This post contains spoilers
On Saturday my husband took me along to see the new James Bond film, Skyfall. I have never been a fan of the Bond franchise with the movies being a bunch of tired cliches and a rather one dimensional representation of women. However, I was reassured that the new films were a departure from the bad old days and even a staunch old feminist like me might even like them.
This film is the same old misogynistic Bond formula.
The film opens with a car chase and Bond makes some glib comments about the driving skills of the woman driving the car, she then goes on to mistakenly shoot Bond whilst he is fighting the bad guy on top if a train (after the to shoot order is given by M). This character, Eve, is one of three principal female roles in the film, the other two are M played by Judi Dench and Bérénice Marlohe as Sévérine.
After nearly killing Bond, Eve returns to MI6 and discusses her intention to go back into the field, however at the end of the film she decides she better suited to a desk job and is revealed as ‘Moneypenny’. That’s some career ladder she is climbing there from agent to erm……. secretary. Well those pesky hormones clearly make her a liability as an agent so for the sake of national security she’s clearly better making the tea.
Sévérine is the bad guy’s beautiful girlfriend (who says Bond films are formulaic) and like every other Bond film she is seduced by our hero and then later killed for her betrayal to the psychotic lover. The only thing this character got out the film was a kickass wardrobe.
You may be saying ‘well what about M, that’s a strong female character’? Really? She’s pretty much portrayed as incompetent throughout the film and when put into a field situation is incapable of looking after herself and the intrepid Mr Bond has to come and save her. She is also cast in the role of ‘mother’ by the bad guy, I don’t know if this was the result of some unresolved Oedipal issues or just that writers can’t seemingly can write women’s roles without reverting to stereotypes.
Every woman in this film ends up in a worse place than where she started, dead or demoted.
So if your heading off the cinema in hopes of a new fresh 007 experience, be in for a disappointment. If you like old formulaic, misogynistic Bond then this film is for you.