Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Skyfall - 007 returns to his roots

We have a new Studio Movie Grill here in Wheaton, and matinees are only $5, so I got to see the latest James Bond movie Skyfall this past Monday for cheap, in a spanking new theater!

Let me say, I was surprised. It was James Bond but it was a return to a more traditional Bond. It answered a few more "bio" questions about this famous licensed to kill superagent in its climax, and made an almost perfect loop BACKWARDS to the days of Sean Connery meeting 'M' inside a padded leather sound-proofed office. It was almost "retro-Bond" for all that.

I have enjoyed Daniel Craig's take on Bond. The re-booting of this semi-misogynistic charmer who coolly dispatches his enemies with a Walther PPK, all while dressing impeccably is being told better than ever, IMHO.

I think we like James Bond because he is a worldly man who has decided that he can get anything he wants in this world, do about anything he likes and cares very little if he is recognized for it - as long as he can serve his country by keeping the world safe from very wicked men. He's got some Errol Flynn/Robin Hood in him, doesn't he? And a bit of romantic chivalry modernized?

But ultimately, he destroys a lot of things and blows up a lot of valuables in order to fight evil.

He seems terribly worldly, but then again, he's not. He clings to nothing but can appreciate it. In Casino Royale, when Vesper does her analysis of his choice in clothing, she says "but you wear it with such disdain, my guess is that you did not come from money-and your school friends never let you forget it." We later learn that James' family was some form of landed gentry but fell on hard times in Skyfall.

So James is from the blood of rulers and knights and lords and such but has no place to rule. To exercise his authority for the good of others.

You ever think of Jesus as like that? Running around, a hidden king, tossing demons into an abyss, tearing the hell out of temple courts where all the merchants gather and telling women they have to let go of him, 'cause He's not finished his mission?

Yeah. I know. What we love about James Bond is mostly carnal; Jesus is spiritual.

But may I point out something? C.S. Lewis once quipped [I think he quipped]:
It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
                              ― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses
This observation, this connection between our desires and wanting greatness in pleasure are permanently ingrained in ALL human beings. We want to DO great things, LIVE great lives, and CONQUER evil.

James Bond does this for us on film. It's why we go to movies. Christ does this for us in our innermost being; it should be why we read the gospels.

You see, James strides through everything, even the people out to kill him. So does Jesus, if you remember. James dispatches evil men; Christ dispatches evil - period.

Jesus is THE Hero of Heroes. And James Bond, especially the latest incarnation, shows us a little more than we've realized about the style of the man from Galilee -  The Poor Son of a Lord Who Has No Fear in His Mission - and even being dead doesn't stop Him.

Weird thought, huh? Read the gospels. You might see it yourself.

Well, this trailer from Skyfall might also make it more clear. Pay attention at the 1:56 mark.

Have a great day, "double-oh"s.

If you are a follower of Christ, you have a license to kill all evil - and permission to report for duty after being dead. ;)


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