Things I Find Troubling about James Bond Movies

I had a relatively normal Thanksgiving break. I gorged myself on Turkey, caught up with family and friends, and filled my uncle’s car with raccoons after he ate the last piece of pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, this year, I awoke from my food coma a few hours earlier than the rest of my town, so I had some time to kill. I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to see Skyfall, the new James Bond movie.

After two and a half hours of suave, British, action-filled bliss, I decided that the rest of my break would be best spent watching the yearly James Bond Thanksgiving marathon on TV. Surrounding myself in a wall of kettle-cooked chips (obviously the best kid of chips), Wawa chocolate milk, and partially defrosted Eggo waffles, I slipped into the world where British accents are more effective than bulletproof vests. After nineteen hours of Bond, James Bond, I was a bit troubled. Here’s what I observed:


James Bond is Fully Mobile in a Suit: One aspect of Bond movies that I find inaccurate is Bond’s ability to complete missions while wearing a full suit. He is forced to run through the jungle or swim across a river or something like that, and he does all these things while wearing a tux, complete with a bow tie.

There is no footwear less conducive to running than loafers, and climbing while wearing slacks is nearly impossible. They reduce flexibility dramatically. Honestly, I’m not even sure why he wears a suit in the first place. Is MI6 mission dress code a full suit? Do they want enemies to think “Gee, those Brits really look great while performing espionage”? If it were up to me, I would get the whole wardrobe sponsored by Nike, Under Armor, or Lululemon. If nothing else, stretchy clothes make muscles look bigger.


Villains Reveal their Secret Plots: Another common scene in James Bond flicks is one in which the villain has captured our hero and tied him to a chair or a table or something like that. Then, rather than just kill Bond, seemingly the only person in the way of the evil plot’s success, the villain reveals every detail of the plan. This not only gives Bond, a man trained for years to escape from sticky situations, time to plan, it also allows him to later stop whatever catastrophe the evil mastermind has in store.

The super-villains in these movies are supposed to be the smartest, most dangerous people on earth, capable of destroying countries, yet they think it’s a great idea to explain their deepest, darkest secrets to their sworn enemy. Here’s my recommendation for all Bond villains: if you feel the need to share your plans with someone, take a tiny fraction of the billions of dollars allotted to the evil plot and put it towards hiring a shrink. They legally can’t reveal your secrets to anyone.


Evil Henchmen are Horrible Fighters: There are often moments in Bond movies when James becomes surrounded by enemies. In real life, James would be forced to surrender and would likely be killed for sabotaging an evil plot to blow up a satellite or flood a country or something like that. Instead, Bond finds a way to quickly knock out one of the henchmen and take his gun. James then fights his way out of the situation, literally dodging bullets as he runs away.

Really? The most powerful super-villains in the world can’t hire the best evil henchmen in the world? I imagine the interview process is probably as competitive and grueling as OCR at Penn. The “Big Three” villain conglomerates only offer one or two entry-level jobs (like “computer operator seated behind glass” or “guy who announces when there;s an ‘intruder alert’ on the loudspeaker”) every year. How do they end up hiring a gang with the competency of a troupe of circus monkeys wielding AK-47s?


Women are Turned on by Danger: In every movie, there’s a scene (or two, or seven) where James Bond helps save a beautiful woman from being shot or fed to sharks or something like that. Then, Bond always says some corny pickup line like “You probably need a massage after all that excitement” or “Would you like to come back to my room for some intercourse?” And every time, the girl returns to Bond’s room for post-danger sex.

These encounters leave me wondering: what woman would ever be turned on by a near-death experience? I have a hunch that, in reality, Bond’s plea for arousal would most be met with a slap to the face and a line like “Are you kidding me? I was almost just drowned in a pool of acid. Take me home so I can sit in a corner, pull my knees into my chest, and rock back and forth. I have never been less in the mood for sex in my entire life.”

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