- For the first time ever, a child is featured in an action sequence in a James Bond movie.
- It happens at the end of “No Time to Die” and for this parent it was not fun to watch.
- Spoilers below if you have not seen “No Time to Die.”
James Bond movies are known for having amazing action sequences filled with shots, explosions and beautiful people. But “No Time to Die” went on to raise the stakes by having a child in the mix with Bond as he ran away from the evil guy. As a parent, it took me completely out of the movie, and the only thing I could think of were the years of therapy that this child had to go through.
Call me old-fashioned, but I enjoy my Bond movies where the action is exciting but easy. I do not need to know that any evil henchmen escape unscathed, but I do crawl when small children are in the mix.
Director Cary Joji Fukunaga is known for his beautifully shot action sequences that are grounded in reality and often do not shy away from ultra-violence. This is evident in the memorable long take he made for the first season of “True Detective” and the bloody battles in the Netflix movie “Beasts of No Nation” (which also featured children, but older than the one in “No Time to Die” “).
For “No Time to Die,” Fukunaga’s love of mature action is lifted to extreme heights thanks to the limitless resources a Bond film provides its storytellers. We see Bond dive down from a bridge, use all the toys in his Aston Martin and on his own kill a bunch of villains at the end of the film (another long roof). But it is clear that Fukunaga and Daniel Craig, who marked his last time as Bond, also wanted to pull at our heartstrings.
In the third act of the film, we, along with Bond, are shocked to hear that his flame Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) has a child named Mathilde (Lisa-Dorah Sonnet).
With danger on the horizon, the three jump into Bond’s car and drive into the Norwegian countryside. But the villain Safin (Rami Malek) and his fans find them, and an exciting car chance arises.
While Bond races out into the country, little Mathilde crawls into her back
While Bond floors it and does his best to dodge bullets and explosions, little Mathilde sneaks into her back.
As a parent, I ask: Does it really need to be in a Bond movie? Couldn’t Fukunaga and Bond’s brain trust just come up with a sequence where Bond separates from Madeleine and Mathilde and all the bad guys chase him?
Since I am a father, I get worried when I drive my kids on the highway about what could potentially happen. And I’ve certainly had to do some creative maneuvers in the past to get out of danger while having the family in the car (anyone who drives on Garden State Parkway in New Jersey knows what I mean). So when I saw all the horror going on while Mathilde was stuck in the back seat with her mother and this strange man she had just met – I could not wait until it was over.
I understand that with “No Time to Die” they were really trying to take things to the next level for Craig’s exit from the franchise, but for me the car chase scene was disappointing. For a movie that had some really impressive actions, it just wasn’t necessary to add that element.
So, keeper of the James Bond flame, producer Barbara Broccoli, I really do not care who the next Bond will be. You and your family do not seem to have a problem choosing them for decades. But let’s make “Not Time to Die” the first and last time we involve kids in the Bond action.
“No Time to Die” is going to the cinema at the moment.