The Daniel Craig era of Bond films is over, and there’s no question he changed the franchise more than any actor since Connery. Of course it was also the work of writers and directors, who constantly had to redefine a Cold War character. In the span of five films, we saw the rebirth, new life, and passing on of an icon: 007. The last of these films brought the story arc full circle.
The dead are alive.
This is what we mean by specters. In what is likely Daniel Craig’s last 007 film, we see an immortal James Bond confronted by his entire mythology, coming to terms with his increasingly irrelevant role as an old-fashion spy in a postmodern world. It took four films to do it.
I did. In 6th grade I was introduced to Goldeneye 64, which introduced me to James Bond. I recorded all the 007 films during a TV marathon and became so obsessed I began writing my own spy novel.
It was called 8 Ball. By the end of 7th Grade I had written it, and my plan was to have 25 of them total in a series. This never happened. Neither did the publication of 8 Ball.
My last post was a review of Skyfall.
Since I was a huge 007 fan as an adolescent, every 007 movie revives that in me. So I couldn’t resist thinking of what the next 007 movie should be and why.
We know Casino Royale with Daniel Craig rebooted the entire franchise with a fresh take that is actually more true to Ian Fleming’s novels than any of the previous twenty-one. Casino itself was based off the first novel and was pretty true to the story. With Quantum they wrote an original story as a sequel to Casino named after the title of another Bond story. Skyfall is yet another original, and forms somewhat of a trilogy, since (I won’t give it away) the movie brings a sort of closure to a certain character’s storyline, and embarks a new era for Bond.
“We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
When I was thirteen, I become obsessed with 007. I had the movies all on VHS. I even wrote amy own spy novel in the 7th grade. Then I grew up.
[I’ll warn you about the spoilers when they come]
But these recent Bond movies have rekindled my fondness of the franchise in a new way. It’s no longer about gadgets and freaky bad guys and exotic locations—well, it’s still sort of like that. But it’s also about the relevance the rebooted franchise brings. It used to be all fun and games about spy games and the cold war. Now it’s a serious look at the measures people take in the shadows to secure the interests of empires. And I think this film struck a very deep chord with the fears of people in great nations and their “small” mistakes.