I’m about to rant about a movie, and if you’re someone who’s stupid enough to whine about how it “doesn’t matter”, you should go read another article. I know that it doesn’t matter. Saying that something doesn’t matter just so you have an excuse not to talk about it is just a stupid, condescending remark that people with no interest in the subject say in an attempt to make themselves feel important. I’m well aware that movies are not more important than global politics. I’m still capable of ranting about them without blowing it out of perspective; if you think I’m not, that’s a consequence of your own arrogance.
With that out of the way, here’s something I’m completely sick of: the James Bond franchise.
For 20 straight movies, it had a consistent style. Whether or not you actually like it personally, it doesn’t matter. The objective fact of the matter is, all 20 of these movies had basically the same tone and meaning to them: a light-hearted story about a spy with plenty of humour thrown in, meant for entertainment only. As the times changed throughout the 30+ years that these films were released, they each updated the franchise to fit the times without completely altering the franchise. For that reason, every Bond movie up until Die Another Day was at least recognizable as a Bond movie.
But since 2006, Eon has produced two Bond movies (with a third currently in production), all of which are part of their “rebooting” of the franchise. None of these new movies are even remotely similar to the old movies, other than sharing one actress (whose character has been changed beyond recognition). Now, I really don’t care if people like these new movies. I personally don’t, but that’s not the point. The point is that this “reboot” is completely unnecessary and insulting — not just to fans of the old franchise, but to anyone who puts their money forward to Eon.
What they’re doing is part of a big trend nowadays: companies that have or gain the rights to a franchise, change everything about it other than the names, and claim it’s a “reboot”. People who liked the series before will buy the new rendition even if they don’t like the new direction the series is taking, so the company is successful. The thing that’s so insulting about this trend is that these “reboots” aren’t just a new direction that the series is taking — they’re entirely different series released under the same name solely for the purpose of making a quick buck.
Yes, I am aware that making money is the point of a company, but they’re supposed to hide that fact by making quality products that are actually worth money in the first place. If you need to defend a company by saying that they’re just trying to make money, you’re an idiot.
If you want to make a serious, true-to-the-books rendition of James Bond, go ahead and do it. But don’t call it James Bond. There’s already a franchise using that name. There might be an argument for using that name anyway if the new franchise were closer to the books (since the books had the name first), but that’s not the case at all. The Bond stories were trashy stories about a spy written for pure entertainment, and the original film series already is the movie adaptation of that. Even if the new Bond movies are superficially more similar, their tone and style is nothing alike; the new ones act like they have some kind of deep meaning behind them. That’s the only part that actually matters, not the superficial crap like whether Q should be named Major Boothroyd or not. If you don’t believe me, look up what Ian Fleming had to say on the subject: he was alive for much of the franchise’s early history and thought it was exactly what he wanted: a fun story about a spy.