James Bond in the Post-9/11 World…

Because today is the 8th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, I thought it’d be fitting to write up an article regarding Bond in the post-9/11 world.

The Twin TowersIn 1953, when Ian Fleming published his first James Bond novel, the twin towers were not yet in existence. As a matter of fact, James Bond would’ve never known of the towers until 1966, when construction of the structures began. And not until 1973 would Bond have seen them standing proud, side-by-side. James Bond might have seen them in the film version of “Live and Let Die”; perhaps while coming toward the Manhattan Bridge?

Either way, it’s odd, and quite remarkable, to think that a single fictional character has lasted so long to know the period of time in which the twin towers never existed, to when the towers were being built, to when the towers stood tall, to when the World Trade Center was bombed, to when the towers collapsed after being hit by two airliners.

Those eras are over now; today, James Bond is living in the post-9/11 world, which seems to be a very unstable world, at that. The characters of the Bond films are no longer crazed Russians hell-bent on taking over the world, or causing World War III. The time of mad men looking to extort the world’s super-powers are over. Now, James Bond goes after terrorists, their associates, and the new threats of the post-9/11 world. In Die Another Day, despite the film being absolute trash, James Bond goes after a power-hungry villain from North Korea; keep in mind that North Korea’s dictator still makes the headlines today, with his shifty nuclear weapons programs.

Attack on the Twin TowersYears later, a rebooted James Bond character makes a comeback in Casino Royale. The film, loosely based on Ian Fleming’s classic novel, takes the Soviet/Communist/Cold War plot and cleverly turns it into a post-9/11 plot. Le Chiffre doesn’t work for the Russians, but instead arms dealers and terrorists. James Bond even prevents a 9/11-esque attack in the film, by thwarting a plot to destroy an airliner. The world’s greatest secret agent is no longer a man who opposes fictional threats; instead, he’s now placed into very realistic scenarios.  Perhaps this is why many audiences found Casino Royale to be so down-to-Earth and realistic, especially after Die Another Day.

Following 2006’s Bond thriller, we were given Quantum of Solace, which introduced a very unique plot, still revolving around post-9/11 ideas. James Bond was now sent across the world to investigate a mysterious organization known only as “Quantum”. For me, this group rings a bell. Need a hint? How about Al-Queda? “Quantum” is like a modern-day SPECTRE, but carries the traits of a terrorist group like Al-Queda. A great example of this turned up last week; check out this link. This type of real-world scheme reminded me a lot of the evil scheme found in Quantum of Solace; terrorists getting a hold of money, by any means, to fund their lethal operations and private agendas.

Taliban FightersAs I mentioned, perhaps this is why our cinematic James Bond is no longer the humorous action hero found in the Brosnan era. Instead, Daniel Craig’s James Bond beats the piss out of henchmen and terrorists alike, with no remorse. Does this make him a rogue, or maverick, or senseless killer? Perhaps. But, you could only blame this on the world that we’re living in. Maybe during these tough and deadly times, this is the only way a secret agent could make it in the world. A “trust no one” policy, you could say — something James Bond has adopted since Casino Royale. After all, there was no tee-hee’ing when it came to crippling Le Chriffe’s terrorist funding operations, or eliminating a bent agent, or blowing a hole into the leg of the “Quantum” terrorism ring-leader.

Though he’s merely a fictional character, he’s certainly definitive. “It’s a cruel world…”, and James Bond, of all people, knows this. With trouble still brewing (and will always brew) in the Middle East, and Korea, what other means will James Bond turn to? Will he carry on this serious attitude? I’m sure he will, in one way or another.

My condolences go out to the families of the heroes and victims of 9/11. Rest in peace.

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One Response to “James Bond in the Post-9/11 World…”

  1. Hipolito Knellinger Says:

    I read that he was to eager do a Eastenders appearence lmao. do you know if this is true? There’s a bit of me that kind of hopes this is not true lol.

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