The Name's Bond. James Bond.
NOW meet the most extraordinary gentleman spy in all fiction!...JAMES BOND, Agent 007!
Plot: James Bond's investigation of a missing colleague in Jamaica leads him to the island of the mysterious Dr. No and a scheme to end the US space program.
Over the decades, James Bond has become one of the most beloved action heroes of all time, and Dr. No is where the official James Bond saga commenced. It's a ripper of a film debut for Mr. Bond!
With the exception of the big explosion during the film's finale, Dr. No is a low-key action-adventure. There are no gadgets, meaning Bond must rely on his ingenuity instead. In one scene, for instance, when he needs to breathe while submerged, he uses hollowed-out reeds as air tubes. Additionally, for the only time in the series, 007 is unmistakably brutalized, appearing bloody, beaten, and disheveled as a result. Regardless, he still defeats the villain and gets the girl.
Several "Bond formula" elements are present here in their infancy. Maurice Binder took care of the opening titles, although they lack the flair of his later contributions. The Bond theme, co-created by Monty Norman and John Barry, peppers an otherwise unmemorable score. M and Moneypenny make their screen debuts (with Q first appearing in the next film, From Russia with Love), and the first - and perhaps most iconic - Bond girl, Ursula Andress, set a standard that hasn't wavered in more than forty years.
Just the Geiger counter.
"I think they were on their way to a funeral!" (after a hearse goes off a cliff containing a few bad guys)
Meet James Bond, secret agent 007. His new incredible women... His new incredible enemies... His new incredible adventures...
Plot: James Bond willingly falls into an assassination ploy involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by SPECTRE.
By combining a storyline with tightly-paced action sequences, memorable villains, and Sean Connery in top form, From Russia With Love is one of the best entries in the Bond canon.
Further elements of recognisable "Bond formula" are presented here. The action scenes are more numerous and generate tension, the title sequence has a familiar flavour, John Barry's distinctive score replaces the workmanlike music of Monty Norman, Q makes his first appearance, and Connery tones up 007's sophistication and wit while downplaying his cold-bloodedness.
Connery had mastered the role of Bond by this outing. He acts the role with confidence and familiarity, easily establishing his reputation as the inimitable 007. He is surrounded by an interesting supporting cast, such as Miss Universe 1960, Daniela Bianchi (whose voice was dubbed over) and Lotte Lenya as an especially vicious adversary. Playing his part with the perfect combination of toughness and sly wit, Pedro Armendariz (in his final acting appearance) is delightful as Kerim Bay, Bond's Turkish ally. Better is Robert Shaw, who is one of the best and most memorable Bond villains in history.
From Russia with Love shows how good a Bond film can be when all the ingredients mesh. This movie isn't just a fun action-adventure flick; it's a fantastic motion picture by any standards.
The gadget-laden briefcase
Dagger shoe with poison tip
"She should have kept her mouth shut." (after an armed thug climbs out of a sign featuring a woman, and the guy climbs out of the mouth)
James Bond is back in action! Everything he touches turns to excitement!
Plot: Investigating a gold magnate's smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve.
With Goldfinger, the "Bond formula" had matured. Screenwriter Richard Maibaum had identified those elements of the series that audiences liked, and thus the script(adapted loosely from Ian Fleming's novel) enhanced the action sequences, added more beautiful women, gave 007 an Aston Martin loaded with neat gadgets, and offered actor Sean Connery more opportunities to deliver one-liners and act suave.
Sean Connery played Bond here with the same easy elegance and wit he displayed in prior films. 007 can be a man of action or a man of style, and Connery is at home with both. Meanwhile, the title character (played by Gert Frobe) isn't the most sinister or vicious villain to stand against 007, but he is intelligent, ingenious, and obsessed with gold. Frobe's performance is top-notch for this kind of role. Bond films also come equipped with a colourful henchman, and this trend was kickstarted by Goldfinger's mute Korean manservant Oddjob. What Bond film would be complete without a beautiful girl, too? Honor Blackman is pitch-perfect.
Goldfinger is bursting with moments that have since become deeply embedded in the Bond mythos. The opening song (sung by Shirley Bassey) is among the series' best, while dialogue has attained an almost-legendary status, such as the iconic "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"
The gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5
Oddjob's bowler hat
Goldfinger's Industrial Laser
The amusing wetsuit with rubber duck on top piece
"Shocking. Positively shocking." (after a thug falls into a bath, and Bond throws a lamp into the water; electrocuting him)
Look Up! Look Down! Look Out! Here Comes The Biggest Bond Of All!
Plot: James Bond heads to The Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo in an international extortion scheme.
The "Bond Formula" had been perfected by the time Thunderball came down the pipeline, and it goes this: take the suave 007 (always well-dressed and equipped with witty one-liners) and add several beautiful women, a few exotic locales, a few gadgets, multiple clever action sequences, a megalomaniac villain, and a musical score by the inimitable John Barry. Combined, these elements made Bond a huge success in the 1960s and have kept him riding a crest of financial profitability into the 21st Century.
Yet, Thunderball is one of the weakest early entries to the Bond canon. Not that's it's necessarily bad, but it pales in comparison to the first three Bond outings. At two and one-quarter hours, Thunderball outstays its welcome. Certain sequences should have been trimmed, especially the cumbersome underwater battle. The villain is also a little weak compared to such memorable adversaries as Red Grant and Goldfinger.
