Wednesday 21 February 2018

James Dempsey: Skyfall is 007 turned up to 11 as Bond hits 50

Bond is back, and with a bang. With his 23rd outing, cinema’s original superspy turns 50 years old, and sees in a golden age of silver-screen espionage. There is no denying that Skyfall feels an awful lot like a step back for James and the rest of MI6 – however, fans of the series can rest assured this is a step in the right direction.

His name should really be James Bound, for there are few characters so tied up in a sense of nostalgic lore and fan-favourite red tape as 007. Each incarnation brings with him a new identity, but wrapped up in the expectation of ticking numerous boxes. Pity the poor screenwriters and directors who have to find the balance between caddish lad with the winking quip and troubled soul masking inner turmoil every single time. James needs to be everything and more; a killer, a lover, strong, weak, emotionally shaken, visibly stirred. Essentially, what we want is a 007 that goes up to 11.

Six actors have taken on the role of James, seven if you count David Niven. The incumbent, Daniel Craig, started off with a Casino Royale flush, winning over naysayers and moaners alike after the controversial decision to turn Bond blond was made back in 2006. It all pieced together so well; in a Bourne-again world of gritty spies, Craig’s Bond hit all the targets, with a Bond Girl so enigmatic and alluring that two movies on, her loss is still being felt.

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