A long shot down the barrel of a gun. Trumpets blaring out a lively melody. Scantily clad women gyrating about. It can only mean one thing: Bond. James Bond. The Bond franchise has grossed more than any other movie series save Harry Potter (that’s saying a lot taking in to account Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and the ever popular “Ernest” films). What’s made this suave spy so popular over almost five decades? And how has Bond avoided contracting every known STD after sleeping with women from every continent many times over? The latter only science can tell. But his popularity? Let’s talk.
James Bond derives his coolness from one source in my mind; anonymity. Who are Bond’s parents? Who are his siblings? Does he like to watch spy movies when not invovled in international capers? Wikipedia sports a long checklist of Bond facts but the truth of the matter is, the films have stayed mostly clear from giving the protagonist any real depth as an actual human being. This is not a bad thing. If Bond, for instance, had a lifelong struggle to impress a demanding father, do you really think we’d want to watch movie after movie of this drawn out emotional conflict? Not a chance. We want to be thrown into the action and become part of Bond’s mystique for an hour or two and then go back to life without having to wonder if James will make alimony this month or whether or not his Grandma will pull out of pnuemonia. He’s wonderfully two demensional. And we like him that way.
I know in Ian Flemmings’ novels he gives Bond a bit more pathos. I love reading these books to get a little deeper sense of who this shag-happy spy really is. But when it comes to the big screen I want action and I want it now. No “issues” please.
In closing I think the main point at hand has to be this; Moore or Connery. I know there have been other, very well suited Bonds over the years (Pierce Brosnan is dreamy), but for classic “Bond-ness” who wins? I’m a Roger Moore girl myself. He has a sense of regal cunning about him that I love to watch. Sean Connery is charming, but a but too nypho for my taste, if you get what I mean. What think ye? This is an important issue.
Much more, do I dare say, than black or woman…being as that seems to be the only real issue in another current, shall we say “national caper”. (talk about pork-barreling a blog entry!)