Do Bond films have better beginnings than endings?

in Bond Movies Posts: 212
When I was a student, my essays tended to start well and then tail off, perhaps because I would start each editing session at the beginning and get distracted part way through, so only the first sections are polished.

I tend to find something similar with Bond films, where the early scenes usually seem superior to the later. I felt the collapsing Venetian house in CR to be an action scene too far. The "dragon" was pretty rubbish in DN. The oil platform finale was dull in DAF. The less said about Bond dressing as a clown in Octopussy, the better. Even DAD is pretty good in the first part, before sagging in the middle, and collapsing in Iceland.

For me, perhaps only OHMSS improves as the film progresses.
«1

Comments

  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    edited July 2015 Posts: 4,866
    There does seem to be a trend, but I disagree with you on Octopussy- I feel it is one of the few Bond films where it gets better in the second half (I find everything in Germany absolutely riveting).
  • Last_Rat_StandingLast_Rat_Standing South Florida
    Posts: 2,400
    There's a few in which the beginnings are much better than the ends.

    DAF- I feel it falls apart once Willard white is rescued.

    AVTAK- For me, it falls apart after the underwater scene.

    TLD- Once Bond is drugged by Kara

    TND- Pretty much after the halo jump.

    DAD- Yeah, we all know when.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 15,497
    DN- It gets better as it goes.
    FRWL- loses a bit of momentum after Grant dies, but still pretty good.
    GF- Pretty even.
    TB- better first half.
    YOLT- Fairly even.
    OHMSS- Better as it goes.
    DAF- Loses it at the the final battle.
    LALD- fairly even.
    TMWTGG- Loses it after Scaramanga dies.
    TSWLM- Strong all along.
    MR- Better first half.
    FYEO- Pretty even.
    OP- stronger second half.
    AVTAK- Weak in general.
    TLD- Slows some in Afghanistan.
    LTK- Better second half.
    GE- Very even.
    TND- Very even (I know I'm in the minority on this one, c'est la vie).
    TWINE- Loses it at the final sub battle.
    DAD- Nice start, degenerates into comic book later. Never loses momentum, though.
    CR- Slows near the end.
    QOS- Very even.
    SF- Better first half.
  • eddychaputeddychaput Montreal, Canada
    Posts: 364
    It's pretty even, I find. Bond films are so consistently good at delivering on action that when the climax is weak, it's felt rather heavily. I don't think there are that many Bond endings that I'd consider truly poor. Of those that I can think of at the moment:
    DAF
    TND
    DAD
    MR
    TWINE (which is a shame because I think of the film is pretty good. That submarine scene though…sloppily filmed)

    Those are the ones where I'm not much of a fan of the climax. Other than that, I tend to find more things I like about them than not.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 15,497
    eddychaput wrote: »
    TND
    Hoser much?
    :))
  • eddychaputeddychaput Montreal, Canada
    Posts: 364
    chrisisall wrote: »
    eddychaput wrote: »
    TND
    Hoser much?
    :))

    I really don't think it's very inspired. The slow-motion scenes with Michelle Yeoh yelling 'heeya!' as she fires a machine gun are silly. The set design of the stealth sub is not very inspired.

    I'm just now realizing that the two Brosnan films in which the climax happens in a submarine-like vehicle are two that I dislike. Huh.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady We all Shine on... like the moon, the stars, and the sun.
    Posts: 2,687
    The slow-motion scenes with Michelle Yeoh yelling 'heeya!' as she fires a machine gun are silly.

    Seconded!

  • dominicgreenedominicgreene The Eternal QOS Defender
    Posts: 1,473
    Alright I'm just going to say it. T
    Im not fond of the finale to GF (yup I said it).
  • Posts: 11,054
    The slow-motion scenes with Michelle Yeoh yelling 'heeya!' as she fires a machine gun are silly.

    Seconded!

    When I was a teenager I used to find the final fight between Bond and Stamper very exciting,

    Now I find Otto's mugging and overacting hilarious.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited July 2015 Posts: 11,812
    Here's a question - which films have a better PTS than the final battle, and vice versa?

