Lately I’ve seen lots of posts acknowledging the cultural phenomena that is James Bond and his series of films. Surprisingly few of them are critical and I was expecting more critical insights. Is it perhaps old hat to point out how demeaning it was to portray women as accessories and objects to save? Not least the brazen way that Bond dealt with them, or the crass one-liners (and we are NR are fans of one-liners). I tolerated the James Bond films and thought of them as nice films for a bank holiday weekend, or the kind of thing to watch in the quiet period of a Hen weekend when my friends are all getting ready for the evening after an afternoon of go-karting/paintballing/airsofting/guitar smashing/insert as appropriate’. It’s quaint and gives an amusing look at the past and the kinds of values of what aspirational gentlemen wanted, although it seems its not just
The reasons I am looking forward to Skyfall are almost entirely apart from the fact that it has a 50 year film history. I am a big fan of the new ‘rebooted’ Bond. I enjoy the ambiguity of his inner strife with (spoiler alert) his feelings for Vesper and the way in which he may or may not still have been mourning her loss. There is a vulnerability to that which makes the character relatable not as a man but as a human being. I also like that its a darker story, less of the comically amusing gadgets or gimmicky villains or evil plots, but arguably the villains and world of the Craig period occupy a world that is more familiar to the present. I like how Judi Dench’s M has little tolerance for the old style of Bond-ing with his promiscuity and apparent lack of concern for protocol. It looks almost more like a modern intelligence agency. What better image for the public sector than a female director (albeit a fictional one).Darker stories are relevant for darker times, and it is nice to know that the institution of Bond films can adapt with that.