Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bond Film Coming Out

The news that there is a new James Bond film coming out this year has me all excited, as I have seen every one of them (including the 1967 spoof, Casino Royale, with Woody Allen and Peter Sellers) and am well steeped in the lore behind this brilliant secret agent who somehow lives well on his British government salary (who says they're practicing austerity there?) and never seemed to seriously consider going private except in that one movie with Timothy Dalton?

Sure, we could get caught up in the lack of realism in the films, such as:

1) Bond rarely wears any disguise, and almost always introduces himself as "James Bond".  Even if he decided that there's no need for secrecy with the hot chick he's currently trying to sleep with, isn't that still a bit of a security risk?  A lot of people want him dead, and at the very least his security clearance is in jeopardy.

2) Bond seems to frequent special casinos where everyone is dressed black tie--not a fanny pack, slot machine or obese weirdo in sight.  Where are these casinos?  Definitely not on the Strip, that's for certain.

3) We never see Bond ask what drinks are on special, or wince at the price of a martini.  Government expense accounts usually don't cover alchohol, though maybe Ms. Moneypenny fudges Bond's reports for him.

4) Bond always has to seduce a good looking woman, and these women never tell him they have a boyfriend.  Don't secret agents ever have to cozy up to ugly chicks?  Or chicks who are at least faithful to the men in their lives?

5) Bond never has to fly coach.  I would very much like to see how Bond deals with the screaming baby problem.

6) Bond never happens upon a supreme, eccentric overlord's lair, only to discover that the overlord isn't actually doing anything illegal or wrong at all.  Just a very rich guy with a lot of business ventures, who likes to have armed minions and femme fatales around, in his remote underground lair.  Bond would have to reconcile himself to just playing ping pong with the guy before going back to London and telling his superiors that there's nothing to report.

7) Bond never discovers the bad guys' evil plan, and then just phones in air support and takes off.  After all, in real life it seems silly to waste a top intelligence resource on a mop-up mission when they have trained SAS teams and RAF bombers that can knock out the bad guy and his army in one swoop.

But the fantasy is what draws us in--the impossibly exotic locales, the gripping situations that we know Bond is going to get out of, the great and beguiling women he will encounter, and the formidable bad guys who like to describe their entire nefarious plans to the hero even though if they really just want to impress someone with what they're up to they can just as easily tell one of their minions (maybe the Chief Minion).  Do they really need Bond's approval so much?

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