That said, the film has its merits. A number of the action sequences are indeed exciting, Connery is once again an exceptional Bond, the girls are attractive, the gadgets are clever, and it ticks all the other essential boxes. Thunderball is classic 007 - not the best in the long-running series, to be sure, but a worthwhile diversion for the action-loving escapist in us all.
Underwater breathing device
Bell Rocket Belt
"I think he got the point." (after shooting a bad guy with a spear gun)
Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond
Plot: Agent 007 and the Japanese secret service ninja force must find and stop the true culprit of a series of spacejackings before nuclear war is provoked.
Generally referred to as the "Japanese Bond", You Only Live Twice marks Sean Connery's final consecutive appearance as 007 (the star returned to the role twice more: 1971's Diamonds Are Forever and 1983's Never Say Never Again). Alas, this is also among the weakest of the early Bond films, and indeed one of the weakest in the entire series.
Similar to its predecessor, Thunderball (another below-par flick), You Only Live Twice suffers from weak plotting and far too many poorly-paced dead spots. Another problem is the stock "Bond formula" elements which are poorly handled. The beautiful women are there, but that's all they appear to be. Where most prior Bond girls emerged as real fleshed-out characters, the girls here feel like useless caricatures. The whole thing just feels cumbersome.
Connery still has a boyish charm as Mr. Bond, but he didn't particularly want to play the role anymore, and it shows in his performance. Worse, the plot seems more directionless than most Bondbusters, and an emphasis is placed on scenic beauty and stunning set pieces rather than intrigue or suspense. Death-defying escapades are in abundance here, naturally, but they're more contrived than ever. (For instance, the villain tying Bond's hands, flying him up in an airplane, and then parachuting out, leaving our hero to figure a way to escape the downward-plummeting plane. They don't just shoot him.)
While You Only Live Twice left me disappointed and cold, it still has its merits. The special effects and action scenes are expectedly good, and the one-liners aren't bad. Blofeld's unmasking is also a nice touch.
Wallis WA-116 Series 1 gyroplane (Little Nellie)
Bo with retractable spear
"Little Nellie got a hot reception. Four big shots made improper advances toward her, but she defended her honor with great success." (after Little Nellie is attacked and Bond uses his gadgets to destroy the attackers)
Far up! Far out! Far more! James Bond OO7
Plot: James Bond woos a mob boss's daughter and goes undercover to uncover the true reason for Blofeld's allergy research in the Swiss Alps that involves beautiful women from around the world.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service is an excellent entry to the long-running James Bond series. After the disappointments of Thunderball and You Only Live Twice, it's great to witness another truly fantastic Bondbuster. The action is exhilarating, the locations are picturesque, the girls are great, the story is engaging, and the villain is magnificent.
The problem is with Mr. Bond himself. Following Sean Connery's departure, the filmmakers had to come up with a replacement. The man they chose, an Australian model named George Lazenby, is a boring 007, and his ineffectualness lowers the picture's quality. For most of the film, he's stiff and uncharismatic, exhibiting little of the style and charm that marked Sean Connery's interpretation. It makes us miss Sean a lot more.
Even with the leading man's limitations, however, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a fine motion picture. The film's climactic half-hour of is wall-to-wall action. There's a stunning night ski sequence, a car chase down icy streets and through the heart of a stock car race, an avalanche, a helicopter raid on Blofeld's clinic, and fisticuffs on a speeding bobsled. Director Peter Hunt has a flair for these kinds of scenes. Also exhilarating is the score.
After the relative commercial failure of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Lazenby thankfully retired from the role of 007, and Connery returned for one more outing. It's sad to consider what this film could have been with Connery, but encouraging that it's nonetheless so good without him.
Minox B 8x11 Camera
"He had a lot of guts." (after a henchman falls into a snow blower and is cut to shreds)
Bond is back...with a vengeance
Plot: A diamond smuggling investigation leads James Bond to Las Vegas, where he uncovers an extortion plot headed by his nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Diamonds Are Forever was Sean Connery's final official outing as 007 (he eventually starred in Never Say Never Again; 1983's Thunderball remake). Connery was lured back to the role by an extremely lucrative offer that made him the highest-paid actor at the time. His presence, as well as a few energetic action sequences, are the only good things about this particular Bond flick.
The sophomoric plot is laughably absurd, and the ending, while high on pyrotechnics, is low on tension, bringing Connery's era to a rather dissatisfying conclusion. Connery's performance doesn't have a great deal of heart in it this time around, though he's still charming. The actor deserved to go out on a higher note than this.
Admittedly, Diamonds Are Forever is fun at times but is overall one of the most hopelessly dated 007 flicks ever.
Fingerprint Identification Device
Electro-Magnetic RPM Controller that, when used, ensures a jackpot at the slot machines every time.
(Felix asks where abouts inside a corpse the diamonds are) "Alimentary, Dr. Leiter..."
Roger Moo7re is James Bond
Plot: 007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader.
