Bond Save the Queen

What a show! This weekend, after 17 spectacular days of sport, London will take a much-deserved bow. In a good old fashion F-you to pre-game poop-pooping by small-minded twits like Mitt Romney, The Games of the Thirtieth Olympiad will be remembered along with the 1992 Barcelona and the 2000 Sydney Games as an Olympics for the ages. And just like both of those aforementioned summer games, the host city, London, was a major reason why these 2012 games were such a success. Light on controversy (badminton not withstanding) these games focused on what the games should, the athletes and the competition, as jolly olde England proved it could host a world-class event in one of the world’s greatest cities. My hats off to everyone involved, including the great Danny Boyle for his extraordinary opening ceremonies. The director put himself on the record saying he wanted to make the “First ever live movie” and by my eyes he succeeded. Yes, at moments the stadium looked like Hobbiton but the good far outweighed the bad. If you told me three weeks ago that The Sex Pistols and The Clash would be part of the soundtrack for the Olympic opening ceremony, I would have told you to bugger off. These ceremonies had it all; we laughed (Rowan Atkinson!), we cried (The future athletes lighting the torch!), it was better then Beijing, a communist spectacle with a cast of thousands in lockstep that no one thought could be topped. And right smack dab in the middle, celebrating his 50th birthday, was Brittan’s greatest hero since Churchill (who also had a cameo), who along with the newest Bond girl stole the show.  Full disclosure, I knew beforehand that Craig, as Bond, would be involved in the opening ceremonies, I just had no idea how. So I was not at all surprised to see everyone’s favorite tux sporting spy entering Buckingham Palace. When 007 took up his post behind a person, clearly meant to be the queen, sitting at a desk with her back to both Bond and the camera, I must admit my heart began to sink. I flashed back instantly to the very last sequence in For Your Eyes Only (1981) where Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, played by Janet Brown, shuffled around her kitchen while croaking horrid lines. Jesus, were they going to get some old actress to turn to the camera, giggle, and give us an “Ohhh James!” while wearing a cheep tiara? But then the actress did turn to the camera and the actress was in fact Queen Elizabeth II herself. I audibly gasped, I’m assuming along with 90% of the UK. The Queen on the other hand was not at all surprised to find Daniel Craig standing behind her. In fact, her face gave no hint what-so-ever that this was anything out of the ordinary as she said “Good evening, Mr. Bond.” That would have been enough. But the Queen then got up and walked past Bond as 007 chuckled to himself in what maybe one of the top five Bond moments every captured on film. It was a window in Craig, the man who simply cannot believe he is playing a scene with the Queen, as well as Bond, who for the first time on film is literally and physically at Her Majesties service. If he had not already, in this very brief moment Craig cemented his legacy as 007 in the mind of the entire world. No ifs, ands, or buts, Daniel Craig is now Bond, James Bond. The helicopter flight, the parachute jump, and the dignified walk by the eight-six-year-old monarch to her box seat were all gravy after the brief exchange between Commander Bond and his Queen. This segment was rightfully the talk of the games and I predict will remain unparalleled in both Bond and Olympic history. The only question left lingering in the air is can Sam Mendes possibly top Danny Boyle’s Bond film? Aint going to be easy. So as these games come to a close I once more stand and raise a martini glass to London. Bloody well done chaps!

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