November 29, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Are We Losing James Bond?

Daniel Craig In Quantum Of Solace

I was just chatting with a couple of friends who were fuming about Quantum Of Solace and how bad it was. One was calling it the worst movie of the decade especially coming as it does after the excellent Casino Royale and the other was calling it the most hyped movie, but with no soul and nothing to offer inside of it. Well I did see Quantum Of Solace myself and did review it too. While I would not go so far as my friends in bringing down Quantum Of Solace, I too would state I am worried with what is happening to the James Bond I have grown up on and loved so immensely especially right from my very childhood. Don’t get me wrong. Quantum Of Solace is good though not very good while on the other hand Casino Royale rocked big time! However, the question on my mind as other James Bond enthusiasts is are we losing James Bond as we know him. Things did take a wrong turn when Peirce Brosnan took over, not that he was bad or a wrong choice for James Bond. It is just that the wrongs started at the same time Pierce Brosnan took over with James Bond’s flirtatious nature being toned down, a woman taking over as M, stronger women oriented characters/leads making their way into the James Bond franchise like Halle Berry in Die Another Day, Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies, etc. I personally don’t have anything against strong women characters in movies. In fact I would say we need them, but that does not mean diluting James Bond’s character and making him more and more ineffective just because women’s liberation says so. The character of James Bond is loved because of what he is, an incorrigible flirt, a person who enjoys the best life has to offer in terms of clothes, gadgets, cars, etc., and a person who enjoys killing, but of course only killing the bad guys. To me, however, all of this has gone missing with the last two James Bond outings. There is no Q, no gadgets, no Moneypenny, not even the flirtatious James Bond we have grown to love over the years. I was watching The World Is Not Enough from my personal collection just yesterday and I really loved the suave Peirce Brosnan playing James Bond. The guy was adjusting his tie underwater in a high speed chase on the river Thames at the beginning of the movie. You would never see Daniel Craig do that. James Bond walked into MI6 and immediately began flirting with Ms. Moneypenny only to be interrupted by M. Moneypenny’s character has been missing in James Bond movies altogether only to be replaced by Vesper Lynd whose love and subsequent death are the only things that seem to be driving James Bond these days. What about Crown, Queen and Country Mr. Bond? Getting personal is not a bad thing, but making everything personal for James Bond certainly is. I really love the new direction the James Bond franchise is taking from when Daniel Craig took over. However, I do not agree with weeding out the other regular James Bond characters like Q, Ms. Moneypenny, the electronic toys/gadgets, the cars and boats, etc. since they all played an important part in making James Bond the James Bond we know and have come to love. Quantum Of Solace while good does not stand out or even identify itself as a James Bond movie. Some reviews have even called it a poor copy of the Bourne series. In fact Daniel Craig does not even say once “My name is Bond, James Bond” which is a sad thing to say for James Bond fans like me. The makers of James Bond are doing a great disservice to the James Bond franchise with so many changes departing from the real James Bond that I have grown up with. The character of James Bond is supposed to be a fun person, never taking anything seriously, an escapist to the core and not someone to be bothered with daily affairs or the humdrum of daily living. That’s precisely the reason why all of us want to be James Bond. Life is exciting being James Bond, not dour, sour, mean and mirroring real life. Anyways, I will end my tirade here and don’t even get me started on the useless buggers playing the bad guys these days like Le Chiffre and Dominic Greene. Whatever happened to Francisco Scaramanga???

Rajiv Abraham