I know what to show and what to conceal… Reassessing James Bond #reviews

Oh yeah.  Let’s do this thing.

It’s no secret that the James Bond franchise has a problem with women.  It hardly takes my pseudo-intellectual style of reading way too much into things to notice that.  What is perhaps more interesting is that the conflict between Bond and the ladies is often a more immediate, personal, and human version of the conflict between the United Kingdom and its Soviet enemies.  In many ways, Bond hates women more than he ever hated any Russian, German, or media baron.

James Bond is a peculiar kind of power fantasy.  Unlike Batman or Bourne, Bond is a superhero whose loyalty is almost entirely with the State.  Even when his ‘licence to kill’ is revoked, or when Bond disregards orders, his loyalty to the Crown over personal interest is his defining characteristic.  The Bond franchise struggles with this identity over four decades, and flirts unfaithfully at times with the idea of being an American action film.  But it is difficult to imagine an American action series where the main character is devout — almost religiously devout — to the institutions of the United States government.  If anything, most American heroes define themselves in reaction to government authority.  ‘When the bureaucrats and politicians turn their back on what’s American, only one man has enough Americanity to get the job done.’  Bond, at his very best, is a rejection of that kind of hero and a celebration of an altogether different kind of patriotism, one where the organs of State are synonymous with the State itself.

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