Sex and death are the gin and vodka of spy movies, especially since James Bond punned his way onto the scene. Their connection is mostly slight and subtextual, the suggestion being that the (usually male) protagonist is always teetering on the brink of their mortality and has to make the most of what little life they might have left. By cheesily coercing some naive girl or gleefully sadistic warrior woman into shagging them, naturally.
In Spectre, Daniel Craig’s Bond has sex with two women immediately after killing one or more dangerous men:
- The first is Monica Bellucci as Lucia, a grieving widow having returned home from her husband’s funeral. Bond quickly dispatches the men without blinking, to which Lucia tells him that he’s scarcely bought her five minutes.
“Just enough time for a drink, then,” he sleazes. They barely manage a sip of champagne before he’s all over her, and the next scene shows Craig getting dressed after the two have had sex. He doesn’t have much interest in her now, which is nothing new.
- The next is Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, a supposedly brilliant psychiatrist who still decides to attach herself to a professional killer. She had initially pre-empted Bond’s advances, but he didn’t actually seem all that interested.However, after she and 007 manage to throw a burly henchman off a train, they lay on the floor, trying to catch their breath after the fight. In a moment that wouldn’t be out of step with a Zucker Bros. movie, she turns to Bond and asks, “What do we do now?” before the film cuts to the pair of them rolling around in their cabin.
“Same old Bond,” you might think. But contrast this with the opening scene, in which he accompanies a woman, Estrella, to her bedroom where she takes to the bed, expecting him to join her. Instead James is out the window with a machine gun, skipping along the Mexico City roofs like he’s got a date with destiny. He even tells Estrella he “won’t be long” when she asks where he’s going. Scant minutes later he’s taken out several baddies(not to mention a couple of buildings too) and is happily chucking pilots out of helicopters.
Bond’s carnal desires have nothing to do with his sexuality any more. It’s not about women or men; it’s about murder. He has so entangled the processes of killing and screwing that he literally can’t have one without the other. That’s what gets his blood up: to him, killing is sex (to quote Mason Lang from Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles: “every scene is a sex scene”), and the shag is a post-coital cigarette.
He isn’t interested in Estrella because he hasn’t gotten off yet.