James Bond, as it turns out, is probably a severe alcoholic. This revelation (which is probably a revelation to precisely nobody who has seen more than one of these movies) comes as the result of a new study conducted by public health researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Their findings, though perhaps not surprising to those familiar with the franchise, are compelling nonetheless and help to explain some of the iconic British spy's destructive behavior. Per the study...
"There is strong and consistent evidence that James Bond has a chronic alcohol consumption problem at the 'severe' end of the spectrum."
The study found that James Bond at least sipped a drink, if not consumed the whole thing, 109 times throughout the 24 movies in the official franchise. This would not include a movie like Never Say Never Again, which was made by a rival studio, for example, and isn't part of the official MGM canon Bond movies. That makes for an average of 4.5 drinks/sips in each movie. 007 reached his peak in 2008's Quantum of Solace, in which, he had 24 "units" of alcohol. This would have given him a possibly fatal blood alcohol level. But he was mourning the loss of his dear Vesper from Casino Royale. Maybe give the guy a break?
Much of Bond's "risky" behavior, the fighting, high-speed chases, shootouts and other such typical happenings that moviegoers have grown accustomed to, are at least in part attributed to him being under the influence, according to the study. Professor Nick Wilson at the University of Otago's Department of Public Health, who was the lead author of the study, partially blames his employer, MI6. As he points out, if James Bond were a person in the real world, he would have been encouraged to seek professional help for his drinking problem. Wilson also says having a support system would be helpful.
"MI6 management needs to redefine Bond's job to reduce his stress levels. More field support and a stronger team approach are needed so that his duties do not weigh as heavily upon him... To start with, M should no longer offer Bond drinks in workplace settings."
In fairness, James Bond does have field support from characters such as Mathis, or his American buddy from the CIA, Felix Leiter. Also, he's got Q, who supplies him with a wide array of fancy and technologically advanced gadgets, making certain field support less necessary. But still, having another agent or two around couldn't hurt in certain situations.
Perhaps Daniel Craig will cool it on the drinking in James Bond 25? That's up to Cary Fukunaga, who has taken over directing duties on the upcoming installment, which is set to be Craig's last go around as the character. We'll have to see if the formula gets shaken (not stirred) up at all or if 007 is back to his boozy ways when James Bond 25 hits theaters on February 14, 2020. This study was published in the Medical Journal of Australia.