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Why We Love Bond

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Fifty years of gadgets, girls and guns.

By Hunter Ellis

James Bond. For 50 years, every guy has wanted to be him and every woman has wanted to be with him. He has the gadgets. He has the girls. Of course, he also has the world’s most villainous goons trying to eliminate his tenure with Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but I think almost any guy would agree: The gadgets and the girls are worth it.

From Connery to Craig, numerous men have taken on the role, and while each has brought his own unique interpretation to 007, James Bond the character has remained true. For multiple generations, he has defined what it is to be the ultimate man’s man, cool in the face of danger. Bond can sit across from his mortal enemy at the table, look him in the eyes, beat him in Baccarat and walk away with his woman to the nicest suite in the hotel. Bond makes the extreme look easy.

He was pulling off X Games stunts before the X Games were even dreamed of. What guy wouldn’t want to be Bond? For all of us, there’s the moment that draws us in, the one that makes you go home from the theater and say, “Bond, James Bond” in the mirror about a hundred times.

For me, it was the classic opening to The Spy Who Loved Me with Roger Moore. Skiing backward effortlessly down a triple black-diamond slope while dodging bullets and shooting bad guys with his ski poles, Bond throws a backflip with a half twist, knocks over another goon and then skis off a cliff. He’s done, right? No way. Bond is always prepared. His backpack deploys into a Union Jack parachute.

As he glides effortlessly to the valley floor, the silhouetted hands of a woman appear out of nowhere, cupping him as it cuts to the iconic opening sequence song and the words “Nobody does it better.” So true. Nobody does it better than Bond. You name it, Bond can do it, and do it well. He’s an expert at everything, able to engage in hand-to-hand combat with multiple attackers then throw on a tux, hit the casino and make it look like it’s all in a day’s work.

In the movie Octopussy, exiled Afghan prince Kamal Khan says, “Mr. Bond is indeed a very rare breed, soon to be made extinct.” Khan was right about the first part, but after 50 years and 23 movies, Bond is bigger and better than ever. Daniel Craig has brought an edge to the character that is inspiring a whole new generation of wannabe secret agents.

So when asked, “How would you like to play Bond for a day?” I responded just like Bond did in Goldfinger when he met Pussy Galore: “I must be dreaming.” What guy wouldn’t feel right at home surrounded by exotic women and sports cars, a Walther PPK in one hand and a martini in the other (shaken, not stirred, of course)? Don’t wake me up; I want to see how this one ends.

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