Roger Moore's first 007 film is probably the only entry in the franchise better known for its theme song than anything that happens on the screen. Nevertheless, beyond McCartney's classic tune, there are distinctive touches in Live and Let Die that make it as much a part of its era as the earlier instalments. It's heavily influenced by blaxploitation films and the spirit of filmmaking of the 1970s. Rather than pursuing evil masterminds intent on taking over the world or toppling foreign governments, Bond is given the task of taking down a heroin smuggler and his henchmen. The Bond girls this time around include an African-American, too.
Lacking many of the conventions of a typical Bond film (including formal wear, casinos, martinis, Q, banter in the offices of MI6, sports cars, etc) this is a marked departure from earlier instalments. From the funky title sequence, it's clear that we've left the mod '60s and entered the trippy '70s. The action is also increasingly spectacular and violent. The villain's demise is one of the most outrageous and amusing in the franchise's history. The original Bond diet of intrigue and danger has been jettisoned in favor of a series of cartoon adventures and chases. And you know what? It's fun.
Roger Moore is usually criticised for his portrayal of Bond, but one has to merely accept him as a different type of 007 - a more comedy-centric, less gritty interpretation of the spy. The results are satisfying. Moore is an enjoyable Bond. Another enjoyable character is Sheriff J. W. Pepper; an exaggerated Southern cracker who talks like a moron and provides an escape valve for resentment. When his car is ripped in two by an airborne speedboat, Pepper becomes hysterical, claiming that "Black Russians" are invading his Parish.
Live and Let Die may be dated, but it can also be considered a look into a different era. Bond films are a product of their era, after all. The cinematic techniques are still solid all these decades on.
Clothing Brush Communicator
The 'Felix Lighter'
(Bond gets rid of the mechanical arm of a henchman, Solitaire asks him what he's doing) "Just being disarming, dear."
He never misses his target, and now his target is 007.
Plot: Bond is led to believe that he is targeted by the world's most expensive assassin and must hunt him down to stop him.
The Man with the Golden Gun is a frequently-bashed entry to the James Bond canon, yet this hate is undeserved in my eyes. While it admittedly suffers from being too lightweight, silly and at times badly-paced, it's an otherwise worthwhile Bondbuster. The action, orchestrated by director Guy Hamilton, is solid, and culminates with a tense final showdown on Scaramanga's island. Locales are exotic, too, while the girls are beautiful, the opening is gripping, and the comedy is excellent.
Scaramanga is one of the best and most memorable villains of the series. Played wonderfully by Christopher Lee, Scaramanga is Bonds equal in nearly every way, save for the fact that he kills for money rather than for King and Country. He is suave, sophisticated and savvy. Also, he's developed as a journeyman; gleefully plying his trade without a care in the world. We are even shown, during the opening scene, that Scaramanga hires hit men to test his own skill against.
Roger Moore had settled into the role of Bond nicely by this instalment. Not as rough and tumble as Sean Connery, though, as his version of Bond is a bit softer and classier. Nothing wrong with that - there's a lot of comedy, and the film is far more fun due to it.
The Man with the Golden Gun is a lot of fun. It's about as far from Ian Fleming's vision of the superspy as the cinematic interpretations have ever gotten, but for those who expect light escapism, this movie does its part.
The Golden Gun
AMC Matador – Flying car
"I am now aiming precisely at your groin. So speak or forever hold your piece."
It's the BIGGEST. It's the BEST. It's BOND. And BEYOND.
Plot: James Bond investigates the hijacking of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads with the help of a KGB agent whose lover he killed.
Of Roger Moore's seven outings as Agent 007, The Spy Who Loved Me stands out as the best. Stripped of the extreme silliness of Moonraker and packed with style, action, and wit, The Spy Who Loved Me ranks alongside the Connery Bonds as a memorable cinematic representation of Ian Fleming's superspy, and a damn good motion picture in its own right.
The film was directed with great style and vigor by Bond veteran Lewis Gilbert. Besides being skilled as a director of the action genre (the climax is an absolute ripper from every aspect; one of the most exciting action scenes of the series), he is also the one who claims credit for convincing Moore to put more of himself in the role and stop trying to be like Sean Connery. Moore's performance here is his best out of all his seven Bond films.
The Spy Who Loved Me marks the first appearance of Jaws (played by Richard Kiel), who's one of 007's most dangerous, memorable and persistent adversaries. He's so massive and powerful that there's little Bond can do against him physically. He's a fantastic supervillain, and it's great fun to see how 007 survives confrontations with the steel-toothed giant.
With a bunch of cool gadgets, a great couple of villains, great Bond girls, Moore in peak form, terrific action, fantastic special effects and a perfect pace, The Spy Who Loved Me is a top-notch Bondbuster guaranteed to satiate Bond fans and those who enjoy a solid action-adventure.
Customised Lotus Esprit
Micro-Film Reader assembled from a cigarette case & lighter
Stun Gas Cigarette
Watch with a built-in telex that allowed MI6 to send important messages to Bond
Sharp Tea Tray
(picks up Jaws with a magnet) "How does that grab you?"
Moonraker Is Out Of This World
Plot: James Bond investigates the mid-air theft of a space shuttle and discovers a plot to commit global genocide.
James Bond has endured his fair share of highs and lows over the course of his screen history. While fans continue to argue over which Bond adventure is his very best, most would unanimously point to a single adventure as being the worst: Moonraker. It has the dubious distinction of being the most reviled of the Bond flicks. It's a late-70s exercise in cheese that shamelessly tried to tap into the Star Wars fever of the time. A familiar world domination plot is also in play.
