No one wants a more sensitive James Bond

CajunCajun Posts: 483MI6 Agent

No one wants a more sensitive James Bond - The Spectator World

Hollywood is ‘evolving’ in the wrong direction

September 23, 2022 | 11:42 am

Men do not come to see James Bond movies for the sensitive brooding of an aging spy. They come for the car, the bikini, and the volcano. This is apparently lost on some people in Hollywood — the same people who occupy the unfortunate position of actually making James Bond movies.

The Telegraph reports: “The next James Bond films will have bigger roles for women and a more sensitive 007, according to the producers.” Variety quotes producer Barbara Broccoli saying, “Bond is evolving just as men are evolving,” adding, “I don’t know who’s evolving at a faster pace.”

I have a difficult time believing that any fan of James Bond ever expressed a desire for the greatest secret agent in the history of film to be more in touch with his feelings. One does not attend a James Bond movie wanting to feel. You attend a James Bond movie to scale the heights of escapism. Exotic locales! The finest martinis! The coolest gear! The malevolent villains with their ridiculous plans involving hilariously over-the-top set pieces! And, of course, the most beautiful women, one of whom will almost certainly be betrayed and murdered while the other will have a great line or a moment of cool.

Ian Fleming’s books, most of which read as epic travelogues interrupted by occasional spy action, have in fairness more in common with the Daniel Craig version of Bond than the glitzy silliness of his earlier films. But after this too-dark, too-grim, too-morose version of Bond we’ve been living with since 2006’s Casino Royale, it would be doubling down to follow up with even more emotionally wracked portrayals of the character.

There’s a reason that the spiritual successors to earlier Bond are found in the comedic portrayal of Sterling Archer in the FX animated sitcom Archer, currently in its 13th season, whose bawdy humor, perennial intoxication, and moments of ludicrous action are possible in a cartoon format without violating workplace HR rules. A more juvenile, gory, and sexually explicit version is found in the Matthew Vaughn Kingsman series, which turns the cheesy sex puns of earlier Bond into fingering as a tracking method and blatant invitations to do a princess in the butt if you save the world.

Can’t there be a happy medium between the brooding Bond and his darkly comic imitators? Why is it so bad to have a super spy who is genuinely cool and good with the ladies? Are we going to be forced to pretend that Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt has any charm outside of those incredible action sequences in the Mission: Impossible series, where the sexiest thing on screen was Henry Cavill reloading his guns?

Perhaps the problem is that the lessons of the original Bond have been appreciated, understood, and rejected by Hollywood as a form of retro masculinity out of step with the times. As Fleming wrote in Goldfinger in 1959 — the novel that elevated Bond into a far more complex character, even if it spends most of its time on a golf match — of the lesbian character Tilly Masterton:

Bond came to the conclusion that Tilly Masterton was one of those girls whose hormones had got mixed up. He knew the type well and thought they and their male counterparts were a direct consequence of giving votes to women and “sex equality.” As a result of fifty years of emancipation, feminine qualities were dying out or being transferred to the males. Pansies of both sexes were everywhere, not yet completely homosexual, but confused, not knowing what they were. The result was a herd of unhappy sexual misfits–barren and full of frustrations, the women wanting to dominate and the men to be nannied. He was sorry for them, but he had no time for them.

Considering that we go to James Bond to get away from all that, we shouldn’t have any time for them either.

By Ben Domenech

I edit, therefore I am.

Comments

  • CheverianCheverian Posts: 1,452MI6 Agent

    Meh.

    I want to see who Eon casts and the initial publicity for Bond 26 before I get worked up into a froth.

    These shrill opinion pieces have only one goal. They want to stir the pot.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,766MI6 Agent

    Yeah, there's some especially hazy quoting going on there, it seems to (intentionally?) make it difficult to tell that it's quoting the Telegraph rather than Ms Broccoli there with the "more sensitive 007" quote.

    Audiences absolutely loved the Craig version of Bond, and so did fans when they first saw Casino Royale. So without an actual target to pin down on and just a load of hypotheticals, this just reads as a load of Brexity 'it was better in the old days' guff and fear-mongering. If you're getting to halfway through and you've run out of ideas for your article enough to have to bring up Archer, then the point wasn't very strong.

