The cold open to Casino Royale shows, in sleek black and white, James Bond (Daniel Craig, in his debut as the character) waiting in the shadows of an office for a corrupt MI6 agent. Bond explains to the man that he killed his contact. The scene is essentially a gritty fist fight cross-cut with a noir-style confrontation. It is also essentially MI6’s test to Bond, a mission that gives Bond his 00 status (because killing two people while working for MI6 makes you a 00-agent, arbitrarily). Albeit brief, it is a wonderful opening.
We then see a meeting of evil minds. Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), leader of global crime organization Quantum, is setting up private banker (for terrorists) Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) with a terrorist outfit. Later, Continue reading Casino Royale (2006) Movie Review
On the Russian border, super spy James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) infiltrates a terrorist arms deal in order to steal a plane carrying nuclear torpedoes before a British launched missile hits the site. One “techno terrorist” involved in the deal, Henry Gupta (Ricky Jay), is working with media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathon Pryce), whose plan is to start World War III in order to profit off of the headlines it would provide.
The villainous plot is bonkers, don’t get me wrong. And Jonathon Pryce’s performance is exceedingly over-the-top. But it’s Continue reading Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) Movie Review
In the cold open to GoldenEye, spy James Bond (Pierce Brosnan, in his first outing as the franchise character) bungee jumps off of a dam in Arkhangelsk in order to covertly infiltrate a Soviet chemical weapons facility. Once inside, he rendevouses with fellow agent 006 Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean). Together they easily break into the loading dock where gasoline tankers are kept. Here we get one of my personal favorite exchanges in the Bond series:
Bond: That was too easy.
Trevelyan: Half of everything is luck.
Bond: And the other half.
Trevelyan: [alarm sounds] Fate.
Bond plants explosive charges on the tankers, but Trevelyan is Continue reading GoldenEye (1995) Movie Review
In the cold open of A View to a Kill, James Bond (Roger Moore) is in Siberia attempting to locate the body of missing agent 003. Upon finding the body, and the microchip that the dead agent had recovered, Bond is immediately hunted down on skis and snowmobiles by Soviet military.
Moore’s stunt double skis, rides a snowmobile, and snowboards in this sequence. The stunt work is all well and good, but the ADR lines of grunts falling on the slopes is laughable. Equally laughable is how Continue reading A View to a Kill (1985) Movie Review
In the Moonraker cold open, a Moonraker space shuttle is hijacked while en route to the United Kingdom on top of a jet plane. In response to this, M (Bernard Lee, in his final outing as the MI6 head) calls for James Bond (Roger Moore). Bond, who is already on his way to London on a plane, is attacked by the plane’s crew and thrown out by assassin giant Jaws (Richard Kiel). The action scene in the air is fine, but everything surrounding it is disjointed and absurd.
Upon safely arriving in London, Bond is instructed to travel to California to meet with Drax (Michael Lonsdale), the wealthy owner of the stolen Moonraker. Our main villain for the proceedings, Drax is Continue reading Moonraker (1979) Movie Review
When Soviet and British submarines disappear, the KGB and MI6 make moves to investigate. Super spy James Bond (Roger Moore) is led to Egypt, where plans for a submarine tracking system are apparently on the black market.
Bond’s travels turn into a cat and mouse game as he searches for contacts, only to find them murdered just prior to his arrival. The killer, Jaws (Richard Kiel), is one of the most Continue reading The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Movie Review
Roger Moore’s second outing as super spy James Bond, The Man With the Golden Gun, opens on a strange foot chase through a fun house filled with wax figures, mirrors, and full sets. With little explanation as to why, an assassin with a terrible shot follows Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), an ex-KGB baddie with three nipples, through this house as Nick Nack (Herve Villechaize) goads both men on over an intercom. Eventually, Scaramanga comes across his signature golden gun, which he uses to shoot his pursuer dead.
Let me recap: a tri-nippled Christopher Lee is our villain. He kills people in his fun house lair with his henchman, Tattoo from Fantasy Island. If it sounds strange, that’s because it is.
Continue reading The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) Movie Review
At a meeting of the United Nations in New York City, a man is killed mysteriously by a strange noise emitting through his ear-piece translator. In New Orleans, a man is stabbed and tossed into the middle of a funeral parade that just happens to be for him. In the Caribbean, a man tied up by locals is tied up and bitten by a poisonous snake during a ritual. Three men dead, and all three agents of British spy organization MI6.
Enter James Bond (Roger Moore, in his first outing as the franchise spy). MI6 head M (Bernard Lee) and his assistant Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) appear at Bonds doorstep to address the issue of agents dropping like flies. The scene is a comedic game of hide and seek, as Bond steers M away from discovering the naked woman in Bond’s bed. This, and the clever use of a magnetic watch, makes the entrance of Moore as Bond light and fun.
Continue reading Live and Let Die (1973) Movie Review
The cold open to Diamonds Are Forever depicts an angered James Bond (Sean Connery) roughing up a series of people in his search for terrorist supervillain and now arch-nemesis Blofeld (Charles Gray). He finally does find him and, seemingly, kills him. Whatever the case, Connery feels very tired in this scene when it comes to his line delivery.
Following this exacted revenge, Bond is tapped on to impersonate a diamond smuggler. From this job, he encounters a strange cast of characters, including Continue reading Diamonds Are Forever (1971) Movie Review
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the first EON-produced James Bond film not to star Sean Connery in its lead role. Instead, we get George Lazenby appearing in the opening scene of the film. He introduces himself to a lovely woman in the normal James Bond way. Then, he fights off violent criminals in the normal James Bond way. Yet, this opening scene and subsequent opening titles sequence are self-aware of this sudden change in casting. Lazenby, his face a sly grin oozing with cheekiness, says, essentially to the audience, “This never happened to the other fella.”
Despite this acknowledgment that the Lazenby Bond isn’t the same as the Connery Bond we have come to know and, at times, love, the following scenes depict Bond as usual. He is awarded a luxury suite at a hotel. He plays baccarat. He drinks Dom Perignon ’57 as he sits down with a beautiful woman. He even stops to dine on caviar after fending off an assailant.
But Lazenby isn’t Connery. Lazenby is Bond to the next level. He is quicker to Continue reading On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) Movie Review