Thursday, 7 February 2013

Better spies than James Bond

To me, James Bond has never seemed very interesting as a character. What's interesting about Bond seems to be what happens around him. He's got a bunch of gadgets that come in handy at just the right moment, cool cars and fast women. The man himself doesn't even seem to matter very much to the story, except that he's there to set off his gadgets at the right time.

To me, a spy is most interesting when you take away all the gadgets, the resources and the backing of a government agency. The interesting part is their training that allows them to survive on their own, despite the odds. It's why Jason Bourne and Michael Westen appeal to me a lot more than James Bond. Before the reboot with Daniel Craig, Bond was all about gadgets, cars and women, over-the-top villains and ridiculous plots. What I liked about Casino Royale was that they took all of that stuff away from Bond - to such an extent that there wasn't even a Q in it - and made Bond work with much less. That, plus the opening parkour scene, made it the first memorable Bond movie I had ever seen.

Then, of course, they started bringing it all back and I lost interest again. And that's okay, as long as someone else keeps making spy movies that are about spies, not toys.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - From now on, I will refer to James Bond movies as "toy movies" instead of "spy movies".
PPS - It really sounds different like that.

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