021: From a View to a Kill (1985)
Considered one of the worst Bond movies ever according to many film critics. Yes, Roger Moore playing Bond at 58 is pushing it, but From a View to a Kill doesn’t deserve all the hate it gets. I actually found it refreshing for a Bond movie to take place in the US. I also appreciate the film even more since I spent close to three years living in San Francisco.
Christopher Walken and Grace Jones play fantastic Bond villains and flooding Silicon Valley wasn’t a bad idea. The Golden Gate Bridge scene and the Duran Duran Song stand out as the most memorable parts of the film to me, though.
What’s disappointing? Well, the Bond girl Stacey is gorgeous, but she spends most of the movie screaming. Listening to her yell JAMES, JAMES, JAMES gets rather annoying. The firetruck sequence also isn’t exciting, and the film can drag a lot. Still, I still enjoy this movie and find it’s worth watching.
020: Quantum of Solace (2008)
The first true sequel to a Bond movie, but a victim of a writers strike. So, it’s not surprising that compared to Casino Royale Quantum of Solace feels half-baked. The plot isn’t strong and Bond going rogue doesn’t work as well as it did in License to Kill. Also, it’s difficult to watch because of the hack job editing. Many of action sequences resemble quick cuts that don’t flow well.
Despite its problems, I still like Quantum of Solace. It’s action packed and doesn’t overstay its welcome. And scenes like the opera house and Bond confronting Vespers’ boyfriend remain memorable. If you look past the thin plot, then you’ll find much to enjoy in Quantum of Solace. A disappointing Bond film for sure, but far from the worst in the film franchise.
019: The Living Daylights (1987)
A nice change of pace for Bond films. Especially after watching the seven prior cheesy Roger Moore films. Timothy Dalton does a better job as 007 than most critics would lead you to believe.He also was an early precursor to the dark tone of the Daniel Craig films. Still, it’s hard to argue that he’s as charming as other Bonds and his lack of humor is noticeable.
Cool fact: The action sequence on a plane was an inspiration for the video game Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception.
Other great things include the a-ha title song, the car chase and seeing John Rhy-Davis take a stab at a Bond film. I enjoy this film, but I wish the main villain was stronger and more menacing. Bond saves his life early in the film, and he acts like too much of a wuss afterward so it’s hard to take him seriously.
018: License to Kill (1989)
The darkest Bond movie by far and a polarizing film for many. Some people hate it others love it. I’m in the latter category. At the time, it was refreshing to see Bond out for revenge. Instead of doing another mission for M. I like the villain Sanchez, and it was interesting watching Bond try to get close to him by acting as a friend. The tanker sequence during the film’s climax gets better each time I watch it too.
Pam Bouvier is one of the strongest Bond Girls and it’s great that Q gets more screen time with Bond. What’s not so great is it’s too serious. Just like The Living Daylights, some more lighthearted moments would have been nice. Despite the lack of humor, if you like the Daniel Craig movies give this underrated Bond film a shot. It’s a shame Timothy Dalton didn’t get more opportunities to play Bond. His third film might have been his SkyFall.
017: Never Say Never Again(1983)
Never Say Never Again isn’t an official Bond film. What it does have though is Sean Connery who hasn’t lost any of his talents despite being away from 007 for 12 years. What I like best about Never Say Never Again is its lightheartedness. Its fun and I get a kick out of watching Largo, played by Klaus Maria Brandauer act.
Yeah, the video game duel and the movie as a whole is kind of cheesy. As are certain scenes like Fatima Blush asking Bond to write a note for her before she kills him. However, it’s a good remake of Thunderball and very entertaining.
016: ThunderBall (1965)
Adjusted for inflation Thunderball is the highest grossing Bond film of all time. Like the earlier Sean Connery films, it’s a strong film. The Bond girls are strong too. Domino proves a formidable threat for the villain Largo and the evil mistress Fiona challenges 007 quite admirably. Standout scenes in the film? The shark chase sequence and the opening jetpack scene. Problems with the film? It’s a little too long and drags in a few spots, but Connery’s strong performance as Bond more than makes up for it.
015: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
This Bond film will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first Bond film I ever saw and while the video game Goldeneye ignited my passion for James Bond. This film introduced me to the film franchise. It’s disappointing to see so many critics didn’t like it, but I find it enjoyable. I understand the criticism about the villain who has a ridiculous scheme. He wants to start World War III so he can get exclusive broadcasting rights in China.
Tomorrow Never Dies has some memorable action sequences that stay with you. The remote control car chase and motorcycle race through Beijing never get old for me. Also, who can forget Bond and Wai Lin jumping off a building and tearing down a billboard. Michelle Yeoh is one of the best Bond girls and holds her own with Pierce Brosnan. A good second effort by Pierce Brosnan.
Stay tuned for part 3