"Christ, I miss the Cold War." That's a line spoken by "M" in the new James Bond movie, Casino Royale. I kind of understand how she feels.
Bond has changed with the times. Cold War plotlines, for example, are no longer suitable. Overt sexism - somewhat tolerated in the days of Sean Connery and Roger Moore - is now frowned upon. And sleeping around in the day of AIDS can be more deadly than the life of a spy.
But I mourn the end of the gratutious, tachycardia-inducing masterpiece that was the main title sequence of the classic Bond movie. Remember those, fellas? Semi-nude women doing somersaults through space, gleaming female lips kissing smoking pistols. You know, that sort of subtle thing.
The new film, which is actually pretty decent as far as actioners go, has a lame playing card-themed cartoon as its opening sequence, with no females sans the queen. What the?
I also miss the Bond who could (and would) unzip a woman’s dress from across the room using a for-your-spies-only magnetic gadget. Typically the only protest the woman would muster was a halfhearted “Oh, James.” Yes indeed, Bond created a healthy, realistic view of sexuality for a growing boy like me. Women never say no!
This new Bond has very few gadgets, and certainly none likely to increase his nookie quotient. In their absence, he is left to use his looks and charm. The bastard.
I never saw what the fuss was about the possibility of a blonde Bond (in the form of Daniel Craig). Unfortunately, the first role I saw Craig in was that of a brutal gangster in Road To Perdition; he may have been typecast as a baddie for me then.
Further, Craig's distinctly Aryan traits – blonde hair and piercing blue eyes – say “Nazi” all over. Had Schindler’s List been made today, Craig would be ideal for the role played by Ralph Fiennes. Picture him in the uniform. Am I wrong? (Yes, I am aware he was in Munich as an Israeli assassin.)
But all this is neither here nor there, for I'm not judging Craig’s suitability for the Bond role, but the new Bond movie’s place in the overall Bond oeuvre. And I have to say, it's in a good place. It seems like a Bond movie, which is important, though it spends a lot of time at the card table.
The thing with James Bond is, though, men have always wanted to be him and women have wanted to be with him. (This Bond is more "ripped" than any I can remember.) Bond was always a fantasy, from the gadgets to the outrageous stunts to the ever-shifting exotic locales to the ease with which he beds women. So I ask, though times change, do fantasies really change with them?