It took me a little over a week, but somehow I managed to watch all 23 James Bond films from start to finish. So yay me!
Now today, James Bond returns to movie theaters in “Spectre,” the fourth 007 film starring Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming’s secret agent. In this installment of the series, Bond goes to battle against the forces of SPECTRE, a criminal organization hellbent on world domination.
But if battling an old familiar foe wasn’t enough, 007 also has to do battle with a different sort of villain: Movie audience’s reaction when they inevitably compare “Spectre” to the much beloved “Skyfall.” And probably the twenty-two other films in the series as well.
The point is, every James Bond fan has his or her favorite films. And they also have their least favorite movies in the series. I wrote about my least favorites Bonds during the early days of TNU, but I figured with a new movie, and having just re-watched the entire series, it was the right time for a new list. And here’s a list of the worst 007 films in my opinion:
I hate putting this movie on the list, but the filmmakers gave me no choice. “Thunderball” is not all bad, there’s a lot to like. In fact, the only thing really keeping this from being one of my top 007 films is the excessive use of underwater footage;
In the movie, SPECTRE’s hiding a pair nuclear bombs at the bottom of a coral reef off the Bahamas, because where else does an evil organization hide some nukes?
Anyways, the scenes of them stealing, retrieving, moving, and then fighting over these bombs go on and on and on. To be fair, one or two of these sequences are pretty spectacular, but one slow-motion underwater sequence was enough. Instead, nearly the entire last act takes place underwater.
9. The Man With The Golden Gun
Oh what could have been!
“The Man With The Golden Gun” is one of the better storylines ever bestowed upon a Bond film, but sadly, its one which never pays off.
The idea of am assassin actively seeking out Bond to prove his superiority could have been the best Bond film off all. But even Christopher Lee’s sinister performance as the Francisco Scaramanga couldn’t save the movie.
The film also features one the most disappointing Bond-girl ever in the form of Mary Goodnight, a bumbling MI6 agent whose attempts to assist 007 always cause more trouble for Bond.
“Live and Let Die” is a movie that does not age well. It’s a 70’s movie that will always look and feel like one. The plot about releasing free heroin in the United States is weak compared to other 007 films. And putting all the villains in pimp suits? no, just no.
“Live and Let Die” is also notable because Gadget master Q is nowhere to be found and the scene with M and Moneypenny is rather short.
In a shameless attempt to cash in on the Star Wars phenomenon, the Bond franchise decided 007 had to go to outer space.
You can shake your head now if you like…
The films features a Bond girl named Holly Goodhead, and climactic laser-gun space station battle. That alone should tell you all you need to know about “Moonraker.” Even fan favorite Jaws returns in “Moonraker,” but he talks, falls in love, and turns good at the end.
Is nothing sacred anymore?
6. Quantum of Solace
Two years after EON Productions successfully rebooted the Bond series in “Casino Royale,” this horrible follow-up damn near killed the franchise. Even the theme song by Jack White and Alicia Keys, sucks.
I mean, how is that even possible?
Anyways die-hard fans were rightly pissed, and I put all the blame on Marc Forster, an indie director with zero flair for action. What should have been an epic revenge saga, turned into a Bourne wannabe.
5. The World is Not Enough
The World is Not Enough is Bond’s family motto, but the movie was a classic case of style over substance. There’s too much stuff going on, but very little in terms of story. And this movie never stood a chance once Denise Richards was cast in the role of a nuclear physicist.
But I will admit, I love the pre-credits boat chase around London. And I love Sophie Marceau as a bad girl. TWINE als has one of my favorite lines of dialogue from Zukovsky: “I’m looking for a submarine. It’s big and black, and the driver is a very good friend of mine.”
Fans have a lot of complaints about this entry, which is why its routinely at the bottom of most Bond lists. I think there’s wo main reasons for this:
*Roger Moore was 57 when he made “A View to a Kill,” 57! I’m sorry, but he just wasn’t believable in the action sequences.
*Tanya Roberts was the Denise Richards of th eighties. Hot as hell, but badly miscast here. But she could scream, I’ll give her that much.
The only reason “A View to a Kill” isn’t lower on my list is because of the great Christopher Walken.
Got a question for ya: What do Fabergé eggs, octopus cults, nuclear bombs, Soviet generals, and India have to do with one another?
Absolutely nothing, but that didn’t stop the producers from throwing all of those things into “Octopussy.” The result was one of the most incoherent 007 films ever. Putting Roger Moore in a clown suit basically cemented his Bond legacy and the comedic Bond.
“I’m gonna wake up, yes and no
I’m gonna kiss some part of
I’m gonna keep this secret
I’m gonna close my body now”
WTF kinda theme song is that?!? Ugh. Anywho, “Die Another Day” is a tale of two movies. The first movie (the first 30 minutes or so) is not bad. Bond is captured in North Korea, and tortured. But it all goes down hill when he meets Jinx (Halle Berry) in Cuba.
“Die Another Day” has a bad plot, terrible villains, and some of the worst CGI ever seen in movies See the parachute surfing scene for what not to do in a Bond movie.
There’s even a satellite laser that can harness the sun’s power. Sigh, just because nonsense like this worked in the sixties, it didn’t mean it would work in the 21st century.
1. Diamonds are Forever
Diamonds may be forever, but Sean Connery isn’t. The actor quit the role during “You Only Live Twice,” but was coaxed out of retirement by MGM for one final (official) Bond film. The studio gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse: £1.25 million, which sounds like a bargain now, but was a record in its day.
The problem with Diamonds isnt’ that Connery was past his prime, but that he didn’t seem to want to be in the movie. Watch the movie, and tell me he does have a slightly disinterested look during the entire thing. The sad thing is, Connery was the least of this movie’s problems. There’s plenty to choose from, but here are the ones that continue to bug me today:
*Bond wear a very wide pink tie.
*The special effects look cheap.
*Moneypenny is in it for about five seconds.
*Blofeld dresses in drag so he can leave Las Vegas. Maybe this si what you did in the early seventies? who knows.
*Felix Leiter is a moron in this movie.
*And finally, “Diamonds are Forever” has the most unsatisfying ending of any 007 film.
They seriously couldn’t give us Bond vs. Blofeld one-on-one?