The gadgets. They’re the third kitschiest part of James Bond films, after the punny one-liners and the opening credit montages. We just can’t resist them.
Now, YouTube’s Burger Fiction has combined all 169 James Bond gadgets into one eminently watchable 16-minute supercut. The trends reveal themselves quickly because the designs echo the technology of the times. In the Sean Connery era (’60s), Q offers him a “harmless radioactive device” to serve as an emergency beacon. “Harmless?” he asks, incredulously–no doubt as the audiences of the day chewed on the implications of the new nuclear age. But by the time Pierce Brosnan takes over in the 1990s, mobile electronics have become all the rage, so cellphones are stuffed with everything from tasers to remote controls for full-size BMWs.
Finally, in Skyfall, as Daniel Craig faces a villain that wages war with viruses and lines of code, James Bond skews toward the nostalgic, bringing back Sean Connery’s old ride (complete with an ejector seat). Because of the age of algorithmic destruction, the dangers become too invisible to be interesting on screen. The only answer was a reboot.