While the women of the world will always find a use for Daniel Craig, I think it’s probably time to admit that we could definitely do without James Bond.
The title of the next Bond film has just been announced and Skyfall will be released in 2012 – the 50th anniversary of the fast-living, loose-loving, character.
Cue much debate about which Bond was best (Craig, followed by Timothy Dalton, obviously), whether the brand is still as iconic as ever and if 007 can compete with new kids on the block, like Jason Bourne.
For the most part, Bond is just a bit of nonsense entertainment. We’re talking about a film character here. I doubt any real-life MI6 agents behave in the same way, no matter how many schoolboys joined hoping they’d be paid to live out their fantasies.
Yet there aren’t many other walks of life where it’s possible to peddle the same old myths about women for five decades and get away with it.
While film critics bang on about the way Bond films get better at using whizzy special effects, the rather lame way ladies are portrayed continues to be an expected part of the storyline.
I can’t think of a single Bond film where 007 hasn’t had his way with a woman who has then been found brutally murdered. It’s traditional for a dazzling array of stunners to line up, get bedded and then be strangled/suffocated by gold/pushed off a balcony.
At the end of each film, one lucky lass gets to live, sail off with Bond in a bikini...and, err, never gets seen again.
These are the sexist calling cards of the Bond film and there’s not been a glimmer of change in that since the 1950s.
But it’s almost 2012 and new director, Sam Mendes, has a chance to make some meaningful changes. While we’ve already seen ‘M’ become a woman and Bond’s promiscuous ways explained away as heartbreak (do me a favour), it’s time for more than just token gestures.
Apparently, men use moisturiser these days and women aren’t like Benny Hill imagined any more.
Just think how refreshing it would be to see Bond evolve from chauvinistic dinosaur to modern-day action hero.