his sexual dynamism? Who cowered to the #MeToo movement and made Bond a weary, lovesick stay-at-home retiree? Ian Fleming must have failed to legally impose restrictions on what could be done to his billion-dollar character. This is why there has been talk of a female 007, a black 007, a transgender 007, and a teenage 007.


So far, the estate of J. D. Salinger has followed his wishes that no film be made of Catcher in the Rye, but in 2080 the book will enter the public domain and will become an interactive hologram where everyone becomes Holden Caulfield – for a price.


When Bond is given a tuxedo to change into, he tells the young agent to turn around! His modesty is in the forefront of his mind not the mission they are walking into. Gone is the Bond theme music. No one skis. Bond is losing his hair and it’s never combed. And when Craig’s paycheck is $50 million, yeah, you want to churn out a 2 hour, 43 minute film.


Even beautiful Lea Seydoux, who plays Bond’s love Madeleine Swann, is not given a wardrobe fitting a Bond character. In fact, there are no Bond females interested in one night stands with James. Sure, he still looks good in a tuxedo but not swimming trunks.


In sensational southern Italy - at least Bond still have breathtaking locations - Madeleine and James have just finished making love. She leaves the bed in a baggy T-shirt. He lies in bed looking at her like a lovesick teenager. Bond never bothered checking out his girlfriend’s identity? Didn’t “M” (Ralph Fiennes) or the MI6 crew do some research on who was spending time with one of their agents?


Their happy sightseeing holiday is ruined when an army of hellbent killers try to kill Bond. He blames Madeleine for revealing his whereabouts and drops her off on a train. His last comment to Madeleine is only thing that is Fleming’s Bond in NO TIME TO DIE.


The film jumps five years and Bond is in his idyllic Jamaican estate. Bond’s monastic lifestyle is challenged when a woman offers him a lift when his Jeep doesn’t work. Back at her place it’s not sex she wants. He’s not her type. Nomi (Lashana Lynch) is a young MI6 agent. Nomi, as well as Bond’s buddy, CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), both want Bond to return to saving the world by rescuing a genetic scientist held in Cuba.



NO TIME TO DIE also addresses Hollywood’s lack of diversity in casting women actors. Hollywood is embroiled in what is called its colorism problem. Hollywood has been accused of only casting black actresses that do not represent the range of blackness seen in today’s society. Viola Davis has spoken publicly about the early struggles she faced due to her dark skin tone.


Nomi has been awarded Bond’s 00 number. Unlike superstar athletes whose numbers are retired at the end of their career, MI6 reuses numbers. There’s no wall with photos of the past hero 00’s. So when will Bond work with 001 or 010?


By the way, 010 is a transgendered, autistic 14 year old with a lisp and a limp.

The 00’s never bother with pissant missions. It’s either save the world or stay home. Their villains are always mega-rich but not Mansa Masa of the Mali Empire rich. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have a long way to go topping Masa1. Mansa Masa has been considered the wealthiest human ever. By today’s estimation, Masa had $400 billion in tax-free money.

The new villain behind the capture of the scientist is Safin (Rami Malek) who has built an empire without anyone noticing. Shame on you CIA and MI6! Safin owns an island staffed hundreds. He has brought a genetic virus that might destroy humanity. He also has a disfigured face from childhood acne. If he did know Madeleine years ago, she never bothered looking for him.


Old villain Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) is back and it appears his human rights are being violated. He’s in Charlize Theron’s FAST AND FURIOUS glass cabinet. Thankfully, Safin does not have a Stooges hairdo.


I’ve asked several colleagues who have seen NO TIME TO DIE to explain a plot point. How the hell does Bond contract the virus without touching anyone or anything?


Also back are M (Ralph’s Fiennes), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw). M yells at Bond, Moneypenny barely acknowledges Bond and Q has left gadgets for cooking. The only skill Bond has is he runs fast and defies being killed by machine guns.


The Hollywood Reporter has handsome director Cary Joji Fukunaga on its cover. He is being promoted as Hollywood’s savior. Well, a Bond film is a war machine and war does not abide favorite individual warriors, unless it's Achilles. Technically we get our money’s worth. That’s about it. Bond should have been left fishing and living in his door-free abode.


The tinkering with the script and the addition of Phoebe Waller-Bridge was another concession to today’s stringent moral climate. If Phoebe did sanitize the Bond persona, she did her job. Bond is stripped of charisma, sex appeal and a “kill first ask questions later” attitude.


For a complete list of Victoria Alexander's movie reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

go to: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/critic/victoria-alexander/movies