With the release today of Skyfall, the latest James Bond film, there have been plenty of internet bandwidth devoted to exploring the best and worst of the James Bond films. Some of the sites include:
I find the lists intriguing as I’m a bit of a contrarian regarding at least on of the Bond films many view as a disappointment: Diamonds Are Forever. This film, which was the last “official” outing by Sean Connery as James Bond, also seemed to set the template for much of the Roger Moore films that followed: Campy, jokey (at times), while delivering some good action and wild scenery.
But many others, it seems, aren’t as taken in by that film as I am. I happen to love the lighter tone and found the entire work a fun film. No, it certainly wasn’t one of the “serious” Bond films…not by a long shot, but I enjoyed it for what it was.
For what its worth, my all time favorite Bond film is probably From Russia With Love, the second Bond film made. However, Goldfinger, the film which followed this film and is considered by many as THE best Bond film of the lot, is also extremely high on my list.
As for the others, I like Timothy Dalton’s first foray into Bondian territory, The Living Daylights and felt Pierce Brosnan’s first Bond film, Goldeneye, was likewise his best. Similarly, Daniel Craig was damn good in Casino Royale and, while I was disappointed with the follow up film, am curious to see him in Skyfall.
Which leaves us with the one oddball (IMHO) Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. There are those who consider this, George Lazenby’s only outing as James Bond, one of the best Bond movies of them all. I’m not one of them. Yes, there are some good action sequences, but overall the film doesn’t do it for me. George Lazenby is not that bad, but on the other hand he doesn’t quite project the charisma needed for a James Bond. Again, IMHO. Further, the plot I always found confusing. Why doesn’t Blofeld (Telly Savalas) recognize James Bond -and vice versa- right away when they meet in this film? After all, in the previous Bond film, You Only Live Twice, they confront each other in that film’s climactic conclusion yet in the follow up act as if they don’t know who each other is.
Very strange, continuity wise.
As for the worst Bond films? Of the Connery ones, I’d have to go with the already mentioned You Only Live Twice. It was a little too much gadgetry and not enough humanity, despite some interesting elements which would be reused in the far superior Spy Who Loved Me (that film was essentially a remake of You Only Live Twice!). Of the Bond films, the worst include The Man With The Golden Gun (perhaps the greatest potential wasted…having the great Christopher Lee as the villain should have alone made the film a knockout. Instead, the film moves around lifelessly), A View To A Kill (Roger Moore was really looking waaay too old for the role by then), and my least favorite, despite a pretty good opening act, Moonraker. Too much silliness.
Ah well, let’s see if Skyfall lives up to the hype and proves to be one of the better ones!