No matter how hard I try, it's impossible to get past some of the awkward moments present in Moonraker. The film is filled to the brim with pure liquid cheese, almost to the point of being a parody of itself. A pigeon does a double take, for instance. Jaws was one of the best Bond villains in history, but in this movie he ends up in a ridiculous space-based romantic tryst with a nerdy-looking young girl, not to mention he helps Bond. It's ludicrous, awkward, cringe-worthy, insulting and just plain dumb.
Will Bond fans enjoy Moonraker? I doubt it. It's just not a good movie or even an enjoyable movie, despite a number of decent action sequences. Even those who manage to hang with the film, will likely bail out by the time the outer space climax arrives. It's dull, poorly-paced, very rarely exciting and...boring. The budget was as high as the budgets for the first 8 Bond films combined... Why couldn't they have focused more on the script?
Revisiting Moonraker in this day & age is an interesting, gruelling and frustrating experience, made even worse by the excellent entries following it (notably GoldenEye). Here's hoping that Bond never revisits these lows again.
Wrist dart gun
Hydrofoil Boat equipped with explosive mines, torpedoes, and an escape glider
Wristwatch containing a remote detonator and explosive charge and fuse inside the back compartment
(Drax asks why Bond broke up his encounter with the python) "I discovered it had a crush on me."
No one comes close to JAMES BOND 007
Plot: Agent 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
With For Your Eyes Only, 007 entered the 1980s with a return to the "glory days" of the '60s. Realising the over-the-top nature of Moonraker was a bad idea, the filmmakers wisely chose to bring Bond "back to Earth"; opting instead for a retro-Bond adventure that takes the intrepid superspy back into familiar territory.
Blofeld returns briefly for the opening sequence, while Bond is shown putting flowers on the grave of Tracy; his wife who was killed in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. However, M is not present here, as Bernard Lee died before filming started. Q and Moneypenny are still here, though.
There's no doubt that For Your Eyes Only has a much different tone than Roger Moore's previous Bond films. He's less campy and much more serious in this outing; there are fewer one-liners, and the film remains serious. The action set-pieces within the adventure are fun and exciting, but moreover, they are intregal to plot. They don't feel like excuses to brag about having the best second unit - they feel like an organic part of Bond's actions. John Glen has orchestrated a number of terrific action sequences here, so kudos to him!
In the final analysis, For Your Eyes Only is a solid adventure. It's the Bond canon's diamond in the rough - not the first Bond movie you think of, but it's a damn good espionge thriller, and a great ride. If anything, it's just a bit indistinguished.
Watch which receives digital message read-outs and contains a radio/transmitter for voice communications.
Lotus Espirit equipped with explosive anti-theft system
Remote Controlled Helicopter
(after a car chase) "I love a drive in the country. Don't you...?"
James Bond's all time action high.
Plot: A fake Fabergé egg and a fellow agent's death leads James Bond to uncovering an international jewel smuggling operation, headed by the mysterious Octopussy, being used to disguise a nuclear attack on NATO forces.
1983 was the year of competing Bonds - Sean Connery against Roger Moore; Never Say Never Again against Octopussy (the thirteenth official Bond entry). Though opinions vary on this, Octopussy proved to be the superior effort. It's a goofy, cartoonish, devilishly enjoyable action-adventure. The trademark Bond features - exotic and beautiful locations, equally beautiful woman, plenty of action, suspense and a story that barrels along - are all in attendance.
In the Bond canon, Octopussy is notable due to the first appearance of Robert Brown as 'M' replacing the deceased Bernard Lee. Robert Brown was later replaced by Dame Judi Dench in the Brosnan era. This film is also the second of five Bondbusters directed by John Glen. Additionally, it includes the second appearance of Maud Adams as a Bond leading lady, after her role in The Man With The Golden Gun. She is the only actress to appear as the leading lady twice in Bond films (she also appeared briefly in A View to A Kill).
A strong suit of Octopussy is its sets, settings, and location shots. It's among the most opulent Bond films. Filmed primarily in India, the lavish palaces, courtyards, temples, and lagoons are spectacular. Meanwhile, director John Glen handled the action and suspense remarkably. The opening sequence is thoroughly gripping, while the climax is remarkably intense.
Octopussy is a often maligned and overlooked, yet I find this film to be original and enjoyable.
Wristwatch containing a universal radio direction finder
Fountain pen containing an earpiece listening device that works in conjunction with wristwatch
A miniature motorboat disguised as a crocodile
(Bond is told he must trade the egg for his life) "Well, I heard the price of eggs was up, but isn't that a little high?"
If you haven't seen Sean Connery in 'Never Say Never Again' then you haven't seen James Bond 007!
Plot: A SPECTRE agent has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find their targets before they are detonated.
Following the release of Diamonds Are Forever back in 1971, Sean Connery proclaimed that he would "never again" play the role of James Bond. Thus Roger Moore was brought in, and the series continued. For Never Say Never Again, though, Connery reneged on his anti-007 vow and once again slipped into the role that had earned him worldwide fame. Bond fans were exulted. Well, until they saw the movie, that is.
