The Daniel Craig era has been an interesting one so far. I can hardly fit all my thoughts and feelings into a few sentences, but suffice to say, it’s been a good ride building 007 piece by piece. Casino Royale was a near perfect film, after it stripped away some of the crazier elements we saw in Brosnan’s final outing. Quantum unfortunately was a misstep in almost every way, taking an already stripped down 007 and stripping him even more. Skyfall, however, was able to start injecting elements of classic Bond back into the franchise, whilst still retaining the grit which has made the Craig era so successful.
Sadly, there was a slight gap that I feel we’ll never get back. The gap I’m referring to is the gap between Quantum and Skyfall. We end Quantum on a note that says, ‘Bond is finally established’, but then we start Skyfall on note that says ‘007 is played out; has been in the game too long; is no longer the agent he used to be.’ Although the journey of Skyfall is one in which Bond is reborn essentially, I can’t help but feel in some way, that I missed out on him in his prime.
That being said, Craig is not played out yet. The man is signed on for two more 007 adventures and Sam Mendes ended Skyfall with a cracking set-up for the reborn franchise as it enters its next fifty years. Q Branch has been updated and reinstated, we have a regular Bill Tanner, Moneypenny is back, and we have a new, male M, complete with a padded office door. What does this tell me? It tells me that we have all the elements in place for the most classic Bond adventure ever!
This brings me to the heart of my article – personally, what would make Bond 24 the ultimate James Bond movie? Below is a short wish list of all the elements I’d love to see make an appearance, starting from the first frame.
Gun Barrel Sequence – It’s been 3 movies. I understand (to a degree) why it’s been missing from the opening of the Craig films so far, but there is no reason for Bond 24 not to open with it.
Gadgets – I understand that it’s hard to write gadget’s into the modern films because so much crazy technology is available to the man on the street. That being said, the Bond gadget’s of old simply meant that Bond was using modern technology to accomplish his mission. So I’m not saying that we need “an alarm clock that’s actually a grenade”, I’m simply saying that technology is something that used to set Bond apart and he should use some. I like that the new Q is quite a computer genius and is likely to be wired directly in to a lot of Bond’s future missions to aid him, but Bond could at least use a smart phone to hack into a few things at least. The problem with Quantum of Solace was that they treated Bond like Bourne, and he’s not Bourne, so let him play with some toys – they can surely find inventive ways for him to use technology without it seeming childish.
Tone – On that note, I’m looking forward to Bond 24 lightening up a little bit. Once again, I’m not saying we need to enter Moonraker or Die Another Day territory here – I’m simply stating that Skyfall proved Daniel Craig could deliver a quip or two and Bond 24 could continue that natural progression. People always praise Connery’s Bond and his Bond movies, and slander Moore for being too fantastical. When I look back at the Connery era however, in many instances, it’s the most fantastical of the lot! Screenplay’s written by Roald Dahl featuring creepy bald men in hollowed out Volcano’s whilst space ships eat each other. Ludicrous homosexual hit men caught up in a mad plot involving plastic surgery. Villains with spiked shoes and clawed hands and henchmen who throw bowler hats – these were hardly the elements of real, gritty spy thrillers like Bourne, so let’s not forget this. According to a recent interview, Craig has said that they are aiming for a lighter touch this time and I am certainly looking forward to it.
Music – Lastly, I’m hoping for one simple addition to the score of Bond 24…. namely, more of the James Bond theme. It’s very simple. I don’t care if Thomas Newman scores again, or if they want to get David Arnold back, all I want is to hear that classic theme running through the veins of the entire score. There is no longer any need to hint at it here and there – 007 has been completely established. Everything is back, so give him his damn theme in full force! Don’t get me wrong, the scores to Casino Royale and Skyfall were great, but the time has come for that theme to be heard in all its glory.
I’m so glad that Sam Mendes is back. I think he did a terrific job on Skyfall, and if he can just add these elements back in, combined with a great story and character journey for Bond again, we’ll have another winner.