    Imo: FRWL*, GF, TB, MR, OP, TLD, GE, TND, TWINE, DAD, CR and SF have a better PTS than their final battle. YOLT, OHMSS, LALD, FYEO, AVTAK, LTK, QOS have better final battle than their PTS. DAF, TMWTGG, TSWLM are pretty even when comparing the PTS and final battle.

    * In this case I compare the boat chase, which is the final action bit of the film.
  • In general, I think you are right, I love more beginnings than endings. I tell you my favorite part in each movie.
    DN- First act
    FRWL- Second act
    GF- First half
    TB- First act
    YOLT- First act
    OHMSS- Last hour is a materpiece.
    DAF- I am not sure, so I suppose it is an draw.
    LALD- I don´t kow, maybe even.
    TMWTGG- Maybe second act.
    TSWLM- Second act
    MR- Maybe First half.
    FYEO- Second act
    OP- First half
    AVTAK- First act
    TLD- the death of Whitaker is the worst (and almost last) scene in the movie.
    LTK- I like the first half a bit more.
    GE- I am not sure, so even.
    TND- First act, very good PTS
    TWINE- First half, I love PTS
    DAD- First half, by faaaaaaaaar
    CR- Fist half
    QOS- I don´t kow, maybe even.
    SF- First act is awesome.



  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 3,741
    DAF, are pretty even when comparing the PTS and final battle.

    Yes, its a bit naff on both counts. :D

  • edited July 2015 Posts: 3,310
    Alright I'm just going to say it. T
    Im not fond of the finale to GF (yup I said it).


    Yes, you said it, and you said it well bro! =D> The entire second half of Goldfinger is a drab, lets face it.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe People, both good and evil, really are people.
    Posts: 6,186
    I can't think of a single Bond where the second half was truly satisfying, come to think of it. Almost all lose steam or squander what was an interesting premise.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 21,653
    I didn't mind the endings of GE, LTK, MR (with the exception of Jaws turning good), OP, TSWLM, TMWTGG, LALD, DAF, & FRWL (up to the train fight).
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited July 2015 Posts: 11,812
    I think I agree with @Mendes4Lyfe, I believe I have something that hits a nerve in most second half in the franchise.

    FRWL: Tacked on action scenes after Grant's death
    GF: The soldiers faking to fall down on the floor
    TB: Overlong battle scene and tacky speed-up effect on the boat
    YOLT: The wedding, as beatiful as it is, just kills the pace IMO
    OHMSS: Very out-of-place Bond theme in the end credits
    DAF: Unsatisfying end for Blofeld, and the whole oil rig fight is tackled on
    LALD: Kananga's death
    TMWTGG: Films loses steam after Scaramanga dies
    MR: Jaws turning good
    FYEO: Maggy and Dennis
    AVTAK: Very inapropriate shower scene with Roger Moore
    TLD: Tackled on final fight with Whitaker (and why did Bond not shoot Whitaker in his belly, instead of aiming only at the head?)
    LTK: Winking fish
    GE: End credit song
    TND: Rambo esque Bond with 2 guns
    TWINE: Final line by Bond
    DAD: Everything
    CR: Sinking house
    QOS: The hotel being a very lame excuse to have a lot of explosions
    SF: Silva's plan
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited July 2015 Posts: 2,750
    Couple of examples..

    3. TMND: The moment there enter the stealth ship.
    4. FYEO: Kristatos Place. He never be my favorite villian. I always thinking the NSNA villian and his game with Connery Bond be a bit inspyred by FYEO Kristatos and mabey have worked better for FYEO end.
    5. AVTAK: Entering the hotel. Fire truck scene is great,but stil.

    15. LTK: Drugslap/show exept the trucks scene.
    16. QOS. I think almoost everbody see the end credits in the cinema. But the movie is very short and the end credits where a bit more intresting this time last 6 minutes of 106 minutes of movie. Whyle i like those credits and ''I never left'', before that lose entrest when there enter the hotel/hotel fight. Exept the metafoor with Greene but that is something like other symbols you first not notice.

