[Disclaimer: I like Sean Connery. Anyone who can lisp their esses to the extent he does and still come off as sexy and charismatic is okay in my book. Any flaws I find in the Connery Bond falls concisely on the shoulders of the director and producers. Amen!]
Connery’s Bond was an anti-hero in an era of anti-heroes and under the rule of the benevolent Antihero VII, the last alien chairperson of the Illuminati. He was vicious and underhanded and totally unethical and those were his good points. But, how competent was Sean Connery’s James Bond as a spy?
Let’s take a look at his movie, Goldfinger. James Bond starts off the movie looking pretty good: He blows up a building (the right one, I hope) and electrocutes a bad guy in the tub. He catches a bad guy by seeing the man’s reflection in a woman’s eyes, which, after several dozen attempts, I cannot duplicate. He even manages a pun after the electrocution. Samurai would often compose a haiku just before battle to show the stillness of their minds; apparently, the British compose puns just after battle to show how bad-ass they are.
After this, however, his competency drops off sharply. He loses two women in his care… outsmarted by Oddjob, a giant idiot with a club foot. And, it isn’t as if they were sniped or something. Oddjob kills one with paint and the other with a HAT. And, the fat club-footed man sneaks up on Bond and knocks him colder than a clam. Would Jason Bourne let himself get snuck up on? I should say not. Shortly after losing the second sister to a hat, James Bond is tricked… by a mirror; and, he crashes his car. He is in Goldfinger’s clutches…
Goldfinger likes Bond… so much so that he decides to cut him in half with an industrial laser so that he can have TWO James Bonds to trade witticisms with. Bond talks Goldfinger out of it with the lamest threat possible. “I can’t prove it but I MIGHT know something. Can you take that chance?” I don’t know why he didn’t just tell him he had an invisible gun or a genie. Should someone THAT gullible be a super-villain? I think the vetting process for evil geniuses is lacking in a lot of respects.
Goldfinger ends up taking Bond to Kentucky, which barely better than being cut in half by a high-powered laser. While imprisoned there, he manages to escape; but, instead of walking across the street and alerting… anyone, he hangs around the evil compound until he gets caught again. There are quantum particles whose movements make more logical sense than Connery’s James Bond. Maybe he values unpredictability over competence. Maybe that blow to the head he got at the beginning of the movie caused more damage than everyone thought.
He meets Pussy Galore, a lesbian pilot who is going to help Goldfinger rob Fort Knox. Bond rapes her until she is patriotic and heterosexual. Yes, really. My guess is, the original concept was that this was part of Bond’s coma fantasy, after Oddjob whacked him on the head; but, they changed it in editing. Anyway, the cunning British spy leaves the CIA a note inside a crushed car and everything somehow turns out pretty swell. He finally manages to outsmart and electrocute the idiot and then recycles the same pun he used in the beginning of the movie; but, in all fairness to Bond, he used them in two different countries, so I doubt anyone will ever call him out on it.
So, besides having a magic penis that makes female pilots reject treason, what did Sean Connery’s bond have going for him? Style? Wit? More luck than comedian Ray Jay Johnson? Do you expect me to tell you? Do you expect me to talk?
No, Mr. Bond… I expect you to die…