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James Bond Movies Speed Ratings
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by Marko Peric

I haven't done a speed rating since the Academy Awards, so I thought it was time to do another to fit with my weekly theme. So I present a Good/Bad/Ugly speed rating of all the 007 movies. Let's face it, there are way too many for me to get into detailed analysis of each one. At least not until I seriously run low on material.

Dr No: The first Bond movie, it set the tone for the entire series. It's pretty mild compared to many of the later films, but very Good.

From Russia With Love: The first 007 movie with Desmond Llewelyn as Q, the first 007 movie with a big mean Germanic-type baddie, and the first 007 movie to give us Bond's nemesis Ernest Blofeld. Good.

Goldfinger: This movie contains the first of the classic Bond theme songs. It also features one of the nastiest villains ever in the series. "Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!" Good.

Thunderball: This was supposed to be the first Bond movie, but because of legal issues, wasn't. That's probably a good thing, because this movie isn't nearly as good as it should have been. It feels slow and draggy. Bad.

You Only Live Twice: Arguably the first rebirth of the Bond franchise, this was scripted by Roald Dahl, who is better known for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It recovers nicely from the stumble of Thunderball, which is Good.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: This is a tough call. Some fans hate this movie, some say George Lazenby did a great job as 007. I see this as "Bond as Tragedy." It stands apart from the rest of the series. If the Bond series had never been made, this would have been a great movie in it's own right. And Diana Rigg is excellent. I'm going with Good.

Diamonds are Forever: Well, they may have gone all out to make this movie, paying Connery an unprecedented 1.25 million plus 12.5% of the gross. Alas, the movie stinks. It's a bit confusing, a bit silly, and you get the impression Connery didn't want to be there, which was true. Also, the ambiguously gay villain duo are really lame. Ugly.

Live and Let Die: Here's a tip: Bond is not a bad mutha. This movie was released almost exactly two years after Shaft, and they really tried, but Roger Moore is whiter than a bleached undershirt. Ugly.

The Man With The Golden Gun: If you want to watch a 007 movie but happened to leave your brain somewhere in the Ukraine, this is a perfect choice. It's silly and fun, and Christopher Lee is in it. Compared to most of the others in the series though, it's Bad.

The Spy Who Loved Me: This movie exists primarily to prove that Roger Moore doesn't stink. He's good here. This movie hearkens back to the days of the early Connery flicks. Plus, it features a villain so nasty they had to bring him back in the next one. Good.

Moonraker: Say it with me now, in a slow rising voice. Bond. . .in. . .space! Hmm, this movie came out two years after Star Wars. Coincidence? I think not. Sure, it's nothing like the aforementioned George Lucas space opera, but still, how obvious can be for jumping on a trend? Bad.

For Your Eyes Only: Almost as good as The Spy Who Loved Me, this is perhaps the epitome of a Bond film. Uncertainly loyalties, duplicitous villians, and no seriously over the top global destruction schemes. And how do you not love a movie that features Ernst Blofeld dropped down a smokestack? Good.

Octopussy: The unbearable lightness of Bond. This movie just doesn't hold up. It lacks substance, and when I say that about a 007 movie, you know that's saying something. And the name is easily the lamest of the entire series. Ugly.

Never Say Never Again: The name is of course a play on the fact that Connery said he'd never again play James Bond. The movie is a remake of Thunderball, which really wasn't begging for a remake. Bad.

A View to a Kill: Christopher Walken is a great actor, and thoroughly convincing as an unbalanced villain. But Roger Moore was by this point overdue to be put out to pasture. James Bond isn't supposed to look old. Great theme song, though. Ugly.

The Living Daylights: I don't care what people say. Timothy Dalton was a great agent 007. I am saddened that he only played the role twice. This movie is what I would call the second rebirth of the franchise. Great locations, great stunts, and a slick plot. Bond is cool once again. Good.

Licence to Kill: Bond as revenge drama. This movie is a sort of meta-Bond movie, and I think it's misunderstood. It does however feature what has to the be second worst vehicular stunt ever done in the 007 film (the worst is the 360 degree airborne roll in The Man With the Golden Gun) when Bond gets a tractor trailer up on one side to avoid a missile.Bad.

GoldenEye: After a six year hiatus, Bond came back with Pierce Brosnan, who really looks like he belongs in the part. A good entry with a great theme song, this movie modernized the franchise and brought Bond to a new generation. And that's a Good thing.

Tomorrow Never Dies: This movie was originally going to be called Tomorrow Never Lies. The more I think about it the more I like that as the title. In any case, this movie has me almost as torn as I was over On Her Majesty's Secret Service. There's too much inherent silliness, and Teri Hatcher's character was entirely superfluous, but how can you not love a movie with both a remote controlled BMW and Michelle Yeoh. Good.

The World is Not Enough: Something is wrong when a serious drama director like Michael Apted gets behind the helm of a 007 movie. What's more, one would think a serious drama director would do a better job of making things less obvious. Bad.


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