No Time To Die's True Detective Fight Scene Explained

Warning: Major spoilers ahead for No Time To Die

A key moment in No Time To Die is eerily reminiscent of an iconic sequence from the first season of HBO's popular crime anthology, True Detective. Although the new James Bond movie and the gritty drama are, in many ways, wildly different, there are nonetheless several striking similarities between them. Nowhere is this more obvious than in No Time To Die's exhilarating final action set piece.

At the climax of the movie, Bond goes on a rampage through an assortment of Safin's henchmen, fighting his way through a throng in order to open the World War Two-era missile bay doors that hold the key to destroying the base. Not only does the scene demonstrate Bond at his fighting best, killing dozens of enemies with ease, but the scene itself is shot as a single fluid take. This approach highlights the physical difficulty involved as well as ratcheting up the tension as Bond moves through a narrow stairwell, engaging in intense and occasionally hand-to-hand combat.

Related: No Time To Die: Safin’s Plan Needed Blofeld

Because of the length of the take and the complex mechanics involved in coordinating the scene, the sequence really stands out in a film full of spectacular action. However, although the tracking shot effect is a remarkable technical achievement, it also links Bond directly with one of the most memorable moments in recent small-screen history – specifically, the now legendary "Who Goes There" sequence in season 1, episode 4 of True Detective in which Matthew McConaughey's Cohle kidnaps biker Ginger and negotiates rioters and gang members in order to get them both to freedom.

In both scenes, the action closely follows the lead protagonist, highlighting the perilous situation from their perspective. Not only does this ably demonstrate just how fraught with danger each scene actually is, but it also places the audience effectively within the action. This makes what's happening on screen feel significantly more visceral than a series of quick cuts, while also amplifying the physicality involved. Additionally, both scenes also involve close-quarters combat as well as a journey through several metaphorical as well as physical obstacles, providing a further connection.

In many ways, it isn't surprising that the two scenes feel incredibly similar as they happen to share a director. Before signing on for Bond, Cary Joji Fukunaga served as both the executive producer and director of True Detective season 1, meaning that the entire show bears his signature stamp. As a result, the tracking sequence during the "Who Goes There" episode in many ways lays the groundwork for the more polished, intricate action on display in the Bond movie.

However, while the similarities between Fukunaga's camerawork in both pieces are uncanny – especially during the show's interior, close-up moments – there are also some differences between them. For instance, the True Detective sequence is arguably an even more impressive achievement as it involves coordinating a range of extras and blending interior and exterior settings, whereas Bond takes place exclusively in a stairwell. Conversely, the actual action in No Time To Die is probably more impressive than the show's, with Bond's fighting abilities on full display. Nonetheless, it is notable that two seemingly distinct properties share a common thread thanks to the one-shot approach.

More: Every Location In No Time To Die Explained



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