    21. Casino Royale: Opening was to much, till the moment Bond sit down with his phone. I also dislike airport scene. After the card game start up. that include stairs fight.
    22. Skyfall: Whyle i also dislike some earlier and later things.Between the court scene and the atack on the house. After that part where Bond left them alone and we don't see how he escape from (to much DAD remember) ice/ something that look like on swimming pool of beer.
    23. Thunderball; Water scene's.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CA
    edited July 2015 Posts: 23,080
    I agree with the thread's premise for most of the series. Mine is very similar to @chrisisall 's assessment,

    1. DN - Solid all the way through.
    2. FRWL - Weakens considerably in the interval between Grant's death and the meeting with Rosa Klebb (though I like Kronsteen's death quite a bit).
    3. GF - Consistently strong.
    4. TB - Strong though out the bulk of the film.The scenes in the pool drag for me. The finale (battle aboard the Disco Volante) is a let down.
    5. YOLT - Consistently enjoyable throughout.
    6. OHMSS - Excellent throughout, but the last 30 minutes or so are just superb. A rarity in the series.
    7. DAF - Definitely turns to shit once Willard Whyte is located. Somewhat redeemed by the "second ending".
    8. LALD - Fairly strong entry from start to finish.
    9. TMWTGG - Falls apart once Scaramanga is killed. Decent to silly to thrilling at different points up until that occurs.
    10. TSWLM - Consistently strong.
    11. MR - Weak throughout, but the battle in space and the shooting down of the virus probes near the end are the highlights.
    12. FYEO - Get's better in the second half, if we discount the horrid epilogue.
    13. OP - The first half is pretty dreary. Final act is stronger than the rest, but even that is marred by the silly assault on Kamal Khan's fortress.
    14. AVTAK - The entire movie is a balance between some entertaining Bond fare and dull nonsense.
    15. TLD - This one had the makings of a great Bond film, but goes I can't even focus once we move to Afghanistan. That brings the whole movie down significantly.
    16. LTK - Strong throughout most of the film. The weakest scenes seem to be in the middle, though that final truck chase goes on far too long.
    17. GE - Starts out strong, somewhat less so in the second half.
    18. TND - The poster boy for this thread's title (alone with #19).
    19. TWINE - See chrisisall above.
    20. DAD - See #17. This should and could have been a great one.
    21. CR - Consistently excellent.
    22. QOS - Consistently solid.
    23. SF - Ending (once we get to Scotland) is a letdown (excepted the little epilogue, that was great).
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    edited July 2015 Posts: 15,497
    Birdleson wrote: »
    18. TND - The poster boy for this thread's title
    Unfortunately, we will never agree on this one sir. I completely respect your opinion, yet I completely and consistently LOVE this movie upon every viewing from bow to stern!
  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,810
    chrisisall wrote: »
    TMWTGG- Loses it after Scaramanga dies.
    MR- Better first half.
    Both these sort of lose it after the gun barrel scene!

  • suavejmfsuavejmf England
    Posts: 3,551
    There does seem to be a trend, but I disagree with you on Octopussy- I feel it is one of the few Bond films where it gets better in the second half (I find everything in Germany absolutely riveting).

    Even the Gorilla suit (checking the time)?
  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    edited July 2015 Posts: 4,866
    suavejmf wrote: »
    There does seem to be a trend, but I disagree with you on Octopussy- I feel it is one of the few Bond films where it gets better in the second half (I find everything in Germany absolutely riveting).

    Even the Gorilla suit (checking the time)?

