But Bond the character; I certainly can be doing with. I was five years old when I first discovered Goldfinger. I loved everything about it. My young, innocent eyes had never witnessed such chaotic excitement and I needed more. Now over twenty years later my tired, square eyes have viewed each entry to the series numerous times, as well as also devouring every documentary & Fleming novel possible.
Don’t worry, I’m not a blind fan, I know that not all of the films are great and that even in the best ones there are still blatant flaws, but that is surely true of every film out there bar Rear Window.
What makes the Bond franchise so unique is that it has always contained the Brocoli’s at its core. Original series producers, Albert R. (Cubby) Brocoli & Harry Saltzman joined forces with the top British film industry talent in 1962 to deliver us Dr No and their partnership continued until Cubby became the sole producer with The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). The importance of having this family unit throughout the entirety of the series has been crucial in stopping 007 from falling into lesser hands. For example can you think of anything worse than seeing a Bond song montage with the caption ‘Directed by Michael Bay’? That would be worse than the recent destruction of the Die Hard series.
Perhaps the greatest thing about the world of 007, is that there is a film for every emotion and everyone has their Bond. If you’re after 1960s cool, look no further than early Connery; need a comic ‘Tin Tin grows up-esque adventure’ then Roger Moore’s your man; and if you crave a British style Jason Bourne, then this is your time. Those lucky folks who were around at the origin of the franchise grew up with Connery at the helm. I was raised during the Brosnan era and by the time he reached Die Another Day (2002) we really were scraping the ground beneath where the barrel once was.
Having said that, there are still moments to cherish in that film – it provides an excellent drinking game and the drink also makes the film immensely more enjoyable and Halle Berry much more forgettable. Those mid-era Bond folks who lived through the Roger Moore years always appear to be the most vocal that he is in fact the greatest actor to front the series. Those people just enjoy being wrong though. The greatest actor to portray Bond is Timothy Dalton and I won’t hear anyone say otherwise. License To Kill (1989) has Robert Davi as the villain, introduced the film world to Benicio del Toro, contains one of the greatest chases the genre has to offer and we see a tough, tortured and emotive Bond almost twenty years before Daniel Craig cut his teeth with Casino Royale (2006).
There is just too much to discuss and I would never be able to fit it all in to this short editorial piece. If you see me on the street, just yell ‘Lazenby’ and I’ll quick fire you at least ten reasons as to why On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) is much better than what you think it is. I always have time to talk Bond.
This week brings us the unveiling of Spectre. Am I excited? Like you wouldn’t believe. What should we expect? Beautiful visuals, stunning action set-pieces, a magnificent cast oh and a Sam Smith (who?) song apparently… This is Daniel Craig’s time to be the complete Bond. I can’t wait to see things turn out. The writing will soon be on the wall.
Book your tickets now for SPECTRE at FACT. Please note, audiences are advised to book in advance, or get to the box office early to avoid disappointment.