The screen is black. A white dot appears – multiplying and scrolling across the screen. It grows larger and then transforms into the inside of the barrel of a gun. A well-dressed figure follows, turns to face the audience, and fires his weapon. Blood begins to drip down the screen and the signature notes fill the room. This singular moment has ignited excitement in audiences for 58 years. His name, as we all know, is Bond, James Bond and the world needs 007 now more than ever.
Why do we go the cinemas, anyway? There are many answers to that question, but the one that seems to come up the most is for escape – pure escape. When we go the cinema, we are looking to free ourselves from our hum drum lives and be taken somewhere else for two hours. We don’t have to do anything. We just sit back, relax and enjoy the show. The James Bond films are the epitome of escapism and there is most certainly nothing hum drum about 007.
Whether it’s a hollowed-out volcano, a secret space station, or a plan to break into the world’s largest bank, Cubby Broccoli, the producer of the early Bond films, always believed you put every penny on the screen. And that’s the reason why we keep coming back to see the suave, sophisticated secret agent. The Bond films are fantastical, but they also have a formula and a familiarity that was created in 1965 with the third Bond film, Goldfinger and has continued for almost six decades
- Pre-titles sequence
- Dazzling sexy credits
- Bond flirts with Ms. Monneypenny, then get his assignment from M
- Bond gets gadgets from Q
- Bond investigates and meets allies and villains/villainesses
- Chase sequences
- Bond gets captured and with that the now classic reveal of villain’s plan
- Bond escapes (possible death of female companion)
- Bond foils super villain’s plan and saves the world
- Bond spends quality time with lead female to celebrate victory
For decades, the Bond films would come out every two to three years; just enough time for the audience to get excited for his return. But why after 58 years and 25 films (No Time to Die hopefully comes out in November of this year) do people still crave 007? In a way, James Bond is the ultimate dessert. Every once in a while, we need to indulge and savor the things we so love. The treat is familiar, it’s wonderful and Bond is both of those. The actor may change, but the character remains. As stated earlier the films share a similar pattern and provide the sweet excitement for their audience and the appeal is wide ranging. There is a reason why eight of the top ten grossing movies in the U.S. are part of a franchise or sequels. We crave the familiar and it also doesn’t hurt that most men secretly want to be Bond and many women wouldn’t mind spending time with him.
It’s been five years since we saw Daniel Craig step into the tuxedo of 007 (the second-longest gap in the franchise: GoldenEye came out six years after Licence to Kill) and now more than ever we as an audience need to satiate our metaphorical sweet tooth with some James Bond. The familiar gun barrel, the classic music, the beautiful women, and the diabolical villains all combine to be the equivalent of the best dessert you’ve ever waited for. Five years is far too long to visit with our old friend Mr. Bond and if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we need heroes like 007 now more than ever. Queue up the opening scene, please.