No Mr Bond unlike Diamonds, movies aren’t meant to last forever. What makes them ‘great’ is the ability to look back and reminisce on the classics. Isn’t it time we let go of James Bond? This isn’t simply because I can’t stand Daniel Craig’s portrayal of the character (looks as miserable and joyless as Timothy Dalton did in the role) or Mr Craig himself stated he would rather slit his wrist rather than make the forth coming No Time To DIe
This is about the constant attempt to update the character and bring him into line with current trends and world issues. This was admirable for a time. I grew up with Sean Connery and Roger Moore as my Bonds. Connery was always too cool for school and he knew it. All the ladies wanted him. He was brooding but still had charm to spare. Moore just always seemed over the moon to be playing the World’s Greatest Spy, getting all the ladies and having fun with the gadgets. I fully appreciated the ability in which Pierce Brosnan was able to merge some of the best characteristics of those two portrayals’ to create a thoroughly enjoyable version of the British Super Spy. But even back then there were issues with ‘modernising’ Bond to meet current society specific norms and this has only increased as the years have gone on. Bond was a product of a certain time in history where it was ok to be sexist, where the more gadgets you had the better. Where the world conflicts were very different as were the rules of engagement. Think about this, Bond has a licence to kill from the Queen.
Not a licence to kill bad guys but a licence to kill anyone that obstructs his mission. And even with the bad guys, he wasn’t arresting them to face any kind of justice (how many villains has Bond arrested?) He just kills them-judge, jury and executioner, no trial or having their day in court. I’m fairly sure the Human rights lawyers would have a field day suing the British Government! You can’t update a licence to kill and if you take that away you are removing one of his core characteristics. Also, a super spy needs to be covert, blend in, almost invisible. Yet James goes all over the world telling everyone his name, never even attempting to conceal his identity. With current technology, most of the world governments would have him spotted and assassinated in a few hours. So to update the character would also involve adjusting those elements. But is he still Bond if he can’t walk into a casino and say ‘Bond, James Bond’.
Also, a super spy needs to be covert, blend in, almost invisible
The Bond series is going through a major identity crisis. The producers saw the success of the Borne movies in the early 2000s’ and decided they wanted to copy that style because people seemed to like its ‘realism’. But there are reasons why James and his film series has endured as long as it has. Bond girls, Bond gadgets and great one liners when dispatching a bad guy. All these have been copied and emulated by Hollywood for years. Every action star from Schwarzenegger, to Bruce Willis all have done this so much, it’s almost become a stable of action movies to make a wise crack after despatching your foe. In trying to become more Bourne and be more serious/realistic, Bond lost his own identity and almost all his gadgets in tow (even though from the latest trailer they are trying to bring some back). In my opinion, any of the last few Mission Impossible movies have provided much better Spy Cinematic entertainment.
We have all also become obsessed with whether Bond should/could be Black (#Idris) or needs to stay white? Or if we could have a #femaleBond. Or just who should be the next Bond all together
Maybe the real question should be ‘Is 25 films not enough?’. Let collectors complete their Box sets and put a bookmark on this series- let the legendary character actually become legend! They have the option of investing the money in a brand new Series, built for this generation that acknowledges current concerns like Human Rights Issues, Climate Change and a lead character who can actually use a computer themselves! If they do it right who knows, they may get another 25 film series.
For now, Mr Bond, I think there is time to die.
The next Bond entry’ No time to die‘ will be released Nov 2020