….well… you know.
The older I get, the more I realize there is a very golden truth in that saying. What to you is solid gold might be, to me, nothing more than a smelly turd.
Having said that, I love reading opinion “lists”. In this case, and appearing on fashionbeans, Tom Fordy offers the following…
James Bond Films Ranked Worst to Best
Given the preamble I offered at the start of this blog, I think you can see what’s coming: There are points where I strongly disagree with Mr. Fordy’s list.
But first an admission: It’s been years since I’ve seen many of the Bond films in their entirety. It’s a fact of life: I have only so much free time and if I want to be fair to the films, I probably should revisit them before offering my opinions about which are “best” and which are “worst”.
Having said that, Mr. Fordy offers these films as the “bottom 10”, ranked from worst to best of the worst:
Die Another Day, Diamonds Are Forever, Tomorrow Never Dies, Thunderball, Octopussy, Quantum of Solace, A View to a Kill, The World is Not Enough, Moonraker, and You Only Live Twice.
Die Another Day, the last of the Pierce Brosnan Bond films, does get a lot of grief for going waaaaay overboard on many of its elements, including an invisible car. The CGI for the film was also quite crude, though that is more of a function of the fact that the film is by now rather old and those effects are simply a sign of that time.
Having said all that, the worst of the Bond films?!
For me, the very worst Bond film is easily the last one released, Spectre. Mr. Fordy feels good enough about that film to not even place it on the bottom 10 and ultimately ranks that film #14, which makes it his opinion #11from the bottom in the rankings. The fact of the matter is that I hate Spectre so much that I haven’t even bothered to buy a digital copy of it, even though I have all the other Bond films in my collection. And I’m a completist! It irks me to have so many films and not “complete the collection” but I hate that film so much I won’t spend another dime on it.
But as I said above, opinions are like… well.
My second least favorite Bond film is probably Moonraker, which Mr. Fordy puts at #16 on his list (or, to put it another way, 9th from the bottom). For many, many years I felt Moonraker was the absolute worst of the Bond films, supplanted only recently by Spectre. My opinion, however, has mellowed. In part it was because I so hated the Craig film that I realized my hatred of Moonraker might be exaggerated… after all, of the Moore Bond films, isn’t A View to a Kill even worse?
I have to admit, today my opinion would go that way.
Similarly, Diamonds Are Forever is listed by Mr. Fordy as the second worst Bond film ever made. I disagree. I happen to like the film and enjoy its pleasantly tongue in cheek attitude. In fact, of the Connery Bond films I would put You Only Live Twice as his worst, though I would agree that Thunderball was the first Bond film to start showing the formula could go bad. Still, I generally liked the film even if it was bloated.
Moving to Roger Moore, as I stated I very much disliked A View To A Kill. I also felt The Man With The Golden Gun (#12 on this list) was awful as well. My favorite Moore Bonds are Live and Let Die (#8 on the list) The Spy Who Loved Me (#11), and For Your Eyes Only (#13). I also like Octopussy (#20, or 5th from the very bottom). So right there you have strong differences in opinion. Further, to me For Your Eyes Only is Moore’s best Bond. I would then put The Spy Who Loved Me, Live and Let Die, and Octopussy in descending order from best to lesser -but still good- stuff.
Intriguingly, my biggest disagreement with Mr. Fordy may be his ranking of the two Timothy Dalton Bonds. I thought The Living Daylights (#9) was a damn good Bond film but his follow up and last Bond feature, License To Kill (#3…!!!!!) was a terrible Bond film and deserved to be on the bottom 10 rather than so high up. History would seem to bear me out as Mr. Dalton left the franchise at that point and the film didn’t do all that well at the box office.
Moving to the Pierce Brosnan Bonds, I have to say… they blur into each other for me. I thought the very first one, Goldeneye (#10) was probably the best of the lot, but it had its problems IMHO and should have been a lot better than it was, given that Brosnan was great in the role and the cast was quite strong. The Brosnan era was, IMHO, a great missed opportunity. You had a strong actor in the lead role but the films were mostly, again IMHO, tepid.
Moving to Daniel Craig, we again have IMHO a major missed opportunity. Mr. Craig started incredibly strong with Casino Royale (#5) but each subsequent film has been worse and worse. Quantum of Solace (#19, or 6th from the bottom) was slick but nonsensical. Skyfall (#7) I loved while watching it the first time… but then I thought about the story and realized it made not a lick of sense at all. My opinion of the film has subsequently gone down very steeply. And Spectre, well, I’ve already given my opinion of that film.
To Mr. Fordy, the best Bond film ever made and coming in at #1 is… On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the sole outing of George Lazenby as Bond.
Again, I don’t agree.
While I think OHMSS is a pretty good Bond film, it isn’t anywhere near my favorite. I thought Lazenby didn’t work well as Bond, even if the film they built around him wasn’t bad at all.
Which is my all time favorite Bond film? That’s a really hard one to say. I love the first three Connery Bonds, Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and Goldfinger. Having said that, the films are showing their age with regard to Bond’s sexism. Especially the later two films, which show Bond engaging in what can only be described as rape.
Heady, heady stuff, yet perhaps of its time.
I also love the Moore Bonds I mentioned, even if Live and Let Die is another film that shows some questionable societal ideation, in this case transplanting the “yellow peril” of the 1930’s to African American culture.
Again, we’re talking opinions here and no one is right and no one is wrong.
Well, except when you’re trying to tell me Spectre is a good movie.
That I cannot agree with! 😉