Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What makes a Bond film a true Bond film?

Last week, MGM Studios finally confirmed that production on the next James Bond movie will start sometime next year. As a life-long James Bond fan (since I was five, really), this truly warms my heart, but there is a major downside: the past two Bond movies have not been real Bond movies. While everyone agrees that Quantum of Solace sucked on all fronts, some people actually liked Casino Royale as an entry into the Bond canon. I’m sorry, it may work as a generic action movie, but it does not follow the legacy of Goldfinger, Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me, and GoldenEye. There are certain features every good Bond movie has, and every future one must have in order to be considered a true Bond film.

Five things all James Bond movies must have:

The Bad Guy: A main villain with a unique or grotesque physical feature who is putting the fate of the world in jeopardy and has a henchman with an awesome preferred method of killing

The Bond Girls: At least two beautiful women for 007 to, um, rendezvous with while completing his mission, one of whom turns out to be working with the main villain and the other gives James vital assistance in taking down the main villain.

The Gadgets: Innovative and explosive gadgets that are housed in ordinary items, along with the newest model Aston Martin fitted with spy gear and weaponry, given to 007 by Q or a Q-like figure played by someone with great comedic timing.

The Action: Scenes taking place in at least three countries located in at least two continents, including at least one of the following: a foot chase through city streets, a car chase, and a chase involving another type of vehicle (boat, plane, etc). The final action scene must involve some sort of set piece.

The Humor: James must dispense a solid amount of witty one-liners when talking about sex or right after he kills someone after a drawn-out fight, and must impersonate someone in a way that it’s obvious he’s an impostor.

Clearly, the previous two entries in the series can barely be considered Bond movies. The villains have been weak, the plots too new age, and Bond not as suave and clever as he used to be. In order to steer this iconic series back in the right direction, I will present to you my half-baked proposition for the plot of Bond 23. As a disclaimer, this plot harkens back to the days when superpowers actually fought each other and does not reflect my views on the parties involved in the present day international climate. I just want the movie to be patriotic and badass. Here goes:

The United States, Britain, Russia, and China have just negotiated the final elimination of all nuclear missile silos, marking a major step towards end to the threat of global nuclear war. Meanwhile, while on assignment in Argentina investigating a secret arms deal between China and Iran, 007 meets a female Israeli intelligence agent on the same assignment from her government. The chemistry between the two is obvious, but their relationship is severed when Bond stops her from assassinating a Chinese official (in a foot and car chase in the streets of Buenos Aires), and she disappears. Cue theme song and opening credits.

He then returns to England, where M debriefs him on unrest within the Iranian military over its clandestine nuclear program, with a right-wing faction bent on conducting an atmospheric nuclear test in the Indian Ocean. M tells 007 that such an attack would spark a war between Israel and Iran that would threaten the stability of the entire region while driving the cost of oil to astronomical levels, crippling the world economy. To gain more background information on the Iranian situation, Bond is paired up with a sultry British-Iranian expert on the Iranian military and government, and the two quickly develop an intimate relationship.

Meanwhile, the Chinese official covertly enters Iran and meets up with a general of a rogue division of the Iranian Republican Guard. We learn that the China has sold the general computer equipment that will allow him to override the security system on Iran’s first operational nuclear device, which he has stolen without the Iranian government’s knowledge. Somehow, this is all involved in a plot to take down the world economy to create a world communist order under Chinese auspices by elements of the Chinese government who are appalled by their country’s adoption of capitalism. It would turn out that the general was the henchman and the Chinese official the true villain. Also, the British-Iranian women would turn out to be a spy for the Chinese, and 007 gets with the Israeli spy at the end of the movie.

Alright, so I haven’t really been able to incorporate all the necessary parts, or figured out how the plot actually ends, but I think I have the makings of a damn good Bond movie. Alas, MGM will probably make another Bond about a random dude preventing Bolivian peasants from getting access to drinking water or something like that, but we true Bond fans can only hope they bring the series back to its roots.

No comments: