Pop Culture

Romero: Twenty-third Bond movie proves we will always need non-superskilled, manly hero

This year Mr. Shaken Not Stirred celebrated his 50th anniversary in cinema. For a man who can now sign up for an AARP card, James Bond looks fabulous.

Half a century ago, Sean Connery’s swaggering 007 entered pop-culture history forever with “Dr. No.” He was all devil-may-care smiles and dangling cigarettes. Five actors have picked up the high-tech gadgets and femme fatales after Connery, most notably the current 007 Daniel Craig.

Despite the many incarnations of Bond, the blue-eyed Bond proved that the world still needs a 007 with last week’s “Skyfall” — the 23rd Bond installment.

The reason Bond is here to stay is simple. He’s the kind of guy men want to be and women want to be with. Bond can sip his martini, win a million-dollar poker game and finish his cigarette suavely in no time flat.

“Skyfall” is the highest grossing 007 film ever. In North America alone it made $90 million when it premiered last weekend. The film has made $515 million worldwide after only three weeks in the European box office.

Clearly, he’s not losing any steam.

“Skyfall” opens with Bond finding a dying fellow British intelligence officer, MI6 Agent Ronson. He has been shot, and it’s clear that he will die. The comparison between Ronson and Bond is staggering. The viewer knows if Bond were shot, he would keep going. He wouldn’t fall into a chair and accept his bloody fate.

Bond almost seems immortal. No matter how many punches he takes, 007 will finish his mission.

As the “Skyfall” trailer — and eventually the film — shows, when Bond jumps onto a train, he doesn’t worry about falling on to the tracks at 80 mph. Instead, he only needs to fix his cuff links and continue his pursuit of a professional hit man.

Unfortunately, 007 is the type of male character that’s slowly disappearing from cinema, making him all the more important. The leading man has slowly become great because he’s no longer a man. He’s a super hero.

With the way movies are going, the fact that a hero can fly or has billions in the bank to afford fancy toys is what helps him save the world. Yes, Bond has all the money of MI6 behind him, but it’s obvious that he’s the most capable agent out there, even if he were poor.

He’s the only one who can make the decisions he makes, shoot the way he shoots and seduce the women how he does. Bond is the best they have and he’s 100 percent human.

With two more Daniel Craig Bond films in the works, 007 isn’t going anywhere. Just like expensive magazines and lavish television shows, Bond gives everyone an ideal to aspire to.

Whether it’s a little boy who wants to grow up into a world-traveling spy, or a woman who hopes to meet a man in London half as smooth as 007, rest assured, he’ll always be there.

Ariana Romero is a junior magazine journalism and political science major. Her column appears every week. She can be reached at akromero@syr.edu or followed on Twitter at @ArianaRomero17. 

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