Ah, my dear fellow… so we meet again. “Spectre”, the 24th Bond film was released in Britain on October 26th, and is expected to draw yet more fans to the once-flagging film franchise. Our popular “Booze, bonks and bodies” appraisal of the James Bond actors returns too (you might say it only lives twice) which was first published in 2012 before the release of the 23rd instalment, “Skyfall”. That last Bond outing went on to become the most successful of the franchise to date, surpassing 1965’s “Thunderball”, the only other Bond film that has grossed (in today’s money) over $1 billion (£630m) at the box office.
Described as a sexist, misogynistic dinosaur by his boss, M, the Bond who was often caught with more than his hands up has swapped conquests for kills, much to the audience’s satisfaction. Daniel Craig, the sixth and current Bond, has been the most successful yet. His films as 007 have taken an average $835m at the box office. But the production budgets have ballooned as well. The first three Bond movies in the 1960s grossed over 30 times their production costs. While performing well at the box office, the most recent three in the series have brought in just four times their production budgets. Much stays the same, from bow-ties to baccarat, Aston Martins to the Walther PPK and a healthy mix of gadgets and witty one-liners. The stiff-arsed Brit may no longer give a damn whether his trademark Martini is shaken or stirred, but he is still saving the world in his own distinctive way. Mr. Bond, it’s good to see you again. We have been expecting you.