The Wonderful World Of James Bond: From Best To Worst
23: A View To A Kill(1985): Here’s a tip. Buy the soundtrack. It’s the only saving grace for the film. John Barry’s score is wonderful and Duran Duran’s title track is one of the better GWG L bonds attorney” songs of the eighties. The remainder of the film is a tired and sluggish affair. Roger Moore looks far too old to play James Bond ( to his credit, he has subsequently admitted he should not have made the film because of his age), Moore’s intimate scenes with Grace Jones and Tanya Roberts are creepy at best and the action scenes, once inspiring and complex, now look dated. There’s no evidence of Christopher Walken’s Oscar Winning brilliance here; much like everything else in the film, Walken’s Max Zorin seems worn out and passé.
22: The World Is Not Enough(1999): Bond films have been many things throughout the years. Extravangant (Thunderball), far-fetched (Moonraker), underwritten (Octopussy), convoluted (Quantum of Solace), sadistically violent (Licence To Kill) or in the case of Tomorrow Never Dies, all of the above. One thing Bond films should never be is boring, but that sadly is the case with TWINE. It’s a sluggish film featuring questionable special effects, needlessly long action scenes and non existent chemistry between Pierce Brosnan and Sophie Marceau. Robert Carlyle is given little to do, while the inclusion of Denise Richards is one of the series more laughable castings. Brosnan himself is awful. He looks as tired here in only his third Bond film as Sean Connery did in his sixth.
21: Diamonds Are Forever (1971): Sean Connery returned to the role for a hefty pay-cheque and his clear ambivalence with the project shows. The first major disappointment in the series, ‘DAF’ understandably moved away from the darkness of ‘OHMSS’ to provide something lighter. Where screenwriters Tom Mancheiwizc and Richard Maibaum went astray was confusing fun with funny and intelligent with moronic. ‘DAF’ feels more of a pastiche of a Bond film than a Bond film. Charles Gray is horribly ineffective as Blofeld, while wooden is simply not strong enough to describe Jill St. John’s acting abilities. Yes, Shirley Bassey’s theme song is a knockout, and Lana Wood enjoys her cameo as Plenty O’ Toole. But the rest is lame, more akin to ‘Carry On’ than espionage.
20: Die Another Day(2002): You’ve got to feel sorry for Pierce Brosnan. He should not have ended his Bond career on this turkey. In the decade since its release, DAD has aged horribly. Halle Berry stinks as CIA agent Jinx, the kite surfing sequence is visual urinitation, while the plot is arguably the most preposterous of the series. Invisible cars and hammy dialogue do not a classic spy thriller make. On the plus side, Brosnan does give it his all and Toby Stephens makes for a formidable villain. However, Rosamaund Pike’s Miranda Frost looks young enough to be the middle aged Brosnan’s daughter, making their love scenes that bit more uncomfortable to watch. The filmmakers never learn, do they?
19: Octopussy(1983): 1983 was a pathetic year for James Bond. Despite the promise of the two classic Bond’s starring in films, the end results were two sluggish movies, neither coming close to proving either actor’s true potential. One of the more convoluted tales, ‘Octopussy’ rejects coherency for ballsy action, a trait that would kill the Pierce Brosnan films. Maud Adams’s performance as the eponymous temptress has its moments, but ultimately falls flat. Ever Steven Berkoff’s over the top diacritics could not save this train wreck. Watching the film thirty years on, it looks racist, misogynistic and stolid. The locations of India are well filmed, and the experience would inspire Roger Moore to join Unicef and gallantly embark on his commendable work. So at least that’s something!
18: Moonraker(1979): Spy thrillers and outer space do not not not mix. Got that? Good. ‘Moonrak