James Bond Analysis

Over the past two weeks I’ve watched all the James Bond movies in order of release. Here are a few observations and analysis of the movies.

Sean Connery as James Bond
Sean Connery as James Bond

– Sean Connery is the most authentic James Bond to the original books by Ian Fleming, at least until his wife is killed.
– Sean Connery’s movies are the least interesting when compared actor by actor.
– The Villain, Blofeld, is the most annoying one of the bunch. Merely because he was played by five different actors, Donald Pleasence, Telly Savalas, Max von Sydow, Charles Grey and Anthony Dawson. It’s hard to keep up who he is.
– Aston Martin DB5 is by far the best Bond Car still. So much so that Daniel Craig’s Bond still “owns” it.

George Lazenby as James Bond
George Lazenby as James Bond

– Poor George Lazenby didn’t get much of a chance to really work out. I would have really liked to have seen the other six movies he was signed up for.
– “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” had one of the single most important episodes in James Bond’s life, that of his romance and marriage to Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, or Tracy Bond. Blofeld’s agents kill her, and Bond is supposedly a broken man. But this is only alluded to four times in the future.

Roger Moore as James Bond
Roger Moore as James Bond

– Roger Moore’s movies are among my least favorite. They all seem over the top for my tastes.
– The Lotus Espirit S1 is a good example of this, from automobile to submarine?
Egypt, as portrayed in “The Spy Who Loved Me” from 1977 is my favorite location in all the movies. This movie makes me want to go there every time I watch it.
– Grace Jones as May Day in “A View to Kill,” is the worst Bond Girl of them all. The writers should have kept her as a villain, her conversion was hackneyed and unconvincing.
– Roger Moore had some of the best jokes and one lines by far.
– Some of Q’s best lines are from this time also. As are some of the most innovative inventions displayed in the franchise. Most of the inventions used later all come back to this period.
– “The Spy Who Loved Me” was a much more interesting book then a movie. The plots of the two are nothing alike, but the book (a short story really,) would have been hard to make into a movie since it’s essentially James Bond shacking up for the night with a girl in trouble with gangsters. And then he takes care of them in typical James Bond fashion.
– The Villain “Jaws” used to frighten the heck out of me. Now he’s just a comical gag that adds to the cheesiness of the Moore films.

Timothy Dalton as James Bond
Timothy Dalton as James Bond

– Timothy Dalton did a great job bringing back the intensity and broodiness of James Bond. He did an excellent job of going back to the James Bond from the books.
– This leaves “The Living Daylights” one of the best films in the series.
– Dalton also failed to really bring Bond to life in “Live and Let Die.” It was merely an OK film for the time but didn’t live up to “The Living Daylights.”

Pierce Bronson as James Bond
Pierce Bronson as James Bond

– Overall Bronson’s films are among my favorite.
– Judi Dench makes an excellent “M”. She brought some great, no nonsense intensity to the franchise. I was disappointed to see “Skyfall” be her last film.
– Michelle Yeoh as Wai Lin in “Tomorrow Never Dies” is the best Bond Girl simply because she is one of the few who could keep up and in some ways surpass Bond. All the other “female spy” Bond Girls still needed saving by Bond, but she could hold up her end by herself quite easily.

Daniel Craig as James Bond
Daniel Craig as James Bond

– Like a lot of people I resisted Casino Royale for quite some time, in my case because of the disastrous history behind that name.
– But, Daniel Craig brings back a very good intensity to the Bond character that was solely lacking. He’s brooding, efficient, and frankly has a death wish. Just like Bond from the books. Connery is the best Bond through nostalgia, Craig is the best Bond through acting.
– The movies are a break from the normal Bond film pacing. The high intensity action through the movies makes them something to sit and watch instead of leave in the back ground.
– We get to see the Aston Martin DB5 again. Not that the rest of Bond’s Aston’s aren’t great too. But that was the original and best by far.
– I’m happy that Craig is a “new” Bond, with the same name and designation and how he “grew” into the “007 role.”
– Since I saw Skyfall, I’m looking forward to seeing new Bond films.

Generally

– I have to wonder what the stories behind all the peons are in the movies. A few disgruntled terrorist types or trusted employees is understandable as shown in the later films by Bronson and Craig. But in the Roger Moore movies especially, the bad guys had vast armies of fanatics willing to die for them.
– I enjoy how all the films attempted to keep things believable to a certain point by immersing the action in real life events. From smuggling Blood Diamonds, and child soldiers, to the feel of the Cold War it’s all there adding a sense of realism to the movies.

So, what is your favorite Bond Movie? Who is your favorite Bond? Bond Girl? And most importantly, which is your Favorite Bond Car?

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