Bashing Bond’s Blond Bollocks

grey Bashing Bonds Blond Bollocks

I finally saw the new Bond film star­ring the new Bond Daniel Craig last night (my OUT essay was writ­ten sight unseen — winging it entirely by the seat of Craig’s pants).

The new Bond delivered.  Some (swoon­ingly sub­ject­ive) observations:

Bond is now the ‘Bond Girl’ of the open­ing cred­its. It’s his sil­hou­ette we see – and nary a dan­cing naked babe in sight.

Perhaps to com­pensate for this, in the actual film he gets his tits out a lot.

He emerges from the sea glisten­ing, show­ing off his pumped boobs, like Ursula Andress in ‘Dr No’ — save his nipples are more prominent.

Perhaps because of all that time he’s spent in the gym with his circuit-party per­sonal fit­ness trainer he has a nar­ciss­istic self-sufficiency and isn’t very inter­ested in shag­ging birds for shagging’s sake. He uses his body like a female spy: as bait. Luring, teas­ing, sedu­cing his female tar­gets and fish­ing for inform­a­tion just as they’re eagerly slid­ing their tongues down his six pack. Unlike pre­vi­ous Bonds, he doesn’t even have the cour­tesy to shag the girl after he’s extrac­ted the inform­a­tion about the man he’s after.

For the first time it’s entirely pos­sible to ima­gine Bond sleep­ing with a man – espe­cially if it meant he would get some­thing he wanted. Not least because Craig’s Bond is clearly MI6’s rent boy.

Speaking of which: The main sex scene in the film, and cer­tainly the most expli­cit, fea­tures Craig being tor­tured in the buff in a rusty dun­geon (or is it a back room in a gay leather bar?) by the evil Mr Big who pauses to com­pli­ment him on his physique. Craig sits strapped bol­lock naked in a rim chair while his (unseen but vividly ima­gined) blond bol­locks are bashed with a big ugly heavy knot­ted rope. Although in agony, he appears to actu­ally enjoy the exper­i­ence and eggs his tor­turer on: ‘To the right a bit!’ When the rope thwacks his gon­ads even harder and repeatedly he yells: ‘YESSSSSSSSSSS!’. All in all, he comes across as a clas­sic Pushy Controlling Bottom.

His mas­ochism is of a piece with his nar­ciss­ism and his sex-object status. According to Dr Freud, to invite the gaze, as Bond does in this film over and over again, like a tart in the last shop­ping week before Christmas, is pass­ive and there­fore mas­ochistic. Craig’s Bond may oscil­late between thug­gish sad­ism and kinky mas­ochism, but our voyeur­istic, sad­istic enjoy­ment of his phys­ical and ulti­mately emo­tional suf­fer­ing (he falls in love) is a con­stant. We keep bash­ing his bol­locks with a big knot­ted rope, long after he’s told us what we wanted to hear. Or, if our name is Judi Dench, we simply keep pulling his OHMSS string.

The film makes sev­eral other expli­cit state­ments about Bond’s pos­i­tion in the new (metro)sexual order of things. In one scene he gives his pretty female sidekick (Vesper Green) a dress and tells her, over her protests that she has already chosen one: ‘I want you to look fab­ulous’. She gives him a din­ner jacket, over his protests that he has brought his own, say­ing she wants him to look like someone she would have on her arm. Bond looks pouty but does as he’s told. He’s clearly intrigued by the idea of a woman who might boss him about and dress him up.

His pushy con­trolling bot­tom is at the fore­front of her mind when they first meet. ‘I will keep my eye on our Government’s money and off your perfectly-formed arse,’ she prom­ises, uncon­vin­cingly. ‘You noticed then?’ says Bond, a little too eagerly.

Yes, she did. So did we, Daniel. But I think you know that.

She, of course, doesn’t quite keep her mind on the job – and we don’t keep our minds on the plot.

Which is just as well. An occa­sion­ally slightly silly film which is also rather over­long (the end­less, unin­tel­li­gible card game almost makes you miss the ‘count­down to Armageddon’ explos­ive cliché of pre­vi­ous Bond films) is redeemed partly by being as well-made as his Aston Martin, but mostly by the spec­tacle of Mr Bond’s perfectly-formed 21st Century exhibitionism.

Bond has become his own Bond girl and is finally the sex-object of his own movies in the way that the stars of Bond knock-offs have been for years — like Tom Cruise in the Missy Impossible series. (You can be sure that flat-chested Mr Cruise has turned quite green with envy at the sight of Mr Craig’s bazookas.)

All in all, the best Bond movie in dec­ades and the best Bond — per­haps the only Bond — since Connery.

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