5 ways James Bond is just like Francis Begbie

Friday, 25th May 2018, 11:56 am
Updated Friday, 25th May 2018, 12:25 pm

The confirmation of Danny Boyle as the director of the 25th James Bond film has been met with a positive reaction by many fans.

Boyle has an eclectic and varied CV, though some may wonder how he will fare turning his hand to one of the world's most famous and long-running action franchises.

Perhaps they shouldn't worry though. After all, the deadly Bond actually has much in common with perhaps Boyle's most famous movie character: Trainspotting's Francis "Franco" Begbie.

Don't believe us? Let's look at the clear and overwhelming evidence.

The violence

Perhaps the most obvious point of comparison is the sheer brutality both Bond and Begbie exhibit.

An intrepid YouTuber worked out that over the first 23 Bond movies, 007 put that licence to kill to prolific use: bludgeoning, blasting and otherwise permanently incapacitating a whopping 362 people.

Even more than that, Bond's distinct narcissism, lack of empathy and other troubling 'qualities' have led to numerous claims that he is in fact the literal definition of a psychopath.

That definition could easily apply to Begbie, too, who spends notable swathes of both Trainspotting and its 2017 sequel brutally assaulting people without a shred of remorse - sometimes because he's angry, sometimes because he's just bored.

As Renton notes: "Begbie didn't do drugs. He just did people." Bond is basically the same.

The drinking

Both Bond and Begbie frequently drown their insecurities and demons in a cascade of booze.

007 has ordered countless Vodka-Martinis throughout his secret agent career. He almost always has a drink in his hand, whether at a swanky bar, glitzy casino or simply in his hotel room.

Begbie, similarly, is frequently seen downing a pint or swigging from a bottle, and is almost always in the pub.

Just don't open a packet of crisps near him.

Destruction of property (especially pubs)

While we're on the subject, it's fair to say both the MI6 man and the bane of Leith spend a perverse amount of their time smashing up public spaces. And bars take a frequent pasting.

Bond has brawled in countless drinking establishments over the years, including a notable fight scene in Licence To Kill.

Begbie also likes to cause carnage in pubs. As evidenced by this infamous scene:

(Photo: Channel 4 Films)

And this one:

(Photo: Channel 4 Films)

The resulting mayhem, broken furniture and smashed windows is eye-watering in both cases. They're menaces to society.

Their love of card games

Bond is rarely out of the casino. Over the decades, he has excelled at gin, baccarat and poker - the latter game formed almost the entire focal point of 2006's reboot Casino Royale.

Begbie is similarly obsessed with "cairds".

Remember his furious reaction when Sick Boy forgot to bring them on the coach trip?

They're both incapable of change

Try as they might.

When a 52-year-old Sean Connery stepped back into the tuxedo for Never Say Never Again, the character was still killing, womanising and up to his old tricks.

Bond enjoying late middle-age (Photo: Warner Bros)

Daniel Craig's take on 007 has been more jaded and cynical - and has even attempted the odd long-term relationship - but even he re-embraces those classic quirks.

As for Begbie, in Trainspotting 2 we found that middle-age had not dulled his anger, violent streak or bitterness. Though there was a bit of pathos to sweeten the pill.

It's also worth noting that:

a) Bond and Begbie are both thoroughly Scottish

b) Sick Boy spends an entire scene in Trainspotting discussing the relative merits of the Bond films

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