Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Phenomenology of James Bond Movies and The James Bond Character Itself


I WAS TUNED TO A JAMES BOND MOVIE the other night and caught it somewhere near its climactic end. I could not anymore tell what movie title it got but it starred Pierce Brosnan as the iconic English spy. I bet some of you are aware about the proliferation of James Bond movies on our cable television for some nights now; it’s sort of a bond movie festival where one can get to watch a different episode of the spy series at any given night—-or day for that matter. I remember that this kind of television offering was available to cable television viewers just about a year ago that it had made me wonder about why in the world they keep having a marathon of James Bond movies on TV. Maybe a lot of James Bond fanatics were asking for it and they got just what they wanted. Although I have no certain idea of a major clamor for a glut of Bond movies on our boob tubes for I believe that if there were such a major yearning for a full exhibition of all bond movies, then I must have already read about it or heard about it. But I didn’t. You could perhaps surmise that the television company responsible for this is just trying to milk-out what could have been an expensive acquisition in the past; cashing on it while it still has juice on it.

Anyways, I am not really much concerned about why Bond movies are being shown so perfidiously nowadays; I just have some thoughts about it that I want to extrapolate here. Ever noticed how every Bond movie, no matter the actor playing it or the title, whether “Moonraker” or “Golden Eye”, has a very singular thread on its story-line where there seems to always be a powerful villain hiding in some cave or underwater hideout and that there is always this satellite-based ultra-modern weapon that could zapped human existence by just the push of either a red button or red switch (as long as its red). Pierce Brosnan bond movies are reasonably modern in its make and yet, most of it is still about that old storyline that ends with gigantic satellite weapons coming out of the surface of the sea and gets destroyed by the English spy before it could destroy the Earth. If you’re a kid or a kid by heart, that’s sort of thing is certainly a swell idea. In fact when I was a kid myself so many years ago, this is the kind of movie that could wake me up from the sweetest of slumber, what with all those cool gadgetry and spectacular action scenes.

But now that I have grown so well, I finally found these things to be pure kitsch and somewhat nonsensical. But don’t get me wrong; I am not complaining about this keen bond movie characteristic for after all, bond movies are there to entertain us first and foremost. There is just this subliminal thought that got me rethinking about the basis behind the entertaining value of Bond movies and of the character of James Bond itself. We get so fascinated about the idea of world domination that even though we feel exalted whenever James Bond kicked the asses of the main villain at every end of this sort of movie, yet it’s the idea of world domination that keeps us glued to the screen, like it was the hook, the line and the sinker—-all rolled into one.

We all like to see what kind of ultra-modern weaponry the new villain has with every new James Bond movie we watch, how potent it is this time. Like in real life, we as part of the modern humanity always expect this sort of villain to come, to pursue world domination by building a humongous and very powerful weaponry system that is to be activated by either launching a huge rocket into space or zapping laser beams through a hovering satellite in orbit. And in hindsight I realized that over the course of our history, James Bond movie villains have been with us for countless times already through many different personages—-through Adolf Hitler, through Saddam Hussein, through Napoleon Bonaparte (he might not be such a pure villain but he pursued world domination through force—-just like Alexander The Great), through Idi Amin and General Pinochet or Ferdinand Marcos, through the cruel Roman emperor Nero, through a cunning Mongolian conqueror, through a series of dictators in Latin America, and through many others that perhaps history has not paid attention so well. And in real life, every world domination or attempt at it had been thwarted and dismantled not a by a singular person like the English spy James Bond (for this only happens in movies) but either by opposing forces like the masses that gets sick and tired of oppression or in other instances, by rival powers that wants to grab dominion for themselves, only to be thwarted again.

And just like in the movie, every world domination before had crumbled down to pieces that now—at present—there is no such thing anymore, as if the James Bond of our lives have always been smart and cunning, that the only idea of world domination we get today is through trade and economic means where it seems that in every corner of the world, one in ten individual is using or had used even for once a product that was made in China. It used to be that in every nook of the earth, we get either American or Japanese products most of the time. But now, it China’s turn.

Now I wonder what if James Bond will fail us in the future? What if another villain more powerful than ever comes and the James Bond of our lives fails to stop the mayhem that could be brought by either a satellite-based weaponry or a humongous rocket that gets thrown into the sky? Well, I do hope that the day James Bond fails to manhandle the mean villain in the final end of the movie would not be forthcoming. And I hope he won’t ever fail. Ever.

( A repost from Citizen On Mars )

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3 comments:

  1. I just love james bond movie....

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    Replies
    1. We all do feel the same with the guy :-)

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