Time to Kill the James Bond Franchise?

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

Production was recently halted on the latest James Bond movie because MGM, the studio making the film, is $44 billion in debt and looking for someone to buy it. Now critics are asking if the 48-year-old movie franchise should be laid to rest for good.

The Week features a roundup of critics' opinions: some beg for a Bond reprieve, while others think it's time to let the dapper spy finally retire to a Fort Lauderale old folks home.

The Guardian's Stuart Heritage argues that it's time to let Bond die: "He's a tedious exercise in relentless product placement transparently modelled on Jason Bourne. James Bond actually died long ago, when Roger Moore strapped himself into his first male girdle and started wheezing around in a safari suit." Heritage does mourn the loss of the latest Bond movie, however: with Sam Mendes at the helm and Rachel Weisz as the villain, it sounded like it was going to be fantastic.

Flick Sided's Scott Tunstall would be crushed if the Bond franchise was no more. "I dig Craig as Bond and was eager to see how he tackled the role his third time out. Casino Royale was brilliant, while Quantum of Solace fell a bit flat. Word is it could be years before 007 resurfaces. Ugh. I need a drink. Shaken, not stirred, of course."

Heritage makes the best point: "The Connery films will still exist no matter what happens at MGM." Bond films of recent years have run the gamut from fun to clunky, but almost everyone agrees that Bond's golden years came when Sean Connery played 007.

"While Daniel Craig was the most promising James Bond in a long time, and it'll be sad to see him out of a job, there are plenty of action-spy flicks that will quickly fill the void Bond'll leave. My advice? Even if production restarts on the twenty-third Bond movie and it eventually hits theaters, you're probably guaranteed to have a better time if you stay home and watch You Only Live Twice.