The Harassing White Male Privileged Fantasy Bond Is Back
The Real Reason James Must Die — Part I
The moment should have been magic. The announcing of the new James Bond back in 2005 or so. But instead, I was somehow disappointed that an actor who I had seen in Layer Cake and really liked, Daniel Craig, was chosen. Then, it went really wrong.
The movie company chose a path where what started out as a suave move to continue an outdated franchise turned into more than a decade and a half of reflecting a major shift in culture.
During this time, white male privilege was exposed as a nasty bit of business by the Occupy Wall Street movement, the MeToo movement and the Black Lives Matter movement: Greedy, Misogynistic, Racist. It became clearer Bond was not a hero-spy seducer. Instead, he is the upper-class repressor protecting the decaying British vestigial monarchical government from an archvillain seeking to destroy and steal it, usually angry and wanting to bring down “Her Majesty’s” protector and the system.
I couldn’t put my finger on it when I saw the first film in the Daniel Craig series. But the problem became evident to me because of the poor direction. He looked old, tired, and lethargic when speaking and moving. He punched more like a brute and spoke slowly without the same cheap lines of supposed light sarcasm. The features that made Craig an actor to watch turned on him in this role.
The world had started to move on from this spy seriousness of some dashing white guy saving the world. Even though he was swank and British! Between 2006 when the first movie came out until October 2021, I had lost the tired eagerness of waiting for the next installment. I had seen many or all of them as a child in the 80s and even 90s. They were nice popcorn flicks that were watchable back then and subtly brainwashed me to accepting the system-saving hero.
But a combination of the Matrix bullet time effect and fast action Chinese ballet Kung Fu started to make vast headway from 1999 until 2006 when the first Craig Bond film came out. It wasn’t just the Bond film but the Batman installments as well that framed the white privileged rich white man as an outdated species. This became clear in the third Christian Bale Batman movie. This one with the villain Bane is often considered the worst. Again, an excellent British actor, Tom Hardy, appears, as the villain, who did a great job while covered in a mask.
But the Bane fighting sequences were like those in Bond films: too slow-moving strong men just constantly hitting each other in slo-mo. Somehow, earnest world saving white guys being lethargic brutes seemed to expose the nature of the rich white hero as an outdated stereotype to me. Wise-cracking, flawed heroes in other movies started appearing doing fast-action impossible sequences around these dreaming lumber slugging behemoths.
What bad movie style. The direction of the new filmes had a sort of slowness that made him to me not very charming and seducing. (Yes, the parkour scene at the beginning of the one was very cool, imitative of Jason Bourne, and looks like a teenager doing it and not the actor.)
This heavy pensiveness combined with this slow fighting and old small ‘classic’ Bond pistol gun reflected up against the times: leading up to and into the MeToo movement, the Cosby abuse scandal, the Weinstein sexual abuse of girls. And, of course, starting in 2015, the rise of Donald J Trump, who has I believe 26 sexual harassment accusations by women made against him.
This new 2021 James Bond movie has a picture of a sexy young girl. Although I like the actress and she’s not as young she appears perhaps, it still gives the impression that this old slow white guy with little effort seduces these young beauties with ease. Sure, he’s not sexually harassing them or bedding them in a spaced shuttle.
This is an international man of mystery white male fantasy meant to dance on the inside mind of would-be playboys, delusional ones who only need to get lucky with a sudden explosion of wealth to fund their world-saving and eager to please young-girl fantasies. Thank goodness we have the stock market and IPOs to help them get quick riches.
Bond is an illusion that no longer fits in today’s times. It is an outdated privileged trope and his empire needs bringing down. It is an Illusion we need to shatter.
Won’t you join me? These illusions won’t break themselves. Don’t go to the movie theater for this latest installment of the Bond privileged delusion and donate that money instead to someone who should be ‘caught’ in a net.