Bond’s mission: to spur the UK on in its Covid recovery | Blaise Tapp

Among the highlights of the past few months of living ‘normally’ have been the two visits I have made to the cinema.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 5:14 pm
Updated Friday, 8th October 2021, 5:14 pm
Daniel Craig as James Bond in No Time To Die. Photo by MGM/Eon/Danjaq/UPI/Kobal/Shutterstock

While neither of the animated films I watched recently will trouble the experts who will choose winners at next year’s Oscars, sitting in a quarter-full room while jostling for my share of the popcorn and pick’n’mix felt like the first tentative steps on my personal journey back from a year and a half of Covid purgatory.

There was more than a little apprehension before both visits – would we be sitting within transmission distance of the bloke with the persistent cough and could I prevent our youngest from licking the seats?

Since those summer trips to the multiscreen, there hasn’t been a new release that has tempted me to take my rightful place in the aisle seat – until now.

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The extraordinary hype around last week’s latest James Bond release – No Time To Die – has worked a treat on me but the only trouble is that nobody I know is bothered about going with me.

Mrs Tapp would rather eat black pudding and tripe for a week than watch an impeccably dressed middle-aged man save the world from the whims of a deranged megalomaniac with a penchant for weapons of mass destruction and silk pyjamas.

In the early years of our relationship, she indulged my fondness for the works of Ian Fleming but the charade didn’t last and these days I’m on my own whenever the iconic theme tune strikes up.

Before you get the violins out, I will get to see the latest offering before long, even if it means bribing our 12-year-old because they are our birthright and are as British as fish and chips or dog poo on the High Street.

Bond represents escapism in its purest form, which, quite frankly, we are still badly in need of, and the latest release feels like it could herald a significant new step in the nation’s post-Covid recovery.

Having been severely delayed by the pandemic, Daniel Craig’s swansong has had arguably the biggest build-up of any blockbuster release in living memory and has received the kind of hype usually afforded for a royal wedding.

Even Question Time got in on the act last week when members of the panel were asked who from the political arena would make a good Bond and who would make a great villain.

It was a welcome break from some of the grim talking points of the week, although the chap from Cobra Beer totally misread the room and suggested there was only one man for the job: ‘ Boris Bond’, a light-hearted response which was met with a tumbleweed level of silence.

Then there was Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, described by some detractors as the high priest of woke, who told Good Morning Britain that he thinks that a female actor should be chosen to fill the rather stylish shoes of Daniel Craig.

Cue fierce debate and the inevitable meltdown by keyboard warriors who have turned their mum’s spare room into a ‘control centre’.

Although it is unlikely to happen anytime soon because producer Barbara Broccoli is very much in the ‘Bond is a man’ camp, it wouldn’t bother me one bit if cinema’s greatest spy started wearing cocktail dresses rather than dinner jackets.

After all, it is a work of fiction and every story should be open to interpretation.

The reviews for the new film are largely positive, with those who have seen it describing the film as a fitting send-off for Daniel Craig, who in my view is the greatest Bond of them all, although I did prefer Moore to Connery, which might mean that I’m not the greatest judge.

There may well be far more important things but a new Bond movie provides us with the distraction we all deserve.

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