It was recently reported in the entertainment press that Roger Moore has stopped surfing on blogs after discovering he was voted as the worst Bond. And that led me to think that we might be hyping this whole James Bond thing a bit too much. After all, Daniel Craig makes a great bond, and Quantum of Solace is already proving to be a hit around the world. But is everything about Bond untouchable?
It can’t be. After 22 movies over close to 50 years, there have been some terrible moments in the legacy of James Bond. Like the 70s? Anyone remember some of the things that passed for cool back then?
But it’s not just the dark years of the spy thriller. There have been some truly awful moments in the long history of James Bond, and here are the ten worst…
10. Sean Connery’s return in Diamonds Are Forever
Before all you Connery purists out there start complaining, I urge you to go out and watch this film. Really watch this film. Connery’s starting to show his age; his bushy eyebrows don’t hide the wrinkles any more. And it’s not just Connery… what about Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, the not-so-ambiguously gay henchmen duo? This is easily Connery’s worst Bond film.
9. Everything Casino Royale, pre-2006
Not everyone remembers this, but James Bond first appeared on screen as CIA agent Jimmy Bond in the Casino Royale television show. It was a stinker of live TV and very forgettable. You can catch it on the DVD of the 1967 version of Casino Royale, which was another terrible James Bond flick. In fact, it wasn’t until the movie was developed with Daniel Craig two years ago that the Casino Royale curse was broken. (For an in-depth look at the tumultuous journey of Casino Royale, check out the Casino Royale Collector’s Edition, recently released on DVD and BluRay.)
8. The loss of traditional Bond elements
Although I will stand behind Quantum of Solace as a good film, it saddens me that some of the elements that make a Bond film were lost. Sure, there are sexy women and exotic locations, but the opening rifle POV is dropped (although seen before the ending credits), the opening action sequence isn’t as cool as we’ve seen before, and Craig doesn’t utter the famous line, “Bond, James Bond.” This happens every time they try to reinvent Bond (evidenced by Roger Moore ordering a bourbon and water in Live and Let Die). Hopefully we’ll see these elements again in future films.
7. Jimmy Dean the Sausage King in Diamonds Are Forever
Even today, this is a ridiculous casting choice. It would be like casting Andy Dick in the next Bond film as a hostage.
6. Felix Leiter’s dismemberment in Licence to Kill
One of my favorite recurring Bond characters is the CIA agent Felix Leiter. My favorite portrayal was by Bernie Casey in Never Say Never Again, and I think that Jeffrey Wright does a fine job in these new films. For classic Felix, you can’t beat David Hedison (Live and Let Die and Licence to Kill). But the story in Licence to Kill was just too much for the dude. Not only do the bad guys rape and murder his wife on their honeymoon, but they feed him to a shark. This film literally cost the character an arm and a leg.
5. Denise Richards in The World Is Not Enough
Overall, I have enjoyed the Brosnan Bond films, but here was a moment of gross miscasting that hasn’t been repeated since Elizabeth Shue played a nuclear scientist in The Saint. Denise Richards is pretty hot, but not Bond girl material. Just watch her reality TV show, and you’ll see how little class a hot girl can have.
4. Telly Savalas as Blofeld
Bond fans are in two camps about On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Some think it’s the best Bond film. Others (like me) just can’t get past George Lazenby and the hyper-60s far out sex in it. But I think everyone can agree that Telly Savalas made a lousy Blofeld.
3. The godawful Japanese eye surgery in You Only Live Twice
In Japan, the man comes first, and the woman comes second. That’s what James Bond learned in order to become Japanese in You Only Live Twice. He was also supposed to undergo state-of-the-art plastic surgery (performed by hot chicks in short skirts) to make him look Japanese. Sadly, it only made him look like Sean Connery with heavy eye make-up and a bad wig.
2. Old-ass Roger Moore getting it on with Grace Jones in A View to a Kill
By the time 1985 rolled around, Roger Moore was pushing 60. Waaaaaaay too old to play James Bond, but that didn’t stop him. And it also didn’t stop him from having freaky-deaky sex with Grace Jones. I could barely handle Moore making out with the teenager in For Your Eyes Only, and I think that Grace Jones having sex with any of the Bond’s in their youth would be bad enough. But the sight of leathery Moore bumping skins with the scary Grace Jones scarred me for life.
1. James Bond’s caustic urine sample in Never Say Never Again
When he’s attacked in the gym by one of Largo’s henchmen, Bond incapacitates him by throwing a caustic liquid in his face. Turns out, it’s his own urine sample. Liquid comedy gold.
Check out more from our 7 Days of 007.