You could make the argument that most Bond films have been at least a little sci-fi, but the series has only fully embraced the genre once. Moonraker is mostly a punchline these days because, well, it’s got James Bond in a spacesuit shooting lasers guns in it, but it’s really not that bad. For my money it may be the best of the Roger Moore Bonds (damning with faint praise, I know).
Yeah, the current serious, gritty direction for Bond has been good (Skyfall looks great) but here’s five reasons why a return to sci-fi might also work…
James Bond Visiting Outer Space Is More Plausible And Relevant Than Ever
Back when Moonraker came out (1979) the world was only a decade removed from the moon landings. Going into space was solely the domain of astronauts specially selected and trained by massive American and Russian government agencies. Space was still far out of reach for any normal person. Even James Bond, not exactly a normal man, looked out of place up there.
Things are different now. Private enterprise is getting more and more involved in space flight. Space tourism is starting to become a thing. Guys sponsored by Red Bull are jumping out of balloons from space. If Lance Bass can almost make it into outer space, James Bond should be able to.
Also, as Bond fans will recall the “far fetched” plot of Moonraker involved a private company taking over the manufacturing of space shuttles then secretly using those craft for nefarious purposes. Well with the retiring of NASA’s space shuttle, that’s exactly what’s happening today (minus, hopefully, the nefarious purposes).
This jetpack runs of pure manliness.
We Need Some Cool Gadgets Again
The gadgets in recent Bond movies have been pretty lame. Most of them have basically been the equivalent of fancy smartphone apps. I’m hankering for the return of jetpacks and laser-shooting fashion accessories. These might feel out of place in a more serious Bond movie, but they’d fit right in, in a Bond movie that fully embraces sci-fi.
We Need A New “Jaws”
Wacky, super powered henchmen were a staple, important part of old Bond movies. They took the pressure off the main villain — he could hang back waiting for his dramatic reveal at the end of the movie while the henchman handled the dirty work. Also the wacky henchmen made the action scenes that make up the bulk of most Bond movies more exciting. Bond wasn’t just fighting random thugs — he was going up against a giant with metal teeth! Or a guy with a cool knife hat! A sci-fi Bond would provide the perfect opportunity for the return of the wacky henchman.
Zero Gravity Sex Scenes
The zero gravity sex scene from Moonraker was pretty hilarious…
…but we can do better. We have to do better. There’s just too many good puns to be made. I mean, it’ll be tough, but I think we can top “I think he’s attempting re-entry”. Something about a rocket I’m thinking.
It’s Time For A Fun Bond Again
Again, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been enjoying the serious Daniel Craig Bond movies, but let’s be real — the Bond franchise hasn’t thrived for 50-years and 23 movies because it’s a gritty realistic take on the world of espionage. People like the series because it’s silly, funny escapism.
Lighten the hell up Daniel.
Sometimes the series has to dial back the goofiness a bit and ground itself again with a more serious entry, but it’s also important to just let Bond have a fun adventure now and then. If Craig doesn’t do at least one goofy Bond he’s in danger of being remembered in the same category as Timothy Dalton — a guy with some good Bond films, who nevertheless was kind of a wet blanket on the series.
What do you folks think? Should Bond blast off again? Heh. Blast off.