23 July 2021 492 Views

#FLEMINGFRIDAY; James Bond vs..(Part 3)

by James Murphy

THIS WEEK: Continuing an increasingly contrived mini-series, in which I pit Bond against other fictional universes beyond his own..

BOND V THANOS: 

Is this a step too far? Maybe. But remember that Tony Stark is basically Marvel’s 007. Tech, style, ethical hedonism, charisma, charm and class as super-hero weapons. It is Iron Man who starts (and arguably, thus-far ends?) the MCU. He takes down Thanos.

By that rationale? It’s not that much of a stretch to conceive of Bond somehow triumphing over the mad titan. Especially when one considers that Thanos’ aims are identical to those of many a Bond villain.

 

Stromberg, Drax and very possible (spoiler alert ), Safin: all want to reduce if not obliterate populations. 007 takes that kind of villainy in his stride!

BOND V SATAN? 

Once again, a long, possibly over-extended reach here. James Bond does not indicate a belief in, let alone interaction with, the supernatural realm. But he did have a brush with voodoo c/o Live and Let Die. Casino Royale villain, LeChiffre was possibly even inspired by real life ‘occultist’, Aleister Crowley.

Licence to Kill sees Drug-lord, Sanchez, use peoples’ vulnerable belief in televangelists to cover up his operation. That same movie was often thought cursed as they filmed on a supposedly haunted road in Mexico. A giant hand can be seen in a split second through a ball of flame, as though reaching down on the movie’s fortunes? Spooky!

And we know that real life 007 antagonist counterparts in both Nazi and KGB high ranks dabbled in paranormal research. So this is not that ‘out there’ in terms of logical match? 

Metaphorically, implicitly, even, 007 does battle with the Devil all the time! ‘Old Nick’ is the administrator of evil, a personification and that is precisely how the antagonism of a Bond book or film manifests in so far as they personify a world fear or threat. The Devil was ‘the adversary’ in the Old Testament: provocative gambling ‘frien-emy’ to God rather than red skinned pointy tailed simplistic caricature.

It is no accident that Hollywood tends to deploy the Devil as a lazy Bond substitute? Al Pacino’s John Milton in Devil’s Advocate is basically a 007 style villain in that he uses corporate monopoly as key to destructive power, albeit supernatural and apocalyptic in scope.

TV’s LUCIFER, LOKI and GOOD OMENS use benign takes on mischievous/ demonic legends to harness fast short-hands for style and power in anti-heroes. Usually, there is a British tint to them. Yes, Hiddleston. You are SO JAMES BOND with that little dagger holster. Definitely. 😉

So, whilst Bond has zero religious parallel (he aint Superman or Luke Skywalker)? In his own, implicit, metatextual way, does his bit to fight the Devil and indeed, defeat the threat from evil in all its forms. 007 is better at cards, too and his soul belongs to the Queen so is not up for grabs!

 

 

DIE HARD, WITH A 007!

Would James survive the same physical tortures as Bruce Willis’ John McClane? Course he would. Except Bond would never even let it get that far. (nb I ignore the end of SKYFALL on this score which indicates that 007 would not survive home invasion without collateral damage).

It’s about the baddies..and Bond could definitely take down McClane’s villains.

Hans and Simon Gruber would have been taken out /down, together, by 007’s Walther PPK, long before they mastered any notions of high stakes heists.

Hans likes the high life: tailored suits, fine wines, obscure cultural references. So Bond can easily get him talking and then kill him, mid monologue. Simon fancies himself as the ultimate soldier. James’ best bet is appeal to him on those terms and trade war stories, winning his trust, before shooting Simon.

Failing which? Pit the brothers against each other as there is as much antipathy there as any notion of fraternal love.(Unrelated note: how about a ‘GRUBER BROTHERS’ prequel to Die Hard? Pick 2 Brit actors, give them German accents and sit back and enjoy the heist!)..

With Col Stuart, Bond would easily ingratiate himself to the mercenary elite and even offer special expertise on how to bring down an airport’s comms. Except he has deliberately fed them false intel, alerted authorities and already killed the Druglord the baddies seek to free.

007 does not even bother wasting his time on Thomas Gabriel. He just outsources that to Q branch who (though irritating imho in his overuse of late) can hack back at the attempted ‘fire-sale’. Problem solved. McClane gets the day off!

Ditto that silly trip to Russia. No, it’s not a ‘A GOOD DAY’ To ‘Die Hard’: it is a perfectly average day, in which Mi6 has already identified both Russian antagonists and Bond bumps them off in time for tea with a Bolshoi Ballerina.

TRIVIA:

GOLDENEYE owes a bit to Die Hard and the various ‘Die Hard on a..’ sub-genre films. The ‘common thief’ motif of the villains. Alan Rickman was considered for both Bond and 006. The screen-story was penned by Michael France, who also gave us CLIFFHANGER: where the plane to plane action scene was executed perfectly by Bond veteran, Simon Crane. DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE is released in 1995 (same year as Pierce Brosnan’s soft reboot 007 debut) and basically a blue collar GOLDFINGER. So Bond and Die Hard are in perfect credit harmony with each other.

NEXT!

 



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