As I slowly descend into madness during this lock down, I watched a pile of James Bond films back to back. Here are some of my thoughts on the films.
- It’s the same plot in every film. At the end of act one Q appears with a couple of random gadgets, and in the final act, the random gadget saves the day. Every fucking time.
- Sean Connery is the best Bond. Until you watch Diamonds are Forever and a clearly overweight Connery is channelling Blankety Blank era Terry Wogan with a gun.
- During the 1980s Timothy Dalton era they decided sexism wasn’t good and made a big deal of it in the publicity for the films. And yet in The Living Daylights he smacks Moneypenny’s arse in the office (he does it off camera, but you hear it). That was them NOT being sexist.
- Daniel Craig is such a great actor. Really?! The whole way through every film it’s like he has a butt plug up his arse a couple of sizes too large.
- They had Gemma Arterton in Quantum of Solace and absolutely fail to give her any character whatsoever and she gets less than a minute’s screen time. A franchise filled with assorted ‘models’ with the acting range of a showroom dummy nailed to the floor, and while casting her early in her career, they didn’t think ‘fuck me she can really act, and looks sensational let’s use her properly’?! And *plot spoiler* they can’t bring her back, as they killed her character.
- Product placement in Spyfall. Hey Heineken, you want James Bond drinking your product? Give us a gazillion dollars. Okay we’ll have him drinking Heineken as he descends into alcoholism and we will subsequently show how that alcoholism makes his skills as a secret agent significantly worse. We will have him order a Martini, when he is back to his old self. You paid for that Heineken?! Really?
- Every single fight scene is pointless after 15 seconds and incredibly boring as we know he will ALWAYS be okay, as he’s James Bond and his plot armour will always protect him. It’s as engaging as watching someone else play a computer game, and is clearly them padding out time.
- If it wasn’t for the music, there would be no James Bond franchise. John Barry and the other composers are the real stars.
- I’ve nothing on the Roger Moore films, even on lockdown, no-one is bored enough to watch them.
- Ye know the train in Skyfall at the beginning? You know the digger bit. Bond attacks the last compartment of the train with a digger destroying it. Why doesn’t the train stop? They’ve lost a carriage, maybe passengers are dead. They’re definitely going to be in trouble for the digger being wrecked when they arrive. They just keep on going!
My favourite Bond film? The Bourne Identity. The first three Jason Bourne films piss all over the whole Bond franchise. The first one is particularly good (For those who say the second is best, you are wrong, you’re not Empire Strikes Backing that one. And for Star Wars fans, no Empire is not the best Star Wars film, you elitist bullshitters, because Empire has a fucking muppet in it, with a fucking muppet’s voice).
Bourne films two and three just re-hash the same main plot as number one, with a new layer of previously never mentioned boss revealed higher up each time, and Paul Greengrass proved with the fourth one, he’s just a hack, who clearly didn’t understand why the first ones were successful. Shaking the camera about a bit is only clever as you have a well written story to go with it. The fourth Bourne film with Greengrass at the helm is an abomination, and has destroyed the franchise probably forever.
The first Bourne film has character development, a story arc, two mysteries (we don’t know who he is, and he doesn’t know who he is) a love story where the female character is fully rounded, the greatest ever movie car chase, and a fantastic revenge plot that is cleverly written. It has the Bond locations (cold and dark ones), and a brilliant score, even Moby’s bit. With the exception of his ‘superhero’ skills, whenever he gets out of something, it’s always logical, thought out and shown to us the viewer. For example how to escape the embassy; by stealing a walkie talkie and using the fire escape map on the wall to navigate his way out, while listening to how they are coming after him. How to blow up a building and get out first; break the gas pipe, then put a magazine into a toaster to become a detonation timer. It’s not realistic, but in it’s own way it is relatable, clever, it’s thought out, it’s researched, it’s well written, and we the viewer get to see it unfold. We learn nothing from James Bond other than he is amazing and he coincidently always has a gadget that will get him out of what the villain has planned for him.
The main improvement Bourne has on Bond, in Bourne the bad guy is the state. The state is the good guy in James Bond. Now that’s not believable. The real life James Bond was probably in Boris Johnson’s class at school, and every bit as self entitled, lazy, incompetent, with a gun, and a licence to kill.