I remember my first Bond film. It was Live and Let Die with Roger Moore and beautiful Jane Seymour as Solitaire. To my child’s eyes everything in that film seemed fantastic. It had all the necessary ingredients of a good action movie: spectacular escapes, close shaves, smoking guns, screeching tires, high tech gadgets, ugly villains, beautiful babes and the main protagonist – dressed in a tuxedo, sexy as hell, extremely lethal and English to the core. A combo of excitement to be relished and experienced at home.
Agent 007 has been entertaining us for the last 54 years but in my opinion the recent Bond films have lost their charm (I mean Daniel Craig ones). Well, at least for me. Partly because I am not a child anymore and my tastes in films have changed over the years. I admit I still enjoy watching action films but nowadays my expectations are higher.
I blame the pattern of Bond films – it’s been set many years ago and hasn’t changed since then. There’s always a bad guy who tries to take over the world and agent 007 is the only person that can stop him. The films are so fast paced that if you blink for a second you lose the whole scene! And you know that no matter what happens to 007, he will always emerge victorious from the battle. With his hair in perfect order and a smug look on his face.
As for Bond girls they are always pretty, but never brainy. Their role in a film is purely decorative. Just another piece of flesh to be used and discarded by the spry spy. There are some who act as his sidekicks, but they eventually end up in his bed. I don’t know about you, but my mind rebels at that stereotype. And why is it that no woman can resist his charm? Is it his cold, blue eyes, the smooth talk or no-fat-all-muscle-body? Frankly speaking I do not find him that attractive.
I’d rather go on a date with John McClane. He is a man a girl can rely on in a tight spot. If a group of terrorists took over a tall building then he would get me out of it safely. And if my plane had some trouble landing, he would do everything to get me down smoothly. John may not wear smart clothes but he has a great sense of humour and that’s what I love about men best. In comparison to McClane, Bond is an uptight, bent-on-revenge git who never smiles.
I have also got a soft spot for lovable rogues. What can I say – I find assassins hard to resist. It must be something to do with their icy demeanour and lack of heart. My favourite cold hearted killer is Agent 47 from Hitman: Agent 47. Oh, the hours I spent fantasising of Rupert Friend chasing me around my bedroom.
I like good action films and I am not ashamed to admit it. However, there are some people who would frown upon my cheap taste in entertainment. Their favourite type of film is a brain wrenching psychological drama in which characters:
- are in conflict with the world and everybody in it
- suffer from multiple dilemmas
- struggle to remain sane or alive
- constantly fight with their conscience
- undergo a life changing experience
There’s no action, no hair rising scenes, only long dialogs or boring monologs in front of the mirror. And when you finish watching it, depression immediately kicks in because the amount of suffering in the film is too much for you. You should feel enriched and deep, existential thoughts should come flooding in. Instead, you are in the kitchen looking for a knife to end your life.
I am not saying that dramas are bad. I’ve watched some in my life and do not complain about it. Amadeus, The Piano, Kramer vs. Kramer, Schindler’s List, Rebecca, Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, Titanic, Elisabeth – they are all drama films. I might have shed some tears but I never thought of killing myself after watching each and every one of them.
It’s the highbrow type I detest the most. Maybe I am too stupid to understand them. Or maybe I don’t like to make myself miserable by watching the growing pains of some losers.
There is nothing wrong with an action film now and then. After an hour and a half you feel entertained and satisfied because the bad guys’ asses are kicked, the world is saved (except for a few buildings but they’re casualties of war) and the main hero disappears into the setting sun with a babe on his arm. I bet that’s every man’s dream. And speaking as a woman I wouldn’t mind grabbing a hunk’s shoulder and go for a spin in his fancy car.
In conclusion, live and let live. Don’t turn up your nose on ‘cheap’ entertainment for it takes all sorts to make a world!