Watching the latest James Bond is like listening to someone complain about having a private Caribbean Island: “well, yes, it’s nice and all but we have to take our yacht or our helicopter to get there and sometimes one of the six maids forgets to use lavender water when they iron the sheets and the cook buys maple syrup from north-east Vermont when everyone knows that the best is from north-west and can you believe that third undergardener planted scarlet-red not cardinal-red hibiscus?”
So you are a retired international spy and live alone and… you are lonely and miss someone? Really? Does shooting people for a living often result in domestic stability and a large circle of close friends?
I think not and hence, I have no interest in watching Bond mope, Bond mourn, Bond regret or Bond reminisce. And I sure as $*^# do not want to see Bond die.
All this chatter about the new grown-up type Bond is nonsense. The point of Bond is that he does not grow up. The point of Bond is exactly the point of Disney princesses: they are not supposed to come anywhere close to real life. They are escape fiction because… they escape the grinding weight of sadness and calamity we all go through. The magic of Cinderella is NOT the ball-gown (although that is a killer ballgown), it’s that years of misery and abuse don’t mark her. One night of dancing and she is right as rain.
The magic of Bond is that years of meaningless affairs have left him… wanting a few more meaningless affairs. I don’t want him dragged down to my level. I have enough grief in my life – I do not want to see Mr. Tuxedo With A Martini also depressed. I want him out there living his silly life without lamentations.
His job is to MAKE ME HAPPY. Go blow something up. Get chased by a tank. Use a popcorn popper to shut down a nuclear reactor. I am all in.
Now a character like Jason Boune is haunted form day one. You know what you are getting yourself into with that one. We all knew Marie was doomed, so we can accept her fate and his sorrow. Same with John Wick – we know it’s going to a grey palette and no one is going to have fun. But we expect frolicsome inanity from Bond and the ‘new’ Bond is like opening a Twinkie and finding quinoa. Bleah. If I wanted unprocessed, full-grain car chases with meaningful themes I would watch the Matrix (which is why I don’t watch the Matrix).
My favorite person in the new Bond is the location scout – talk about a job well done! Excellent misty forest! So atmospheric! Outstanding concrete whateverness for the end sequence! Such angles! Such contours! Great scary chemical pool – great scary Zen garden with evil plants! Love you, location scout! I hope you got paid well and have a long career!
And as a side note, who the (*#$& at Land Rover pissed off the Bond people so that in fun car sequence # 2 the Toyotas are better than Land Rovers? How humiliating! I took Bond driving a Land Cruiser as a sign that he has lost his soul, so I was less upset than I would have been when he died. But still, Land Rover, you need to send the Bond team a fruit basket or something to make peace so that Land Rovers can once again enjoy their preeminence. Please note I am not saying ‘their deserved preeminence’ but if you don’t get back in the game, the next Bond will be probably be riding a bicycle. And drinking kombucha.
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