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Most of the 007 movies have a somewhat probable cause to solve.
Least plausible (?):
DAD: The satellite laser splitting Korea in half (Wasn't the plan to blow up the minefield between the two Korea's so that the Army of the baddies could invade the other half. I am quite sure that this idea has crossed their Korean brains perhaps they would love to do so if they had the ability)
DAF: The diamond nuclear satellite controlled from an oil rig. (Why can it not be controlled from an oilrig, No high scifi level for me there. I guess the blackmail the world with a laser is yet farfetched)
AVTAK: The man was dabbeling in horseracing , fairly possible, flooding Siliconvally is perhaps a bit farfetched but the idea behind it is somewhat fun.
CR while the amount of money played with in 45 in the Casino was huge it was somewhat believable. The amounts of money in the casino in the movie was insane, it would have bankrupted the casino, so very unlikely they would have accepted such a highstakes game.
Very impossible -
MR & TSWLM were a bit ark of Noahish one in space and the other underwater. But what a fun adventures nonetheless
LTK and TLD yes, it happens all the time. But LALD ? I don't think so. For one good reason: the other mobs are not going to take somebody giving drugs for free in an attempt to corner the market lying down. One can be sure that a gang war will happen, and Big/Kananga is not going to be the winner.
I mean, the idea that Bond just happens to be a cardsharp "You're our best man in the service..." really? Like every other bloke just happens to be some kind of gambler, and Bond happens to be the best at it. It would have been better imo to have Bond established as a gambler at the outset, in fact that's what gets him busted out of the 00 section, playing online roulette when he should be keeping watch, or rather unfairly accused of it, then they reinstate him because they have to for this assignment, it's his last chance.
Also, training Red Grant by having him stalk a Bond lookalike. May as well get QPR to train against Man United by dressing the local scouts up in Rooney and Van Persie face masks for a kick around...
DN – I don’t really know how rocket guidance works but presumably a signal is sent from Houston or wherever to the rocket. It doesn’t seem that far a stretch to say that someone could hack this signal or broadcast a stronger one and either overrule Houstons signals or at least confuse the rocket sufficiently to make the whole exercise pointless.
I’m less sure about his nuclear reactor but this is just a power source so is fairly irrelevant to his overall scheme. He could just locate his base at a coal mine and use that to power his generator instead. Plausibility rating – 8/10.
FRWL – Could a terrorist organisation put an agent within SMERSH? Unlikely but why not? Would MI6 buy such a dubious tale? Quite possibly – it would at least be worth investigating. Theres nothing particularly outlandish about any of this.
My only gripe is how valuable is the Lektor overall? The moment the Russians know its been taken they would scrap all Lektors and build a new machine. Yes it’s a bloody nose to the Russians having to replace all their cipher machines and you might get a days messages (although unlikely as Bond is taking days to come back by train so by the time Q branch get their hands on it all the codes will have been changed) but in the grand scheme of things its no more than an annoyance to the Russians and certainly isn’t going to win the Cold War. However that’s not the issue. The question is plausibility and theres nothing in the film that isn’t at least plausible. 10/10
GF – Quite simply Goldfingers plan is to increase the worth of his gold by destroying, or rendering irradiated a vast percentage of the world gold stocks. Theres nothing implausible about this. The only thing that is implausible is his means of going about it. I’ve no problem with him detonating an atomic device but I do have credibility issues with the doping of the population and getting into the vault.
The gassing of the town is very unconvincing (although this is largely down to the director IMO). I think using the water supply as in the novel would have been better.
The ability of the laser to cut open the door in 5 seconds is very dodgy and where did he get the combination to the safe?
Also in Umberto Ecos ‘The Bond Affair’ two arguments are put forward in the chapter ‘The Credible and the Incredible of James Bond’ that are of interest:
1. A cobalt and iodine bomb as described in the film is more a kind of dirty bomb and would not actually achieve fission and therefore the gold could simply be washed clean of any radioactive material.
2. Even if the bomb detonates as per Goldfingers plan does the fact that the gold cannot be moved for 58 years make any difference to its value? Its just going to sit there anyway.
In conclusion I would say the central idea of vaporising the gold with a nuclear explosion is sound but that a lot of the details are a bit suspect. 6/10
TB – I think the question for this one is: how easy was it to acquire a nuclear warhead and what sort of codes did they have to prevent detonation in 1965?
I think if you could get someone on board to hijack the plane that events could transpire as in the film. The bombs in the film seem to be based on the gun type Nagasaki ‘Little Boy’ bomb and as such I think once you had them it wouldn’t be that difficult for someone to dismantle them and remove any safety fuses and replace them with your own charge to initiate the triggering detonation.
So the key is getting someone on the plane. Obviously the way it was done in the film with plastic surgery is a bit far fetched. A more credible scenario is to merely blackmail someone who already has access into doing it.
Also I would suggest putting the bombs in place immediately as once the alarm is sounded you have all of MI6 and the CIA hunting you down.
