Since the brutal mauling of Bond’s closest friend and ally Felix Leiter in
the 1989 film Licence To Kill, the Bond audience has failed to see the
return of the best Bond ally of the series! Instead, in 1995’s GoldenEye, we
met the arrogant Jack Wade who has seemingly replaced the once favoured
Leiter. But now the time has come. A new era in the franchise should see
the return of Felix Leiter!
Jack Wade in GoldenEye
Many Bond fans ask “why not?” and are angered by the new egotistical
replacement in the form of Wade. I say forget Wade, bring back Felix! Jack
Wade hasn’t exactly put his stamp and made an impact on the series, whereas
if you look at the films Leiter has appeared in he quite clearly pulled his
weight and was a worthy and regular member of the Bond canon. In fact, there is
even a film dedicated to avenging his injury! If that’s not making an impact
I don’t know what is.
Felix is a memorable character compared with Wade who only seems capable of
showing off his weight in a Hawaiian shirt and the phrase “Yo, Jimbo!” Granted, Wade has only appeared in two films as opposed to Leiter’s seven, which gives him less time to make his mark. But seriously, Jack Lord
made such an impact in Felix’s first appearance that he wanted the same fee
as Connery for a second film, if he was to materialize again.
Along with the overweight belly from GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies,
there just doesn’t seem to be the same sort of connection between Wade’s
character and Bond, especially when compared to say the Roger Moore-David Hedison
combination, or even the Timothy Dalton-David Hedison grouping. The two latter
partnerships seemed to fuse perfectly with one and other; however, I fail to
see a strong and decent relationship between Bond and Wade.
Felix Leiter in Dr. No
If one looks at the respective entrances from both CIA characters there are
distinct differences. Firstly, when Bond meets Felix in Dr. No neither part each others side until Bond is on Dr No’s island. Surely
their friendship must be quite close in order for this occurrence. Then in
Thunderball, Felix follows Bond all around Nassau and there is that sturdy
connection again between them, most notably when Felix becomes almost
overawed by his friends appearance that he addresses him with the line
“anything looks good in you.” Only a good friend would make a comment like
Now let’s compare their relationship with the Bond-Wade affiliation. When
Bond meets Wade in GoldenEye, Bond is involved with Wade’s character for
about two or three scenes in the rest of the entire film after parting at
Zukovsky’s warehouse. They only meet up briefly in the Caribbean, which
only allows our Wade to contribute another one of his “Yo, Jimbo’s,” and then
not again until the final scene.
How can a screen relationship build strong ties like a Bond-Felix friendship
when they only have less than a handful of scenes together? The audience
just won’t buy it! The chemistry’s between them is just not present.
Felix Leiter in Licence to Kill
To Bond, Wade seems more like one of his girls that he just brushes off
after a relationship. There is no request to work on assignment with Wade
like in years gone by with Felix. In Tomorrow Never Dies, Wade seems a lot
happier to see Bond than his counterpart. Wade’s “friendship” is unrequited.
Nope, Wade is not even a close friend, so how can he be considered even a
The most important thing to note here is that you may struggle to find a
“bond” between Wade and Bond but when you look at the relationship between
Felix and 007, there’s no doubting a strong mutual respect and camaraderieFor this very reason, Felix must return, to a series
that has lacked a decent ally for close to 16 years.
Article written by Adam Farrington-Williams (FelixLeiter)