I grew up with Bond's movies, though I have never read a single book by Ian Fleming, the creator of the secret agent famously known as the double O 7 of Her Majesty Service. The sleek car, which later metamorphosed into the amphibian vehicle, the Bond girls, the resourceful villains who always seem to survive all manners of killing and would come back for a last hurrah, and gadgets that are always at the frontiers of technology when they were first introduced in the movies.
Despite many actors having been cast in the lead role, Sean Connery remains my favorite Bond guy, with Pierce Brosnan a distant second. Given enough exposure, perhaps Daniel Craig can give my hero a run for the money. But until then, he just has to bid his time.
Then along came the Bourne trilogy, though I have yet to watch the Ultimatum. However, unlike the Bond genre, Bourne is essentially a one-man wrecking crew, who at time appears to be too emotionless for my comfort. Bourne makes up for the lack of institutional support offered by the parallel M5 intelligence, he being a renegade or having gone rouge in spy parlance, by playing to the David and Goliath scenario, the classic underdog against the behemoth, and we all know where the support will go.
And Matt Damon fits the mold of a calculating maverick, when he is not tormented by memory recalls, to the hilt. Despite his small size by the standard of any Hollywood lead man, he excels in being cast as a mix of the psychopathic, but not sociopathic, and the ruthless, but not self-righteous. In that sense, his performance in the Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13, the last of which I’ve yet to see, is a slight let-down for his bookish mannerism. But the series or sequels have George Clooney and Brad Pitt to deflect attention. And that’s another story.
Another difference is I have read some of Robert Ludlum’s novels, who of course is the creator of the Bourne cult that is sweeping across the celluloid screen with the recent release of the last of the trilogy.
I have seen nothing but raving reviews, even from my colleagues. Also, I have watched several reruns of the first two on TV, each time it being successful in captivating my rapt attention. But the same cannot be said of reruns of James Bond kicking ass, especially those by Roger Moore.
And to prove the point, I have Bourne’s DVDs, but not Bond’s. Even Sean Connery’s cool demeanor and fine acting seem like such old stuff in comparison and cannot help tilt the balance at this time. So over to you, Daniel Craig and the gang.
Sorry for the seeming frivolity of today’s blog but I do need an injection of levity sometimes. Carpe Diem!