vodka martini-fueled thoughts on Bond… James Bond

300px-007_logo.svgI have loved James Bond movies all my life. I love a good caper flick, but 007 movies were guaranteed to have several other elements as well: great music; sexy ladies who swoon into “Oh, JAMES!”‘s arms; ridiculous puns; broad humor; exotic, glamorous locations; shameless non-PC behavior. Bond himself is an übermensch, too good to be true: he’s brilliant, and sophisticated, and multilingual, and deadly, and utterly loyal to Queen and Country (ok, I don’t actually think that’s a positive, but in his own warped way, Bond is married to Her Royal Majesty and is willing to lay down his life for her, and that’s kinda cool in an old school, wildly unlibertarian way).

Roger Moore was my first Bond; my childhood just happened to fall between Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan. He was just so over-the-top silly and suave and tanned and punny, like a caricature. Since childhood, I’ve learned to appreciate the more rugged appeal of O-B (Original Bond) Sean. And Pierce Brosnan is just the embodiment of the character, IMNSHO. (Shout-out to Timothy Dalton for his brief stint as Bond.)

When they remade the series with a new Bond, Daniel Craig, of course I checked it out.  And… was more than disappointed. I was shocked and appalled. It’s like they stripped away all subtlety, all sexiness, all humor, and left nothing but violence.  Craig has the face of a thug, almost simian (I know some women dig him, but he just doesn’t do it for me). He is ruthless, humorless, and cold. I’m currently rewatching the first movie he stars in, Casino Royale, and this is what I’ve noticed just 35 minutes in:

  • no more Bond theme song I’ve loved all my life
  • no ridiculously over-the-top dancing sexy naked chicks during the opening credits; instead, it’s just images of Bond killing people. Over… and over… and over.
  • theme song is sung by a man, not a woman (although OK, Chris Cornell is double-plus hot, but still, what happened to the traditional torchy female theme song?
  • I’m 35 minutes in and he hasn’t even banged any chicks yet. WTF?
  • he kills people he’s not even *supposed* to kill, as if he just does it out of sheer wolverine pleasure. That’s not the Bond *I* know and love, who could drive a stolen Russian tank down a busy thoroughfare and miraculously manage not to injure any innocent bystanders.
  • there’s no Q. No fun gadgets. Come on, guys, I need more than just the Aston Martin…

Update: OK, he’s making googly eyes at a femme fatale now.  No, wait… he’s *leaving her alone at the hotel* to go chase bad guys, without even having sex with her first.  ???

Further update: The new Bond will only sleep with a woman with whom he has fallen in love. Is this the new, safe sex Bond? Family values Bond?  Maybe not, cuz after she dies, he refers to her as a “bitch” and runs right back to his job of killing whomever M tells him to.

The new Bond is brutal.  Cold.  He’s… Brutalist Bond.  Ugh.  Is this what Hollywood thinks the world wants now? And even worse… could they be right?

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