- They forgave me my transgressions.
2015 Short Film / Fan Film written and directed by Tyler Gibb and produced by Adi Shankar, who also produced Dredd, The Grey and the popular The Punisher fan-film Dirty Laundry. Like the other fan-videos in Shankar's 'Bootleg Universe' series, it offers a dark, rather deconstructive take on a popular pop-culture icon...
Once, our main character was a debonair secret agent with a license to kill. Women wanted him and men wanted to be him. He travelled across the globe armed with the finest of weapons and the most high-tech of gadgets to battle megalomaniacal villains who threatened the world. He defended his country and terminated its enemies with ruthless precision and efficiency. He battled evil, bedded beautiful women and saved the world, all in the name of England and its ideals, for Queen and country. He was the best.
But then, one day, his services were no longer required.
Now he is an old man, retired, living in a country which has apparently forgotten him and the ideals he fought to protect for so long. The world has become very different, but our main character hasn't — and now he struggles to find a place for himself, if such a thing is even possible...
Can be viewed here.
Provides examples of:
- Accidental Murder: Bond accidentally kills (or at least concusses) his targets wife while trying to get at him.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: The poor guy Bond's hired to whack spends his last few minutes desperately pleading for his life.
- Arc Words: "They forgave me my transgressions."
- Bait-and-Switch: A very dark one; Bond inadvertently injures his targets wife and when he realizes it, he glances back with the clear implication that hes going to go back to help her... and then he just turns away and continues the pursuit.
- Batman Cold Open: The film opens with the ending of one of Bonds many adventures, with him using crazy gadgets and badass skills to defeat a supervillain. Then the dying villain tells Bond how hes just going to be forgotten too, at which point the movie cuts to the depressing present day.
- Blood Knight: He's got enough money to satisfy most of his cravings for his former life, but it's clearly the action that James misses the most. To the point that he eventually becomes a contract killer performing squalid murders-for-hire just so that he can relive some faint shred of the Glory Days.
- Boom, Headshot!: How Bond kills the man hes been paid to murder.
- Bookends: James Bond, staring out of a train window, musing how "they" would overlook his misdeeds due to his service to his country.
- The Cameo: Sort of; Blofeld makes a brief appearance at the end through Bonds imagination.
- Captain Ersatz: The main character is never explicitly identified, but is so thinly a veiled version of Sean Connery's James Bond that the veil might as well be made of Cellophane. For this reason, MGM briefly had the short pulled from YouTube (it has since been re-uploaded).
- Cool Old Guy: Strongly averted. An aged James Bond turns out to be a pathetic, miserable loser who becomes a scummy hitman to try and recapture the magic of his old life.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Played for Drama. The climax is James Bond, the best secret agent there was, hunting, fighting, and eliminating his target with extreme prejudice... except it's not some megalomaniacal supervillain this time, just some pathetic schlub who's been sleeping with the wrong guy's wife and got a hit out on him in response. It's all to show just how low our hero has finally sunk.
- Da Chief: Averted. M is long gone, and the only person sending 007 on his mission is some snot-nosed hacker who doesnt really think Bond should even be going.
- Deconstruction: Of James Bond; he's a womanising alcoholic with the freedom to kill his country's enemies with impunity and live his dream lifestyle. But what happens if you take that freedom away from him?
- More specifically, it deconstructs the Sean Connery version of James Bond, showing what might happen if the same man who fought Dr. No, Goldfinger and Blofeld didn't get recast into a series of other actors and instead just aged like everyone else. Eventually, he would have to face obsolescence and irrelevance.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The glorious technicolor of Bond's 1960s adventures stands out amid the desaturated monochrome of his present-day life.
- Dented Iron: James Bond can still kill and fight, but given that hes an old man now, hes far less good at it. The only fight he gets into and wins is against a middle aged housewife, and Bond doesnt even kill her on purpose.
- FaceHeel Turn: James Bond goes from saving the world to shooting innocent people for Dark Web hit assignments.
