The Problem with Bond

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Daniel Craig is back in the super agent role and with the last Bond film Quantum of Solace bombing at the box office, the new film Skyfall is proving to be an improvement. Back in the day, the release of a Bond film was a much anticipated event, with the amazing opening sequences instantly grabbing the viewers attention and Bond pulling off near impossible stunts to successfully elude his pursuers and leading to the stylish opening credits. The films had it all with gadgets, spy candy (and their suggestive names), megalomaniac villains, lavish scenery, daring stunts, bond theme music, and the use of murder as a precursor to a bad one-liner joke. All agreed, Bond was unique and ultra cool.

Successive Bond films required constant updates to keep with the times, and some have been more successful than others. More recently the films have suffered from weak plots and villains, and with each new actor in the lead role bringing something different to the role, Bond fans could be forgiven for wondering what is happening. Amongst other things, Jason Bourne came along with new slick fast-paced action and fighting sequences that combined defence and attack in one smooth continuous motion, leaving Bond in danger of looking wimpy, over-indulged and dated. Bourne didn't need gadgets or fancy cars, and his no-nonsense, go-getter attitude was a refreshing alternative to Bond. Bourne's plausible and intelligent story lines, and his struggle to find his humanity amidst the violence, have made him more appealing to women than Bond who rarely shows that side of himself.

Also crucial to the long term success of Bond is the choice of leading actor. They have previously got it wrong with Dalton and Lazenby, and although Craig Daniel is an accomplished actor, he doesn't have the look, the presence or the personality to carry it off on the big screen. His rugged and beefy look, moody demeanour and cold eyes make him a perfect Bond henchman, and even though he brings a tougher edge to Bond, he lacks the looks, charm and humour also needed for the role.

And finally, the writers and PC brigade are responsible for updating Bond to reflect the times, but shouldn't chip too much into those Bond ingredients that make him who he is. Bond isn't Bourne and shouldn't try to be. Bond is a larger than life figure that was created for entertainment and pure escapism, and was never intended to reflect normal life.

With Bond films now just one of many big-budget movies having to compete with other Hollywood blockbusters for a share of the market, fans are expecting Bond to return to the magic of old (minus the chauvinistic bits). But the day he turns into a sensitive, liberal-minded chap hanging out with platonic female friends, that's when Bond would have to call it a day.

Olajide Dania

I'm Jide. I have an eclectic music taste and enjoy good concerts, books, films, comedy and travelling. As an avid reader, I believe I have something to contribute to the world of creative writing, and sharing my pearls of wisdom with the world.

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