13 August 2021 850 Views

#FLEMINGFRIDAY: No Time to Flop? 007 needs $900 million to break even. So what?

by James Murphy

The trolls are at it again. RELISHING, it seems the prospect of a Bond movie under-performing?

STOP IT. Stop it, NOW!

NO TIME TO DIE is, of course, under immense financial pressure as a product. THREE delays and more by no means impossible (all starting with the initial, pre pandemic, Danny Boyle departure induced changes). Ok, those have inevitably, raised the bar on the box office return for true profit. I get it! Even the most dedicated fan is not going to deny there is indeed a rather pressing and problematic burden facing the 007 franchise.

What I cannot accept, however, are idiots who claim that this is a flop in waiting. That’s simply not the case. And even if the film does take a hit rather become one? That is because of the unforeseen overheads. It is NOT because Bond went ‘woke’. In any event, you have no proof for that assertion. Have you seen a rough cut of the picture? No. So don’t review it before release.

 

Yes, Bond begins the film in retirement and a lady has therefore become the new 007, it seems. That’s not some political undermining of James, so much as a very pertinent reflection of reality. The armed services host many a beautiful girl who excels in the field. I met one recently, at a lovely wedding. She was exquisite and especially so, in dress uniform. Spoken for, naturally and quite right, too. But my point still stands. I digress, sorry..where was I? Oh yes..

..Just as Bond is replaced onscreen by new actors so in the character’s own reality, a fresh candidate would be selected for field operations in his absence / event of death or resignation. Daniel Craig’s take on the part always built in a sense of consequence and cause/effect in its own morality. 

There was every possibility of the iteration therefore completing a tenure dead, retired, replaced or all three? And though he will inevitably have reduced the womanising, that’s because the story presents the man in love and /or lost as indeed the books did on occasion.

This 007 is still an adventurous sort who excels at killing and saving the world in style, with masculinity, class and a fusion of the rugged and the refined. None of those qualities, prima facie, have been compromised, adjusted or lost. So stop stirring your blogs and You Tube hits as though they were, before the movie has come out. It’s tempting fate, needlessly so.

And on that note? The question remains as to WHY you would write with venom about a brand for which you also profess some love? It beggars belief. That trend is destroying film and other media criticism, as I noted in the Masters of the Universe fallout. I do not wish to tarnish all with one brush btw. Quite the opposite in fact. It’s perfectly fine to voice reservation in moderation. Many do.

Indeed, it is something of a cultural duty to make a view known when a product about which you care is either doing very well or at risk of doing badly. Same way you vote a politician in or out or lobby your chosen football teams for shifts in player/manager choice. 

I myself make clear that certain actors/directors et al do not float my boat and I respond to their work with an occasionally satirical tone. But I don’t wish them ill or take any relish in a film underperforming. Nobody wins when a movie flops. People lose money and consequently, job security, at a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty in the entertainment trades. Nobody should want that.

Above all: never forget that Bond does best when his back is to the wall. Could they have streamed this? Sure. Except MGM/Universal/EON is not Disney and Amazon do not yet own 007. James BELONGS on a big screen. And it is apt that a Bond film should reopen the availability of cinema, universally, after a dark time.

The Spy Who Loved Me, GoldenEye, Skyfall: all performed to record breaking, series defining numbers, against impossible odds. I expect NO TIME TO DIE will follow suit and not just break even but silence all doubters with a new billion dollar plus gross. The only question for the lovely Barbara Broccoli as producer, is where they go..next..

JAMES BOND WILL RETURN. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND. TRANSMISSION ENDS. X



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