News I don’t want to hear about the 24th James Bond film… (or, no! Bad Daniel Craig!)

In my RSS feed was an article I’ve not yet read. I’m putting it off, because the title alone is enough to cause me to resemble a boiling cauldron of rage. I’m worried the content might cause a spillage, if I can mangle that metaphor further.

“Daniel Craig wants to lighten up Bond 24”

Bear with me whilst I read this…

OK, so it’s just journalists doing what they do best, which I assume is tripping balls and making stuff up because fuck else they are going to do? And they wonder why their profession has no respect.

What Craig actually said was he wants to reclaim some of the old irony of the films. He cites the scene in Skyfall when, after jumping into a half-ripped-open train carriage he adjusts his cuffs.

“He’s really hurt himself jumping on top of a train, and he just wants to straighten himself up. That’s what it’s about: to be more concerned about the way you look at the moment of crisis. The weirder the place [the humour] comes from the better it is.”

Daniel, are you fucking serious? You rescued the character from the abyss. You brought it back to Fleming and now you want to quip more?

Granted, the paper further proves that journalists are up there with trade unionists insofar as being useless relics of the past with this line; “he most recent 007 blockbuster culminated with Daniel Craig’s Bond transforming into an agent more reminiscent of the Bond played by Roger Moore, who was a master of the perfectly timed one-liner.”

Comparing any Bond favourably to Roger Moore is like attending synagogue to say “Oh, Hitler was a dick alright but the rest of them weren’t so bad.” It’s that evil! That serious! You musn’t do it, as Roger Moore was astonishingly awful as James Bond and if you like him as a Bond you should feel bad and immediately die in a fire.

(James Bond is serious business to me and I’ll do a big blog post on the various actors and films at some point. Promise. “Yay” you scream.)

Just for some history; the quips came into the Bond mythos as a way of lessening the shock of the violence audiences were seeing on screen. What seems tame by comparison now was quite confronting for audiences from 1962 (when the first film, Dr No, was released) to 1964 (when Goldfinger, the third film, really introduced the quip – during the pre-title sequence, Bond electrocutes a man in a bath and says “Shocking. Positively shocking”). I would probably submit the train fight between Robert Shaw and Sean Connery in From Russia, WIth Love was the catalyst for this.

It reached a creative nadir under the awful tenure of Roger Moore. In lieu of acting, Moore played an urbane bore and rapist, whose signature move was a shitty pun and a raised eyebrow. Idiot.

Timothy Dalton, a real actor and an unfairly maligned James Bond, brought the franchise back to its roots but Pierce Brosnan ensured it went straight back in that vapid direction (“Christmas comes once a year.” Fuck off). Though I will give credit to Brosnan for desperately wanting to film Ian Fleming’s James Bond; the producers were disinterested so he went off and made the Tailor of Panama to show his sinister range.

Every time the James Bond franchise tries to swallow its own head, the producers go back to Ian Fleming. Fleming didn’t have stupid quips in there, and as an audience I think we’re at a point where we’re beyond sensitivity to violence on screen. The Daniel Craig films – Casino Royale, the wonderfully underrated Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall, all succeeded without needing to temper anything by a quip or seven.

“Try not to cock it up”


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