I don’t think its much more far fetched than the great train robbery – you just need good organisation and planning and some reasonably competent engineers. 8/10
YOLT - A tricky one this. The way its presented in the film it is of course ridiculous but the concept of capturing a space craft in orbit and returning it to earth is entirely feasible. Not sure if it can be done when the other spacecraft is not under your control but then as long as its orbit is constant it’s a fairly simple process to dock with it. There are no problems there that cant be engineered around.
That said in 1967 this was cutting edge even for NASA but nonetheless even then it would be possible – just about. However the big plausibility problem with all this is the COST.
NASA had JFK give them pretty much carte blanche to send a man to the moon to beat the Russians so how is Ernst managing to keep up with NASAs budget privately? Even if TB had been successful his haul from that wouldn’t even pay for the rocket fuel!
And we haven’t even started on the volcano. I suppose a cavern could be hollowed out but again at incredible cost and what are you using to trigger it to erupt? Even a nuclear warhead couldn’t guarantee it. Just preposterous.
However the question is how plausible is the villains scheme and the fact that, if money is no object and you choose a more viable hideout, it is possible means I’m going to award it a staggering - 8/10
OHMSS – Two big imponderables here – how virulent is Virus Omega and can you really brainwash people to the extent that appears in the film?
I don’t know much about either but if you replace Virus Omega with say Ebola then the whole thing becomes very possible. I don’t know the quantities needed but say 1 litre of Ebola virus introduced to the population at say LHR, LAX, JFK, Schipol and half a dozen other hub airports around the world would kill a lot of people pretty quickly.
Using fairly dozy girls to do it (and I’m pretty sure in the book Ruby says that she failed all her exams meaning Blofeld chose educationally below average girls to indoctrinate) is perhaps stretching things but then you see people blowing themselves up in the name of Allah so its all about saying the right things to suggestible people. If Virus Omega can do what Blofeld claims then his threats are credible but his delivery system is a bit flawed. It would be fairly easy detective work to find the girls and round them up. 7/10
DAF – OK not even going to try and defend this. Its rubies not diamonds that generate lasers and even if they could a laser from space is not going to have the power to destroy missiles and submarines. And why would the world bow down to his demands and give in when they can just blow the crap out of his oil rig? Rubbish. 2/10
LALD – This seems simple economics. Undercut your competitors until they go out of business leaving you with a monopoly. A fairly modest scheme but one that relies on Kananga giving away millions worth of heroin in the first place so you have to question will he make back that money? Also I doubt his competitors are likely to take it lying down so a bigger worry than Bond and the CIA might be the other drug dealers who don’t take too kindly to his plan. But on the face of it reasonably realistic. 9/10
TMWTGG – Precisely what is the villains plan here? To offer solar power to the highest bidder or to withhold it if the oil sheiks pay more. That is my reading of it anyway in which case can I ask just what exactly is criminal about that that MI6 should send someone out to kill him? OK he may well have come by the solex by nefarious means but if you cant prove he stole it or murdered Gibson what exactly have you got on him? A good barrister would get him off. In terms of plausibility selling the solex to the highest bidder seems pretty easy to achieve. 10/10
TSWLM – How does Stromberg take control of the subs? It seems he just sails above them and they stop working. How does this happen? It is never explained.
How does he get the codes for the US and Soviet warheads? Things have moved on from TB and you need the nuclear football by this point and without it those bombs just aren’t going to explode (perhaps I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that the two professors at the start of the film have hacked them).
How does he plan to breathe underwater? If the entire atmosphere is full of fallout is it possible to filter it to breathe? Or does he just have a lifetime of oxygen cylinders stashed on the ocean bed?
Where is the rest of his underwater city? When Bond meets him in Atlantis he says ‘soon a reality’ but there is no sign of anything except Atlantis. Hes going to find it pretty hard to get hold of suppliers to build the rest after WW3.
What does he plan to eat? Can you survive on an all fish diet? But then these fish will still be swimming around in a fallout filled ocean. Or has he a load of greenhouses to propagate plants in his as yet unbuild underwater city.
Who is he taking with him to this city? Just a reluctant Anya and Jaws?
Sorry Karl but its all just complete bollocks. 1/10 (that’s just because the Liparus might just be possible if it is built as a catamaran with a bow door. If it actually has a hull and the water just sloshes about inside an enclosed pen then it will capsize 100%).
MR – I actually find this more plausible than Stromberg. Space shuttles exist and if a guy like Bill Gates wanted to he could build half a dozen. Building the space station is expensive but not impossible. The only dubious thing is keeping it undetected but who says you cant launch stuff into space? A bloke with Drax’s money and sway with the establishment would have no trouble in pretending he was putting up a satellite of something.
The space shuttle part is sound scientifically the globes I find less so. Its not explained how they work and although it is said each one would kill millions I cant help thinking they would just smash into the ground and deliver their gas over a very localised area.
And how long are they planning to stay up there? With no one to resupply you from earth is there enough food for them and all their offspring? Or are they only going to stay up there for a few weeks until it dissipates?
For the space shuttle hardware alone I’ll give it 3/10.
