On Her Majesty's Service

“‘Why do we need agents, the 00 section? Isn’t it all rather quaint?’ Well, I suppose I see a different world than you do and the truth is that what I see frightens me. I’m frightened because our enemies are no longer known to us. They do not exist on a map. They’re not nations, they’re individuals.

And look around you. Who do you fear? Can you see a face, a uniform, a flag? No! Our world is not more transparent now, it’s more opaque! It’s in the shadows. That’s where we must do battle. So before you declare us irrelevant, ask yourselves, how safe do you feel?”
— M

The James Bond film series, based on the books written by Ian Fleming, is easily the best example of spy cinema. Secret agent 007 works for MI6 and has a license to kill granted by the Queen. For Queen and Country, 007 goes around the world fighting bad guys and making love to beautiful women along the way. Few would give up the chance to live that dream vicariously.

There is something for everyone in the series. From fast cars to cool gadgets to incredible locations. The villains are generally as classy as our protagonist and their battles are as much cerebral as they are physical. The protagonist and antagonist play out the major anxiety of the people at that moment in time. It is as much an exploration of our own hopes and fears as a battle between good and evil.

It is difficult to decide between Sean Connery and Daniel Craig as the best James Bond. Both gave the character a new lease on life and infused it with their own unique take on the circumstances and challenges. It will be interesting to see whether the franchise can continue to produce great Bond’s who can take on the new threats facing us in the brave new world.