    I wish journalists would find out and report on information and not just sit around examining their navels writing 'thought pieces' about easy targets which need almost zero research like James Bond.

  • CajunCajun Posts: 483MI6 Agent
    edited October 2022

    Interesting points. I thought the quoting was pretty clear, and the Archer and Kingsman examples merely serve as quantifiable examples that not-so-PC themes of the spy genre aren’t as out of touch as some might think. YMMV.

    I edit, therefore I am.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,890MI6 Agent

    I don't know how accurate the quotes are, but I do agree we don't need a more sensitive Bond.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,992MI6 Agent

    these last five CraigBonds made a heckuvalotta money so somebody did want to see "the sensitive brooding of an aging spy", I dont see any reason for the fimmakers to stop doing whats been working

    and I don't think Hollywood has much to do with it, aren't these films British productions?

    ______________________

    Bond came to the conclusion that Tilly Masterton was one of those girls whose hormones had got mixed up. He knew the type well and thought they and their male counterparts were a direct consequence of giving votes to women and “sex equality.” As a result of fifty years of emancipation, feminine qualities were dying out or being transferred to the males. Pansies of both sexes were everywhere, not yet completely homosexual, but confused, not knowing what they were. The result was a herd of unhappy sexual misfits–barren and full of frustrations, the women wanting to dominate and the men to be nannied. He was sorry for them, but he had no time for them.

    ______________________

    This is one of Fleming's most notorious passages, blaming women's suffrage for homosexuality. I don't want a cinematic Bond who talks like that. and I don't think Fleming thought like that in real life, his best Jamaican buddy was the barely closeted Noel Coward, they enjoyed years of partying together.

  • Lady RoseLady Rose London,UKPosts: 2,667MI6 Agent


    Likewise. Who they cast will be a good indicator of what comes next.

    All I know is that with every film it's always 'Bond finds himself in situations he's never encountered before', 'a Bond girl like you've never seen before' or 'this villain has depth and a story' blah blah and it usually all turns out the same.

  • CajunCajun Posts: 483MI6 Agent

    I liked Craig too and never saw him as particularly more sensitive than other Bonds. In the US, Hollywood is often generically used to describe the mainstream filmmaking industry.

    Some here would describe the opinion piece as frivolous spin, but many will agree that the author's concerns aren't merely a figment of his imagination given social pressures these days. The voices on the other side of the discussion have to assume some culpability.

    I edit, therefore I am.
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,766MI6 Agent

    “The voices on the other side of the discussion have to assume some culpability”


    Culpability for what?

  • You Know My Name007You Know My Name007 Posts: 91MI6 Agent

    could be worse and they could do a Roger Moore bond again

  • CajunCajun Posts: 483MI6 Agent
    edited October 2022

    Perhaps the word "responsibility" would've been more palatable to you.

    For what? For the author's concerns that some might dismiss as hypotheticals, guff or fear-mongering. Perception equaling reality being the order of the day, we can all agree that there'll be varying opinions on the editorial.

    I edit, therefore I am.
  • Smithers500Smithers500 Spectre IslandPosts: 1,344MI6 Agent

    Which I would gladly watch and enjoy considerably more than the recent outings to which we’ve been exposed.

    Japanese proverb say, "Bird never make nest in bare tree".
  • CheverianCheverian Posts: 1,452MI6 Agent

    The one prediction I'm utterly confident in making is that the next Bond will be extremely sensitive...to any potential disapproval by the leaders of the CCP.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,890MI6 Agent

    CCP? 🤷

    Chinese Communist Party?

    Chiropractic Community Place?

    Canadians Communicating Please?

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,766MI6 Agent

    I'm not really understanding what you're saying: people who disagree with what he's saying are partly responsible for what he's saying? That doesn't make sense to me.

  • PandemicPandemic Posts: 99MI6 Agent

    I want a character with some depth, not a 2D superhero. Bond is charming, ruthless, tough and a near sex addict because of his childhood and later traumas. Knowing this doesn’t make him any less cool, and seeing glimpses of the vulnerability under the surface only makes the character more real.

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