FYEO – Nothing implausible here. A load of people all chase after a typewriter. The only think is all the codes would change the same as the Lektor above so even if Gogol got his hands on it it would be useless. 10/10
OP – The main plan here is to replace some smuggled jewellery with a nuclear bomb which will cause public outrage and lead to all bombs being removed from Germany and allow Russia to take over the continent. I think the primary objective of blowing up the bomb is fairly easy if we assume Orlov has bribed/ordered someone to get him a warhead (not too difficult in Russia.
It’s the rest of his logic that I find a bit dodgy. Is it a given that Europe will demand the removal of all nuclear bombs? Perhaps from Germany but I don’t think France and the UK would give theirs up.
That said I think his rationale that the west ‘is decadent and cannot stomach our nuclear reprisals’ is spot on. No way are us or France going to unload on Russia if the Red Army gets to the Rhine and even if Orlov rolls his tanks into London do you seriously think the yanks are going to bring about Armageddon to save us? Sorry to disappoint you but the ‘special relationship’ basically means bugger all to Uncle Sam. They would do a deal with the Russians and the rest of Europe would be under the communist yoke. I reckon Orlov just about has it spot on. 9/10
AVTAK – Seismically the amount of explosive Zorin had was negligible. Even if he had had a handful of nukes along the fault line our knowledge of what triggers earthquakes is so sketchy that there is no way he could predict with any degree of certainty that it would cause an earthquake. 99 times out of 100 there would just be a big bang and he would have massacred his workforce for nothing. On the 100th time it might trigger an earthquake but that would be mostly because the geological conditions were ripe for it anyway. And all this stuff about ‘geological locks’ and ‘double earthquakes’? I don’t think so Max. 1/10
TLD – Pretty realistic cold war/dodgy Russian business deal. A guy rips off some money to finance a drug/arms deal and when someone gets too nosy he conspires to have him killed. Not particularly grandiose (at the end of the day Bond foils a bog standard drug deal) but pretty believable. 9/10
LTK – Ditto. Nothing wrong with Sanchez’s plan although I don’t know about the chemistry of dissolving cocaine in petrol. 9/10
GE – Now presupposing you can get a nuclear bomb (which lets face it is all the Goldeneye is ) in orbit then the electromagnetic pulse theory has some credibility. Even one guy hacking all the banks is I suppose vaguely plausible but theres one thing mad little Alec has overlooked. He can fill his bank account with as much as he wants but in the morning when England has been sent back to the stone age so will the value of his ill gotten gains. So while it might say he has £100 billion that will be the approximate value of a bag of grain. If his aim is just to get revenge on England then his plan isn’t that far fetched. If its to make himself an earner then its rather poorly thought out. 5/10
TND – Wars are pretty easy to forment (look at Iraq part 2) so this is not that incredible. The biggest doubt I have is whether Blighty would have the bottle to take on China. More likely we would say ‘sorry for hitting your missiles with our submarine’ and leave it at that. Also in terms of getting viewers then it would surely make more sense for Carver to make the war America v China but then of course Bond would have no involvement. 6/10
TWINE – The main plan is to destroy Istanbul so that her pipeline is the only one that can be used. This seems pretty sound overall and the although the nuts and bolts of blowing up the subs reactor with that plutonium rod seem a bit dubious if Istanbul and the Bosphorus are a nuclear wasteland her pipeline should make her very rich in the short to medium term. All the stuff with M, blowing up King etc is entirely superfluous to her plan. 8/10
DAD – Oh piss off. Theres not even the vaguest attempt to give Icarus any scientific basis. Complete bullshit. 0/10
CR – Bet investors money on the stock market and cream off what you make. How is Le Chiffre any different to every City bank? Playing poker to get it back when you have lost it is high risk but theres nothing implausible about it. 10/10
QOS – Bribe corrupt officials to organise a coup in a tin pot country so you can control their natural resources. Sounds like the American government to me. 10/10
SF – Kill an old woman. Whats implausible about that? 10/10 (although for the way he goes about it 5/10)
The last ones may seem a bit rushed as its taken me the whole shift but in all honesty are any of the villains schemes in the Craig era far fetched in the least? That’s the trouble particularly with QOS – the caper is a bit dull. Although Silva was up to the job his plan was not exactly the ‘inspired deal’ of Operation Grand Slam. A little dose of preposterousness never hurts a Bond plot to be honest.
Except that there's all those messages that were sent before and couldn't be decyphered because MI6 and its allies didn't have a Lektor at hand. Which means tons of material to be exploited, networks put in danger, whole operations brought down, covers blown. Lots of damage could be done to the KGB that way by exploiting all that already existing material. Which is why Blofeld's plan makes sense: "I have the Lektor. Give me what I want and the West won't get it. If not, say goodbye to all your networks." It wouldn't be just a question of building a new machine (easier said than done), but also of reorganizing everything in the meantime.
That is what I was thinking. And the Lektor would also allow them to have the peak of Soviet technology, something valuable in itself.
Regarding the believability of the trap, Kronsteen has taken this into account, in fact it is the beauty of the plan: MI6 knows it is a trap, but they are ready to play it because the opportunity is too good. Which again is very realistic.