Never Say Never Again owes its existence to a lawsuit over James Bond creator Ian Fleming's 1961 novel Thunderball, which was produced as a film in 1965. The novel was actually written from a screenplay idea that he had concocted in the 1950s with Kevin McClory and writer Jack Whittingham. When Fleming published the novel as sole author, McClory sued, and the case was eventually settled out of court. Part of the settlement allowed McClory to have cinematic rights to the story and characters. 20 years later, he set about making his own version of Thunderball. The result is possibly the worst-written Bond script of all. Never Say Never Again is a poor excuse for Connery's return. The humour is over-the-top, the direction is pedestrian, and the storyline drags. Were it not for the pleasure of seeing Connery playing 007 one more time, this film would have been nearly unwatchable.
A hallmark of Bond movies is exciting action, yet the action sequence of Never Say Never Again are few and far between, and they lack flair. And the absence of the John Barry/Monty Norman James Bond Theme leaves a musical hole that Michel Legrand's feeble score cannot plug. At least Connery's charm makes this film somewhat salvageable.
Wristwatch equipped with a laser beam cutting tool
(Bond is asked if he loses as gracefully as he wins) "I don't know, I've never lost."
Adventure Above And Beyond All Other Bonds
Plot: An investigation of a horse-racing scam leads 007 to a mad industrialist who plans to create a worldwide microchip monopoly by destroying California's Silicon Valley.
A View to a Kill has the dubious distinction of being both Roger Moore's swan song as special agent 007 (it's also Lois Maxwell's final appearance as Moneypenny) and one of the most critically-lambasted offerings in the entire James Bond series. Moore had assumed the 007 role in 1973 and held it until 1985, which is quite an impressive stint. But by the time this film was made, Roger was getting a bit long in the tooth to be bedding young ladies, kicking ass and hanging from ropes. Nevertheless, don’t let all the negative talk dissuade you - A View to a Kill is not as bad as some would have you believe. If nothing else, it's not as deadly dull or ludicrous as Moonraker.
The real stars of the picture, naturally, are the exciting locales, stunts, gadgets, and girls. In A View to a Kill, 007 travels from the top of the Eiffel Tower to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, and encounters dangers ranging from a poison butterfly on a stick to a runaway blimp. The action scenes are terrific here, with the opening ski/snowboarding pre-credits sequence and the fire engine chase among the most notable here. Christopher Walken is a chilling villain, and Grace Jones is viciously effective as his sidekick.
While this is far from my favorite Bond film, A View to a Kill still works for the action sequences and the supporting cast. It is a fitting send off for Roger Moore.
Polarizing Sunglasses to see through tinted glass
Ring with mini camera
Electric Shaver containing an electronic eavesdropping detector
Razor Sharp Butterflies
(girls tells Bond she never thought he'd be back) "Well, there was a heck of a crowd on the piste!"
The new James Bond... living on the edge.
Plot: James Bond is living on the edge to stop an evil arms dealer from starting another world war. Bond crosses all seven continents in order to stop the evil Whitaker and General Koskov.
Timothy Dalton is a fine actor for sure, and his performance is Bond is at least solid. Problem is, Dalton plays Bond too straight, cold, and without a trace of humour. The argument for this kind of performance is that it more closely resembles the 007 of the novels, but, after fourteen Bondbusters, the cinematic Bond has evolved far from what his creator envisioned. I do appreciate what Dalton did with the role, and he certainly isn't dreadful, but he can't stand alongside the best.
The plot is pretty standard stuff, and suffice it to say it's the proverbial convoluted Bond plot involving multiple countries, governments, and double-crosses. What's more important than the plot, as always, are the gadgets, the hotties, the villains, the pacing, the action and the stunts - they make the movie.
Thankfully, the gadgets are nifty, and the trademark Q lab scene is amusing. But the hotties? The leading lady, Maryam D'Abo, is only mildly appealing, and she's the only leading female in the entire movie (as opposed to a handful, a la usual Bond tradition). The villains, meanwhile, are weak. Joe Don Baker plays an American arms dealer, and he is just not a menacing enough villain. Jeroen Krabbé is a fairly flat villain, too. As for the stunts, the action and the pacing? Stunts are pretty sweet, especially a tense sequence involving a fight on a plane plane. The action is at times exciting, too, most notably the excellent opening sequence. The pacing, however, is usually plodding, and there are a lot of dead spots. This is problematic for a James Bond adventure.
Bottom line? The Living Daylights is not one of the strongest entries in the series. Instead, it's one of the more forgettable Bondbusters.
Keychain with stun gas, explosive charge and lockpick
Miniature Binoculars on normal looking eye-glass frames
Ghetto Blaster (a boombox that can fire a rocket)
Revolving Sofa that swallows whoever sits on it
Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante with assorted gadgets
Milk Bottle Bombs
(Bond is fighting on a plane with the back open. During fight, bad guy is reduced to grabbing onto Bond's boot as a last means of saving himself. Bond cuts off his boot, bad guy falls to his death. Kara asks what happened) "He got the boot."
Out for revenge. Glimpse behind the cool facade of 007. And see how sweet revenge can really be.
Plot: James Bond leaves Her Majesty's Secret Service to stop an evil drug lord and avenge his best friend, Felix Leiter.
