The Facts of Death: Introduction

“I never left.”
~ James Bond, Quantum of Solace

Over the past few months, the rumors have been flying: after a few years of great uncertainty about the state of the Bond film series, it appears likely that Daniel Craig will be back as James Bond for one final adventure, capping the journey the character began in 2006’s series reset, Casino Royale.

As a devotee of the Bond film series, I intend to spend the next few months writing this series–which I have entitled “The Facts of Death,” taking its title from the Raymond Benson novel of the same name–and taking a very deep dive into the complexities of Daniel Craig’s four existing cinematic ventures as James Bond (Casino RoyaleQuantum of SolaceSkyfallSpectre). These four films are strikingly consistent, if not in aesthetics or tone or entertainment value, then in their underlying thematic ambiguities and general ambivalence about the place of this icon in the world of the 21st century. Through extensive rambling, I hope to make a persuasive case that these are genuinely interesting and odd movies, even when they are at their very worst (and their very worst is very bad indeed).

I am not so presumptuous as to hope that this exercise, should you choose to take it with me, will be rewarding, but I can speculate with some degree of confidence that it will be pretentious, and perhaps even mildly amusing and occasionally thoughtful.

So to you, dear reader, I raise my vodka martini. Here’s to the blondest of Bonds!

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