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Bond, James Bond.

1. November 2016 05:57
by m
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Cineaste - Shaken And Stirred: Daniel Craig as 007

1. November 2016 05:57 by m | 0 Comments

I feel like the author of this essay almost makes some important points, but the dry, academic prose often fails to make it clear what they are. He circles the idea that screenwriters Purvis and Wade are too hung up on childhood traumas (Electra King's Kidnapping, Bond being orphaned, Severine being forced into the sex trade, Quantum's Camille was also orphaned, and of course Blofeld has Daddy issues that Mike Myers had already lampooned in Austin Powers, to name but a few), and that they are also increasingly distrustful of the government (in Casino RoyaleCasino Royale there appear to be a few rotton apples in government, but by SpectreSpectre only M, Moneypenny, Bond and Q remain trustworthy).

The fact that they also have Bond basically coming up with his own missions (M hasn't actually sent him on a mission since the Brosnan era) and going rogue, on the run from his own government four films in a row is largely glossed over. And I'm not sure what the point of these observations are - I would argue that clearly it is time for some new screenwriters, but Murray seems content with just pointing out that these are some of the recurring themes in the Purvis and Wade screenplays.

His commentary on the increasingly self referential, on screen nods to previous Bond films is of course something I agree with, (see Seen it all Before), and it is also here that Murray finally draws some real conclusions - he argues (and I agree) that Craig's first three outings were less transformative than they were transitional. With M restored (both as a man, and back behind the traditional wooden desk rather than the modern glass and steel office space Judi Dench’s M preferred), Moneypenny and Q back in their traditional roles and, although Murray doesn't mention it, the gunbarrel sequenece is also finally back where it belongs at the beginning of the film, which could mean that SpectreSpectre marks the end of the reboot experiment, and suggests that Bond 25 will fit right in with the Connery/Moore films of old.

Cineaste James Bond Daniel Craig in Spectre magazine Cover

"I've Been Inspecting You, Mister Bond"

Crisis, Catharsis, and Calculation in Daniel Craig’s Twenty- First-Century 007

by Jonathan Murray

Mr Murray has requested that we remove this content from our website, and we have complied with that request. However, you can still read a preview of the essay on the Cineaste website: https://www.cineaste.com/spring2016/daniel-craigs-twenty-first-century-007

[Source: Cineaste. Spring 2016, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p4-11. Copyright © 2016 Cineaste, Inc.]

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