The dark, gritty tone of Licence to Kill (which originally earned it an R rating) is unprecedented. This is an edgy Bondbuster, almost completely lacking in humour and flippancy. Dalton's portrayal of Bond is angry and focused. Best part is, Dalton has a reason to be this brutal - his mission has nothing to do with Her Majesty's Secret Service, as he's on a personal vendetta while the British government is hunting him.
Robert Davi places forth one of his best performances as an actor playing the vicious drug lord Sanchez. After the disappointingly weak villain in The Living Daylights, it's indeed refreshing to see a strong, brutal villain. The girls this time around are also very attractive, most notably the delicious Carey Lowell.
For the most part, the action is toned down in favor of plot development. This overemphasis on story is a mistake, because the narrative bogs down at times, but no-one can deny that the action scenes we do have here are some of the most spectacular of the entire canon. The grand finale clicks beautifully, where Bond saddles up a tanker truck filled with gasoline and takes off after Sanchez. It's a classic Bond conclusion of fireballs, jaw-dropping stunt work, and a general disregard for the laws of gravity. Also impressive is the trademark opening sequence, which is taut and riveting.
Plastic explosives disguised as ordinary toothpaste
A camera that when put together becomes a sniper rifle
Laser Polaroid Camera
Exploding Alarm Clock
Radio Transceiver Broom
Manta Ray overcover
(Bond sees a man impaled on the forks of a fork lift) "Looks like he came to a dead end."
You know the name. You know the number.
Plot: James Bond teams up with the lone survivor of a destroyed Russian research center to stop the hijacking of a nuclear space weapon by a fellow agent believed to be dead.
Like everything else, James Bond had had to change for the '90s. The venerable 007, coming off a six-year hiatus, took on his sixth face, changed his mode of transport from an Aston Martin to a BMW, and now answers to a female "M" (Judi Dench). Bond's attitudes towards women have been modified, although not substantially.
The result is GoldenEye. On the short-list for the best James Bond films of all time, GoldenEye should undoubtedly have a place (in my opinion at #2, right behind Goldfinger). Pierce Brosnan as Bond is a decided improvement over his immediate predecessor. Brosnan has a flair for wit to go along with his natural charm; Dalton was stoic and sober. Brosnan is, quite simply, the best Bond since Sean Connery.
So, why's the movie so good, then? First of all, the action. '90s action is grittier, faster, and more hard-hitting than the action of previous decades, and director Martin Campbell has handled the action sequences in GoldenEye with a sure hand. Secondly, Sean Bean is the best Bond villain in the history of the series. The character set-up is perfect (a former MI6 agent), and Bean pulled off the role with suitable malice. Thirdly, the beautiful Bond girl quota was filled brilliantly (the female villain uses sex as a weapon). Fourthly, the global locales are all there, including Cuba and Russia. Fifthly, the production design and special effects are just...top-notch. The stunts continue to raise the bar higher (the opening is a stunner), while the special effects which bring to life the stage for the climax are immaculate. Lastly, the one-liners. Boy, are they terrific.
This is all tied together by Eric Serra's zippy score, and Martin Campbell's excellent direction which keeps the film moving along at an exhilarating pace. GoldenEye is a fantastic action movie, and an excellent Bondbuster.
Belt which can fire out up to 75 feet of high tensile wire
Class four grenade Ballpoint Pen
Omega Wristwatch with built-in laser cutter and a remote detonator
Piton Gun with grappling hook and laser
X-Ray Document Scanner
Phone Booth Trap
Wheelchair and Leg Cast missile
Ejector seat disguised as an ordinary office chair
(Xenia tells him he doesn't need the gun) "Well, that depends on your definition of safe sex."
The Man. The Number. The License...are all back.
Plot: James Bond heads to stop a media mogul's plan to induce war between China and the UK in order to obtain exclusive global media coverage.
With Goldeneye, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson successfully re-invented 007 for the '90s and proved that the action hero could still be a viable box office draw. Tomorrow Never Dies is back to business as usual; continuing the once-again healthy franchise by serving up an irresistible cocktail of top-notch action, special effects, beautiful gals, one-liners and sinister villains. It's not better than GoldenEye, but it stands as one of the best Bond movies in the canon.
The series breaks a little new ground here too. The main Bond girl, Wai Lin is the first Bond girl to function more as a partner for 007 than as a love interest or someone to be rescued. Played by Hong Kong star Michelle Yeoh, this character is just as physical and lethal as Bond, and she never screams for help. Then there's the boundlessly entertaining action sequences. It's impossible to count the number of bullets fired, and there are pyrotechnics aplenty. A couple of memorable chases are peppered throughout, including one with a driverless car and another with a low-flying helicopter closing in on a motorcycle. For those who crave flashes, bangs, narrow escapes, and other action film staples, Tomorrow Never Dies delivers.
Bond fans should love this movie. Detractors will probably yawn it away as "more of the same", though, but that's the point. Bond should't change or evolve significantly - we attend movies like Tomorrow Never Dies because they offer a predictably entertaining time with a popular superhero who can save the world with one hand while holding his vodka martini in the other. It's the same basic formula. What separates a good Bond movie from a bad one isn't the plot - it's the supporting cast, the intangibles, and the energy level. Thankfully, it ticks all the boxes.
