Bond is blond



A couple of weeks ago I decided to have a „James Bond weekend“. To do 24 movies in one go would have been an impossible task, since 50.5 hours are a bit much, even for me. So instead I was working my way through my favourites on Saturday (Goldfinger, Thunderball, The man with the golden gun, Moonraker and Die another day) and devoted my Sunday to the latest Bond: Daniel Craig. To refresh my memory. Since compared to all the other Bonds I basically know by heart, I didn’t have the urge to watch the Craig Bond movies more than once.

When I first heard the news in 2008 that British actor Daniel Craig won the competition to follow into Sean Connery’s, Roger Moore’s, Timothy Dalton’s, George Lazenby’s and Pierce Brosnan’s footsteps I was, well, flabbergasted. A blond James Bond? No! No way! How could they? James Bond is NOT blond! Ian Fleming would turn in his grave if he knew they made tall, dark, handsome James into a blond not so handsome – in the classic, elegant handsome way – one. I was more than reluctant to even watch “Casino Royale”, but just couldn’t stay away from the movie theatre. Watching every single James Bond movie is just obligatory!

Re-watching the four Daniel Craig movies, with the old ones still fresh in my mind, my initial reaction to seeing the first Daniel Craig Bond hadn’t changed. In fact, it just became worse. I liked “Casino Royale” for its fast-paced action scenes, the travelling to the Bahamas, Miami, Venice, the good filmmaking. BUT! Even though I basically liked the movie in general I just couldn’t see it as a James Bond movie. It lacked endearing original mastermind inventor Q – or his successor played by John Cleese -, it lacked gadgets and gizmos, it lacked humour and irony, persiflaging the whole 007 spy business. The “new” Q? Computer nerd? Pleeaaase!!! I don’t even remember Bond saying the coolest words ever, “Bond. James Bond.” But maybe I was just too bored and annoyed to notice it. At least he managed to order Martinis and drive nice cars.

The whole Bond franchise just deteriorated with the movies to follow. “Quantum of solace”, which basically continued its “Casino Royale” storyline, with 007 avenging the death of his lover. “Skyfall” which had a few nice references to the old movies like the vintage Aston Martin. But with “M” dying and Bond nearly crying, I was very disappointed in this unnecessary drama!

And then there came “Spectre”. The highlight of my Bond marathon, being the last one, with the obligatory microwave popcorn while watching from the comfort of my couch. With Christoph Waltz as “Blofeld”. I shouldn’t have watched it again. Really, I shouldn’t have. Disappointment is an understatement. Bond was a sentimental anti-spy, Blofeld just boring and not very threatening compared to the other Blofelds before him. And the final scene on the bridge, where he doesn’t kill Blofeld, his surrogate brother (how lame) because the new lady love of his life tells him not to, walking away with her into the sunrise … I couldn’t believe my eyes. What a waste of time! It was bad in the movie theatre, it’s worse on TV. I miss the old Bonds, the dark-haired ones, the ones with elegance and style, dry humour, intelligence, charm, Martinis and clichés. Bond is not Bond without his black tux, Martini, “Bond, James Bond”, Q and his many women he loves for a whole movie and then enjoys other ones in the next. With Sean Connery and Roger Moore leading the list of the quintessential Bond material! Oh yes, I know, there might be an outcry now from some of you, who love the new, 21st century Bond. I just don’t! Guess some part of me will always be partial to the past, which you will find out more about in the course of time! So, I can only hope the next Bond will find his way back to the old style for us to enjoy!


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