    That's neither here nor there, really. It's a perfectly appropriate scene since, you know, Bond is on a circus train...
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 3,741
    I like the Gorilla moment. Its a throw-away gag.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf England
    edited July 2015 Posts: 3,551
    Fair enough. I always felt it was one gag that was over the top, in an otherwise excellent portion of the film.
  • PassionForTheGenrePassionForTheGenre Can I press you to a cukecumber sandwich?
    Posts: 5
    expanding what is possible. this is what we think of when a James Bond adventure unfurls on the screen. but is there more. that is the question. will the beginning build build to a climax? Sometimes yes. Sometime no. For instance, the opening segment of QOS. have you ever felt the speed. the danger. in real life? Unfotunately i HAVE!
  • RC7RC7
    edited July 2015 Posts: 9,416
    I think this is a question that can asked in a much wider context. Setting up an idea and sewing the seeds of the story is the easy bit (so to speak), but the better the build, the more one expects from the climax. That's sometimes hard to fulfil. Christ, I feel like I'm writing one of those agony aunt sex columns.
  • Posts: 532
    My preference is that the PTS be related to the overall plot.
    DN--the death of Strangways results in an investigation that leads to DN.
    FRWL--The assassination simulation is part of a larger trap to ensnare and kill Bond.
    TB--A bruised Bond is sent for rest and recuperation. A bit of a stretch, no pun intended.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 9,416
    CrabKey wrote: »
    My preference is that the PTS be related to the overall plot.

    There's only really GF and MR, FYEO and OP that don't directly relate to the plot. The difference since, arguably Dalton, is that the PTS is more the first act of the story rather than a 'tease', so people forget that most did have some connection. I enjoyed QoS for the very reason it was quite old school in that sense.
  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,810
    royale65 wrote: »
    I like the Gorilla moment. Its a throw-away gag.

    Mmm, it should have been thrown-away…along with the Tarzan yell and the 'sit' to the stuffed tiger!
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    edited July 2015 Posts: 15,203
    Bond films usually start very strong but that doesn't mean they end in a bad way. There are some big trophies to collect in the second part of many Bond films, like incredible stunts or impressive set pieces. But sometimes ideas, money shots and stunts hijack the story.

    The duel between Bond and Gobinda, for example, was impressive to say the least but nearly exhausted from the previous fights, I can't help but wonder if OP really needed it to get its story told. FRWL is more or less over for me when Bond kills Grant. The North-By-North-West and boat fight both feel unnecessary. From Grant to Klebb would have been fine for me.

    I think CR suffers most from its final act, from that final Venice conflict, despite the dramatic moment near the end of the film. This is because everything that comes before Venice is so perfect! After the card games with all those fights and challenges in between, and then the tense torture scene, I have barely any breath left. Though I really like the sinking house, I really do!, I wonder if it wouldn't have been better if they had more closely followed the novel for Vesper's suicide.

    MR is actually one of the few films that kept the best stuff till the end, at least IMO. And I know it's not a popular opinion but by this point in the movie, I have totally suspended disbelief and I am ready to get into space. When those shuttles are launched and all that great imagery comes our way, I'm jazzed. In fact, when I sit down to watch MR, which I love to do, I only need the first notes of Barry's score after the gun barrel to bring me in the right mood for a space adventure, and I can't wait to get to the flight into space.

    As many have pointed out, DAD may very well show the biggest decline in quality during the movie for any Bond film. Right after the PTS, I'm hooked. In fact, the hotel scene with Bond shaving and Peaceful about to never give him that massage, is a darn good scene. But Cuba is where they make a few mistakes. A few more in London, and then Iceland. Where a sign might have been held up saying "please shut down brain now". A certain CGI plane adds an exclamation mark to the madness that had been piling up for the last hour or so.

    However, with the exception of GE I think the Brosnans overall suffered from the worst and most uninspired final acts. The stealth boat in TND would have given Ian Fleming a stroke had he still been alive and I still don't know what's going on in that sub in TWINE. All sorts of gizmos but hey, even Raymond Benson couldn't figure it out so the poor man did the best he could to deliver an "exciting climax" describing tubes, holes, wires, buttons and all kinds of technical gibberish. I'm afraid the stealth boat, submarine and CGI plane didn't flow naturally from the story but instead were conceived before the full story was. And that may have been a flaw in several Bond films.
Sign In or Register to comment.