Spending decades as an international super-spy might require a few nightcaps to take the edge off, but researchers say James Bond has definitely been overdoing it.
A scientific analysis of 24 movies starring Agent 007 reveals it's fairly remarkable he's been able to save the day so many times considering the poor choices he often makes involving booze.
"Chronic risks for Bond include frequently drinking prior to fights, driving vehicles (including in chases), high-stakes gambling, operating complex machinery or devices, contact with dangerous animals, extreme athletic performance, and sex with enemies, sometimes with guns or knives in the bed," read the results of a new study published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA).
So much for suspension of disbelief: Bond saves the day and science swoops in to spoil it with reality.
The study is part of the MJA's annual Christmas competition, which encourages the submission of "wacky research." The Bond study did still go through the journal's normal selection and publication process, which can include peer review.
Just one of 007's most insane/impressive acts of buzzed/drunk crimefighting comes in 1985's A View to Kill, when Bond spends lunch drinking at the Eiffel Tower and then chases villainous henchwoman May Day up the tower, jumps on top of a high-speed elevator, steals a taxi and drives it recklessly through the streets and walkways of Paris before jumping off a bridge and through the roof of a barge.
Bond's drinking might be needed to justify his actions, which few would consider while sober.
The researchers counted 109 drinking events for the character across six decades of films, including one binge they estimate would have left him with a blood alcohol level high enough to kill many people.
"We classified him as having severe alcohol use disorder," the authors, based in New Zealand and at Oxford University, conclude. "He should consider seeking professional help and find other strategies for managing on-the-job stress."
Sounds good, so long as he doesn't lean on smoking to relax. An earlier study by two of the same co-authors took a more serious look at Bond's smoking habits and deemed them "problematic from a public health perspective, especially given the popularity of this movie series."
It may be time to consider yoga and a nice mindfulness practice, Mr. Bond.
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