BMW 750il with assorted gadgets
Mobile Phone with stun gun, fingerprint scanner, lockpick, and remote control for BMW 750il
Watch with small explosive charge
Cigarette lighter grenade
Wristband Grappling Hook
Earring Lock pick
(Carver is about to get killed by his own drill) "You forgot the first rule of mass media, Elliot! GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT!"
As the countdown begins for the new millienum there is still one number you can always count on.
Plot: James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot when he protects an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can't feel pain.
When it comes to Bond films, there's really only one question: is it entertaining? For The World Is Not Enough, the answer is yes. There's nothing special, shocking, or precedent-setting about the film, but it functions on a level that 007 fans will appreciate - as eye and ear candy. There are plenty of bangs, flashes, and chase sequences, plus the usual array of beautiful women with skimpy outfits and funny names, great gadgets, and exotic locales.
The major weak point is Denise Richards playing a nuclear scientist. That's like casting Sylvester Stallone as Steven Hawking. Not only is Richards of dubious acting ability, but the screenwriters did her no favours by saddling her with either expository dialogue meant to explain complex situations with lots of pseudo-scientific babble, or banal exclamations. Other than that, Richards' personality-devoid character has no purpose beyond providing a shapely figure in tank top and hot pants to attract teen boys. Luckily, Sophie Marceau is significantly more effective as Elektra, not only because her acting is of a superior quality, but because she is actually given a complex character to play. It also goes without saying that Brosnan is still a highly charismatic Bond.
Director Michael Apted may be best known for documentary efforts (the Seven Up series) and dramas (Gorillas In the Mist), but he proved to have a deft hand managing the taut pace and pyrotechnics of this kind of motion picture. David Arnold's score is a humdinger as well. Yet, with all its flaws, The World is Not Enough is just a perfectly average Bond movie, nothing more and nothing less. Bond fans will enjoy the witty retorts and double entendres, while casual viewers will likely lose interest.
Wristwatch containing a grappling hook
Multifunction lockpick concealed in a credit card
Eye-glasses (#1) for detonating flashbang charge
Eye-glasses (#2) enabling X-ray vision for checking for concealed weapons
Inflatable ski jacket
Bagpipe containing a flamethrower and a machine gun
(in bed with Dr. Christmas Jones) "I thought Christmas only comes once a year."
Pierce Brosnan as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007
Plot: James Bond is sent to investigate the connection between a North Korean terrorist and a diamond mogul who is funding the development of an international space weapon.
Forty years and 20 "official" movies later, James Bond is still at it. In the longest-running franchise in movie history, we have seen British special agent 007 escape from virtually every situation imaginable, defeat dozens of maniacal villains intent on taking over the world, use gadgets ranging from the extraordinary to the ludicrous, and bed a bevy of beauties from every continent while still looking great in a tuxedo and drinking his martinis shaken, not stirred. Die Another Day continued this tradition, albeit in a very slidshod fashion.
The need for action, action, and more action has reduced the plot to a minor footnote. Brosnan's other 007 outings were admittedly cartoonish (that's the nature of the beast), but they were bright, lively, and vivid. Die Another Day is unusually drab, and has stick figures. The people are secondary to the stunts and pyrotechnics, which has never been the case before. It's disturbing to watch Die Another Day and realise that it's no better than any second-rate spy action-thriller, and even more disheartening to compare it to some of the great Bond movies of the past.
For those interested, Die Another Day does retain some elements of the Bond formula: the cool gadgets, the attractive women, the globe-trotting, and the martinis. There are highlights too: the usual tour of Q's lab, a scene in which Bond and Moneypenny virtually have the hottest encounter in their lengthy relationship, and a few nice action beats. Other than that, though, Die Another Day is an exercise in loud explosions and excruciatingly bad special effects. The CGI and blue screen work in this movie is some of the worst ever seen in a major motion picture.
The major casualty of this movie turned out to be Pierce Brosnan. He did nothing wrong other than starring in a bad movie and his reward was being fired. It was a classless thing to do and Brosnan didn't deserve it. It's a shame that the last Bond film he'll be remembered for is this mess. Brosnan was well on his way to becoming the definitive James Bond. Fortunately, there are several other films that came before Die Another Day that are a much more fitting testament to his great work as James Bond.
Aston Martin Vanquish with cloaking device and assorted gadgets
Single Digit Sonic Agitator ring that can smash bullet-proof glass
Omega Wristwatch containing an explosive detonator and laser beam cutter
Mini Air Supply to supply oxygen while underwater
Virtual Combat Training Simulator
And various gadgets from prior instalments, such as:
Red Grant's killing watch (From Russia with Love)
Jet Pack (Thunderball)
Snorkel with false bird on top (Goldfinger)
Acrostar Jet (Octopussy)
One-man submarine disguised as crocodile (Octopussy)
Little Nellie (You Only Live Twice)
Rosa Klebb's Dagger-Toed Shoe (From Russia with Love)
(Bond is on a hovercraft. Seconds before it flies off a waterfall, Bond grabs onto a large bell to save himself) "Saved by the bell."
Everyone has a past. Every legend has a beginning. On November 17th, discover how James...became Bond.
