With the release of ‘No Time To Die’ getting pushed back to
November 2020 April 2021 October 2021, now seems like a good time to re-watch all 24 official James Bond movies. Might as well do something productive during quarantine, right? So below are my quick thoughts on each movie, rating both the film and the theme song on a 1-10 scale.
Re-watched: April 12, 2020
The first film based on Ian Fleming’s series of novels. It’s hard to watch this objectively without comparing it to all the films that followed. Sure, it introduces us to Bond himself and that theme song. But it’s slowly paced and it’s action sequences are underwhelming even for the time.
From Russia With Love
Re-watched: April 18, 2020
An improvement on Dr. No in almost every aspect. The plot unfolds in a much more engaging way, and actually has Bond acting as a Cold War-era spy. Enough lighthearted and humorous moments. Well-choreographed fight scenes, especially the brutal one on the train. But Connery’s Bond is still a creep, and can’t be dismissed just because of the time it was made.
Re-watched: May 7, 2020
Goldfinger is easily the best of the Connery era. Takes everything FRWL got right and adds a memorable villain and a legendary theme song. Bond is still a creep though, and it’s hard to imagine audiences even in 1964 looking past the barn scene. And Bond is still terrible at his job, getting captured at least three different times. But it’s the supporting cast and great action scenes that make this one a classic.
Re-watched: May 23, 2020
Thunderball manages to solidify the Bond formula without feeling formulaic. The underwater scenes are the most ambitious action sequences yet. Another classic theme, too. I do have to mention that Connery’s Bond is still a total creep, though.
You Only Live Twice
Re-watched: June 7, 2020
A spaceship that eats spaceships, a volcano lair, a secret ninja school, and the world’s least plausible disguise–You Only Live Twice is unrecognizably silly compared to the previous four entries in the Bond franchise. YOLT’s plot is barely anything more than strings connecting random action sequences. Mix in some casual racism with the usual sexism, and you wind up with the weakest entry in the franchise so far. On the plus side, Bond doesn’t sexually assault anyone in this one.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Re-watched: November 30, 2020
Coming off the ridiculousness that was YOLT, the relatively grounded OHMSS is a breath of fresh air, even if the specifics of Blofeld’s plan are still ludicrous. Lazenby holds his own as Bond. Add in some great action and a tragic ending, and it’s no surprise that this is the one the Craig-era movies borrow the most from.
Diamonds Are Forever