Join 007 on a whirlwind ride into a world filled with spies, secrets, and sexism.
A proposed ending to the Daniel Craig Bond franchise, tipped to fall just short of Skyfall on debut at the Box Office, the film Spectre brings with it all the thrilling action, unbelievable fight scenes, and high-speed cars that Bond fans have come to expect.
Directed by Sam Mendes, his second James Bond film following Skyfall, the man we see on the screen today bears no resemblance to the lost hollow figure mourning M’s death in the previous film. Instead, Mendes chooses to continue the franchise as though the first M, mother figure to our favourite agent, never existed.
And so once again, Bond becomes the famous highly-skilled assassin who’s just impossible to beat. After being blown up, stabbed, beaten, and tortured, he gets right back up again.
Of course, no one should expect an action film to be realistic.
This completely explains why, after just a meagre tap on the jaw, Dr Madeleine Swan, played by Léa Seydoux. tumbles to the ground. Was she inexperienced? No. In fact, she was trained to the point where, as a child, she killed an assassin sent after her father. I think she can handle a single blow. Was it a lucky punch? Maybe, but then wouldn’t you think that at some point, after everything he’d been through, Bond would have been knocked out?
The answer is something that has existed since the beginning of the James Bond franchise. Something as crucial to the Bond character as fast cars and the licence to kill. Without it, he would not be Bond. The answer is sexism.
The previous incarnations of Bond are known for their sexist and misogynistic traits. Even the creator of the series, Ian Fleming, has been exposed as a serial womaniser. And while Daniel Craig may believe that “the world has changed,” the writers of Spectre seem determined to prove him wrong.
Seydoux seems to be more clued in than some fans. The French actress summed up Bond’s character with “he’s an alcoholic, he’s a womaniser, he kills people.” Seydoux also made it clear that she didn’t want to play another sexual conquest for Agent 007.
And so in the end, Dr Madeleine Swann ends up striding off intothe distance with her knight in shining armour. A man who managed to restrain from committing murder, just for her. Is this really the healthy relationship that Hollywood are broadcasting it to be?
I went to the cinema full of hope. I left with my faith in humanity lost. If, after 60 years of James Bond, no one has managed to fix his fundamental sexist flaws, then have we really made any progress towards equality?
The film was good, but in a world where representation matters more than anything else, it just wasn’t good enough.
Enjoy your retirement, Bond. I will. Maybe now we’ll have the chance to see women treated with respect on the screen.