- The Faceless: During the climax, Bond visualizes his target as Blofeld, who is fittingly portrayed as being cloaked in shadows or otherwise concealing his face.
- Future Loser: James Bond has not aged well in this universe.
- Girl of the Week: The unnamed woman in a bikini who spends most of the time shrieking uselessly from the passenger seat of the main character's car while he engages in an action-packed chase is a not-very-subtle parody of the classic Bond Girl stereotype.
- The Bond Girl concept is more seriously deconstructed when Bond meets a beautiful, mysterious woman in his hotel and falls right into flirting with her like always. Then she starts giving prices when he invites her to his room; shes an escort. The Casanova is reduced to paying for sex.
- Glory Days: The beginning of the short features a glimpse of a fast-paced adventure from James Bond's youth, complete with exotic locations, dastardly villains, great peril, cool cars and gadgets, an exciting chase and a beautiful bikini-clad woman beside him. The rest of the short contrasts this with the now-elderly agent struggling to fit in with the rest of the world and reflecting back on this.
- He-Man Woman Hater: As part of the Deconstruction; this Bond is a bitter womanizer who hatefully calls a prostitute a vulgar harlot for not sleeping with him for free.
- Hero Insurance: "They forgave me my transgressions for my service. That was the arrangement." But the arrangement didn't last forever.
- High-Class Call Girl: Bond can still get beautiful women in to bed... if he pays for it.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: The Central Theme. James Bond goes from saving the world and bedding beautiful women to murdering a man for a crappy Dark Web job in a desperate attempt to relive his Glory Days.
- How We Got Here: The first shot is James staring out of a train window at the darkened scenery passing him by. The rest of the short follows how he reached this point.
- Jerkass: Bond has become a selfish dick in his old age, though there are hints that hes always been like this deep-down.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Played for Drama; Bond treats a grubby murder-for-hire that he got off the Dark Web like its some grandiose spy mission, even visualizing his target as Blofeld. Its a desperate attempt to once again experience the magic of his old life.
- Mythology Gag:
- The entire opening sequence is a loving pastiche of the Sean Connery Bond films, complete with the car gadgets and the lead actor doing a (surprisingly good) imitation of Connery.
- The films title is a reference to On Her Majesty's Secret Service; fitting, given thats one of the darkest films in the franchise.
- The whole is Bond relevant? question was a big theme in Skyfall... only where that film said yes, this one gives a resounding not really.
- In his brief (imaginary) cameo, Blofeld is depicted as The Faceless cloaked in shadows, much like how earlier Bond films concealed his face from the audience.
- Reality Ensues: This version of James Bond never became George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig. He just stayed Sean Connery, and consequently got old, shunted into a desk job, and forced into mandatory retirement with a meagre pension. He even has to pay for sex now.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: A couple to the modern generation, although they can also count as "The Reason I Suck" speeches as well:''They forgave me my transgressions, for my service. That was long ago now. Today, the world offers no such forgiveness. It doesn't need to. The conceit. Self-absorption. Each of them, seeking only to satisfy their own every indulgence. In service of nothing. Not the good of others. Not England. Today, the world will offer me no forgiveness. And I shall ask none of it."
- Retired Badass: Even James Bond has to get old some day.
- Storyboard: The film is essentially a storyboard with Limited Animation.
- Take That!: It's probably not a coincidence that the less-than-flattering observations Bond levels at the world are also criticisms that can be levelled at his own franchise.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Bond comes to this conclusion at the end.
- Watch the Paint Job: During the Batman Cold Open, Bond, as typical, ends up driving his car into the ocean to catch a bad guy.
- Writing Around Trademarks: Very, very barely. Nothing and no one is explicitly identified, but it's pretty clear (as in: can be seen from space) that we're dealing with James Bond here.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: As part of the deconstruction. In the second half of the film, Bond starts acting like he's on one of his old grandiose adventures. When in fact he's just doing a grubby, cheap murder-for-hire.