Plot: In his first mission, James Bond must stop Le Chiffre, a banker to the world's terrorist organizations, from winning a high-stakes poker tournament at Casino Royale in Montenegro.
Casino Royale has been described as the most faithful cinematic adaptation of an Ian Fleming 007 novel. Gone is the womanising, the one-liners, and the fascinating gadgets. Sure, the creators wanted the series to be closer to the Fleming novels, but following forty years of the appealing "Classic Movie Bond" formula it frankly feels like too little, too late. Craig's rougher Bond fails to differentiate himself in the field of action heroes today. What originally set Bond apart from the rest was his style, his wit, the sex and the class... All of which has vanished. Bond has been transformed into an emotionless thug - a fundamental clone of Jason Bourne. Yes, this is Fleming's Bond, but the character is now far too generic and uninteresting.
So as a Bond movie, Casino Royale is pretty subpar. But even as an action movie it's nothing out of the ordinary. Yeah, Martin Campbell has a gift for action (the action scenes are spectacular), but momentum runs out as the film approaches the tail-end of its 140-minute runtime, and there are lines of dialogue that are worthy of cringes (including an allusion to MacBeth, for crying out loud). The film's commitment to realism is a problem, too. It is over-the-top, to be sure, but not in a fun way. For instance, a car swerves to avoid hitting someone, consequently rolling around in the air several times. It's physically impossible for any car to dance around in the air like that in this certain context. Bond also survives this car wreck. If he was "human" he'd have broken a few bones and his organs would be in trouble. But no - a few scratches is all suffers. Uh huh...
As for Daniel Craig? He's a wooden, stiff, emotionless assemblage of muscles. Craig's head is a rough cube, sawed and sanded, with the blue eyes hammered in like nail heads. He looks right at home handling the action scenes and beating opponents to a pulp, but he occasionally falters while delivering dialogue. Also, when the writers offer him humour to deliver, he sounds forced. As the sixth actor to play James Bond in the official series, Craig doesn't have the ruggedness or cheek of Sean Connery, the charming dapperness of Roger Moore, nor the playful and debonair grace of Pierce Brosnan. But his portrayal is superior to the less popular Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby.
It probably sounds like there's not much to love about Casino Royale, but its positives outweigh the faults. It's a technically sound action film with several highlights, but it's still flawed. At least it's better than Die Another Day.
Aston Martin DBS V12 with...a few gadgets
(after Le Chiffre hits Bond's testicles with a knotted rope several times) "Now the whole world's gonna know that you died scratching my balls!"
Plot: Seeking revenge for the death of his love, secret agent James Bond sets out to stop an environmentalist from taking control of a country's valuable resource.
There's no other way to put it: Quantum of Solace is a colossal disappointment and the worst James Bond movie since Moonraker.
The main problem is the film's over-reliance on its predecessor. Casino Royale established the story, but the story lost momentum into its final third. Hence there was virtually no interesting story remaining for Quantum of Solace to continue. Consequently the story is stilted and convoluted to the point of non-existence. Bond dashes around an action arena shooting every individual he can aim for. He shoots first, asks questions later. He is grilled by his superiors for this, but the film's self-awareness of Bond's new killing policy doesn't redeem this flaw. Quantum of Solace also tries to compete with the Jason Bourne films. It jettisons a solid story in favour of continuing a story which seemingly felt already complete. The result? Fundamentally an extended trailer (that at the same time feels tragically underwritten) featuring our beloved Agent 007 in name only form.
70% of the film's 100-minute duration is action. The prevailing philosophy appears to be "when in doubt, cut to the chase". Every time an intriguing dialogue scene is established, a gun is pulled out and bullets begin to fly. Each scene develops into an excuse for action. The film tears, rips, bangs and shatters but says zilch. No pop. No fizz. No story. But the action scenes aren't handled well. And since quality of action in a Bond film is essential, there's something gravely wrong.
Marc Forster has adequate skill to tackle different genres with each new film on his résumé. Alas, action/adventure isn't a genre Forster is capable of handling. For the film Forster succumbed to the baffling technique of "shaky-cam/rapid-cutting". When it comes to an action scene it's crucial to offer an opportunity for a viewer to confidently distinguish what is happening and, critically, why it's happening. Forster never allows this; the action is incoherent and it'll give you a migraine from trying to figure out what just happened.
James Bond is supposed to be a spy. Yet the definition of a spy is one who employs convert methods while remaining underneath the radar. Here Bond is swinging, shooting, punching, diving and flying...yep, just like Jason Bourne. Being depressed about losing a loved one isn't an acceptable reason for Bond to abandon his orders. The stylish, brainy secret service agent created by Ian Fleming (and established quite well in Casino Royale) is dead. He's been reincarnated in the form of a PlayStation game character.
Quantum of Solace is a bitter, incoherent, messy action film without any soul or substance. Marc Forster doesn't adapt well to the action genre, with several quick cuts in the space of one second detracting from the film's excitement. The Bond origins story didn't need to be stretched into two movies. In the Bond canon it isn't the worst (Moonraker receives that honour), but it's sitting towards the bottom. Heck, I even enjoyed Die Another Day far more than this dreary film!
Uh... There's an earpiece that Bond uses. That's about it...
(Bond shows up for his rendezvous with Camille having just survived a knife-fight, and she says he's late) "Got pulled into a meeting."