I'm currently reading a book called 'Into the woods', by John Yorke, which if you have any interest in writing/screenwriting you should definitely pick up. It's main concern is the deconstruction of story; of narrative form and structure, plot, characters, cinematic and literary archetypes... anything and everything that contributes to storytelling.
At many points Yorke references specific films to illustrate his point and Bond crops up frequently. There's one particular passage that I found very insightful and I'd be intrigued to see what people make of it.
The general thrust of the chapter is about mainstream Blockbuster cinema and how the bulk of it is two-dimensional - the world of these films projecting a simple desire - the protagonist/hero wants something and in the pursuit of that goal, while they may face obstacles, they don't change. The general tenet of storytelling is that for a character to appear three-dimensional there has to be some sense of development. With that being said, Yorke goes on to hint that James Bond being a two-dimensional character works;
Bond is a particular type of character; he is the refined, simplified, hydrogenated bastardisation of a deeper archetype. He is white bread: impurities removed, digestion eased; a product of the demand for the thrill of the story, minus its more troubling and disturbing elements - the offspring of our desire for simplicity and repetition. Bond is two-dimensional because he doesn't change; he has a dimension removed so we can repeatedly enjoy him. Bond just wants; he is the embodiment of pure desire. Three-dimensional characters, however, do change; their purchase is deeper. They have both a want and a need, and they are not necessarily the same thing.
Given that the last few films have flown in the face of this notion, I'm keen to know where people stand. Has Bond lost this refined simplicity? Are concerns over injecting Bond with a need taking away from the raw 'embodiment of pure desire', that most of us will recognise in the earlier films? Do people feel that the films should embrace this ethos once again and if not, where do you want to see 007 go next?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.