With Spectre just around the corner, it is only appropriate to look back at the good and the bad, the camp and the grit, the martinis and the Aston Martins. Here is a ranking of the entire James Bond franchise, not including the forthcoming 24th installment.
Note: click on the titles to read full reviews of the films.
Continue reading Ranking the James Bond Filmography
Skyfall opens on an extended foot and car chase, which is choreographed beautifully. It also ends with the apparent death of James Bond (Daniel Craig), shot and left for dead in the sea as Adele’s thunderous theme kicks in. Of course, Bond survives, but MI6 doesn’t know this. M (Judi Dench) must write his obituary. Her job is also threatened for her reckless actions with her agents in the field.
Following this, MI6’s computers are hacked and their headquarters are destroyed. Bond returns to help remedy the situation, but he’s Continue reading Skyfall (2012) Movie Review
In The World is Not Enough, MI6 super spy James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is sent to hunt down terrorist Renard (Robert Carlyle), the man behind the assassination of a billionaire oil tycoon who is also attempting to instigate a nuclear meltdown. Additionally, Renard has a bullet lodged in his skull that renders him with diminishing senses and the inability to feel pain.
Now that we have contextualized the absudity, let’s begin.
This is Brosnan’s third outing as James Bond. It is hard to say that he has “settled in” to the role at this point in his tenure. His acting as the spy certainly Continue reading The World is Not Enough (1999) Movie Review
In the opening to Licence to Kill, CIA agent Felix Leiter (David Hedison) is pulled away from his own wedding in order to hunt down drug kingpin Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi). With British secret agent 007 James Bond (Timothy Dalton) in tow, Leiter tracks down the criminal, but Sanchez escapes in a plane. Fearless Bond suspends himself from a helicopter in midair in order to literally rope in Sanchez’ vehicle. Upon successfully capturing Sanchez, Bond and Leiter parachute into Leiter’s wedding.
The aircraft stunt in this opening scene is marvelous to watch. The interplay with Bond and Leiter and the fact that Leiter is holding up his wedding for the sake of work is comical. This first scene sets up the film wonderfully.
Following this scene, Sanchez is in custody. He offers Continue reading Licence to Kill (1989) 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
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
You Only Live Twice, the fifth James Bond film and the fifth to feature Sean Connery in the lead role, opens on space, where a manned, United States spacecraft is hovering over Earth’s orbit. As one of the two astronauts leaves the craft, a larger spacecraft starts barreling toward them. This larger, unidentified spacecraft swallows the U.S. craft whole, leaving the external astronaut for dead in open space and the U.S. government up in arms over their lost craft.
After seeing this international kerfuffle over the missing spacecraft–the U.S. blaming the Soviets and England blaming the Japanese–we meet Bond in Hong Kong, where he is Continue reading You Only Live Twice (1967) Movie Review