Most Under-rated Bond Movies

BMW_with_missilesBMW_with_missiles All the usual refinements.
edited October 2015 in Bond Movies Posts: 2,989
There are a few films in the series that I think are very often under-rated. Here's my list;

TND:
My personal favorite Bond movie. I think it's an interesting twist on the classic "Bond-villain tries to start WW3" story. The misinformation Carver spreads via his media empire is an interesting addition to this classic scenario that, with today's media being what it is, gives it a bite of realism and political drama. And the pre-title sequence? Nothing short of fantastic! Sadly this film is often ragged on, if not ignored.

OHMSS:
Not necessarily hated by many, this film still seems rather under-appreciated. A few even outright blasting it as terrible. Although it's not one of my personal favorites, if nothing else about this movie was enjoyable, the final scene is pure art. It makes the whole film worthwhile on it's own.

DAD:
Yes. I'm defending Die Another Day. Yes, Lee Tamahori sucks. Yes, many parts are cringe worthy. Yes, that freaking Robo-Cop looking suit Graves wears is laughable. But even with all this said, I still find it to be an enjoyable, silly, Bond adventure. It's just a matter of expecting the corny-ness, accepting it, and embracing it. :D I like to think of it as a 70's Bond movie that just happened to be made in 2002. It deserves to be made fun of, I make fun of it myself, but I love it at the same time.
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Comments

  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython "I want you looking FABULOUS."
    Posts: 3,918
    DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER - It's a flawed film, but there's enough in there for me to be able to kick back and enjoy. I'll take it over half of the series, to be honest. Bond films would be lucky to have dialogue of such wit by Mankiewicz too. I often hear the criticism that Connery looked "bored" or was "phoning it in", which I never got from his performance. He's no longer in top form like in his early films, but he seems to be having a ball here, especially when having fun with the dialogue. He's much more energized here than he was in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. Him being out of shape is too bad, but couldn't be helped since he only returned near the last minute before he even thought he would come back for another Bond film, so there wasn't time to shed those few pounds.

    Another highlight is Barry's score. He's still coming in strong for me after OHMSS. Not as elegant, but given the setting of Vegas, he's clearly mirroring the sleaziness of the flick and quite successfully. My favorite cue by him is "Bond Meets Bambi And Thumper", to me that sounds like a statement: Bond has entered the 70s.

    One thing I won't be soft on is the climax. It's half baked, and was obviously cut short, given that more was supposed to happen in it and after the oil rig with Bond chasing down Blofeld to the salt mines as originally scripted. My guess is they didn't want to definitively kill Bond's arch nemesis, so they cut that all out and leave his fate hanging in case they want to bring him back again.
  • BMW_with_missilesBMW_with_missiles All the usual refinements.
    Posts: 2,989
    DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER - It's a flawed film, but there's enough in there for me to be able to kick back and enjoy. I'll take it over half of the series, to be honest. Bond films would be lucky to have dialogue of such wit by Mankiewicz too. I often hear the criticism that Connery looked "bored" or was "phoning it in", which I never got from his performance. He's no longer in top form like in his early films, but he seems to be having a ball here, especially when having fun with the dialogue. He's much more energized here than he was in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. Him being out of shape is too bad, but couldn't be helped since he only returned near the last minute before he even thought he would come back for another Bond film, so there wasn't time to shed those few pounds.

    Another highlight is Barry's score. He's still coming in strong for me after OHMSS. Not as elegant, but given the setting of Vegas, he's clearly mirroring the sleaziness of the flick and quite successfully. My favorite cue by him is "Bond Meets Bambi And Thumper", to me that sounds like a statement: Bond has entered the 70s.

    One thing I won't be soft on is the climax. It's half baked, and was obviously cut short, given that more was supposed to happen in it and after the oil rig with Bond chasing down Blofeld to the salt mines as originally scripted. My guess is they didn't want to definitively kill Bond's arch nemesis, so they cut that all out and leave his fate hanging in case they want to bring him back again.

    Agreed. Flawed, but enjoyable. I especially like the moon-buggy scenes. I heard the reason they didn't include the salt mine ending was because the owners of the mine decided against letting them film there. Sad that something so small affected the ending so greatly.
  • Thunderball007Thunderball007 United States
    edited October 2015 Posts: 306
    Octopussy.

    I feel that Octopussy is highly under rated. This film has grown on me more and more over the years, and I enjoy it more and more and now, it is among my favorite 007 films to watch.

    The most successful ingredient for Octopussy is its fun factor. For me, it might be the most purely fun 007 adventure. Afterall, it takes shades of Indiana Jones, but Indiana Jones was inspired by 007 in the first place.

    Sir Roger Moore is amazingly fun to watch here, giving an enthusiastic and wise performance. The rest of the cast is spectacular. The musical score, the locales, everything pops and oozes Bond.

    I love this film!
  • ForYourEyesOnlyForYourEyesOnly In the untained cradle of the heavens
    Posts: 1,984
    Octopussy and A View To A Kill are both criminally underrated (and it seems to be Moore's age and the clown suit in Octopussy more than anything else), and I actually think Octopussy is one of the best Bond movies ever. I particularly feel this in regards to Octopussy. I appreciated the whole "Bond meets Indiana Jones" feel, which also meant the film had absolutely incredible stunts. And I actually appreciated the tonal shifts, the score, and just the blend of humour and action.

    As for A View To A Kill, there's no way it's among the best of the Bonds, but it's not quite among the worst either. Christopher Walken's undeniably good and Roger Moore was decent in the movie too, if you ignore the obvious stunt doubles and his age (which really isn't an issue until you get to the love scenes). There's just that sense of urgency because Bond just seems so far out of his depth. It's definitely not the worst Moore film, IMO, that title belongs to TMWTGG, which is an even greater disappointment because of the greater spillage of potential greatness.

    Licence to Kill is getting better press now, but I think it just didn't deserve it's poor box office takings which I chalk down to poor commercial management (especially advertising). It's really a fantastic movie.

    TWINE I can't necessarily defend as a great movie, but it's something of a guilty pleasure and undeniably has its great scenes as much as it has cringeworthy ones. Moonraker kind of falls in the same category, but for most it seems like it has more cringeworthy scenes than good ones, and a lot of the good scenes get ruined by overwhelming low-rent humour like the freefall scene ending with Jaws falling into the circus tent. Still, I felt the movie was actually solid until they reached space and started firing the lasers.

    And I hear so much support for OHMSS everywhere and talk about it being "underrated", but honestly, nowadays, the support for it is so great and widespread that I might call it overrated. I'll probably have people jumping on me for that, though. lol

  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 12,784
    I love Moore's performance as 007 in FYEO, OP and AVTAK.
    Whether or not they are fantastic films, I just love how he plays Bond.
  • Honestly I find most of the usual suspects that feature at the bottom of "Bond ranking" lists to be underrated - DAD, AVTAK, TMWTGG, DAF etc. I'd rather watch those than Thunderball or FRWL any day of the week

    :P
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    Posts: 4,147
    DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER - It's a flawed film, but there's enough in there for me to be able to kick back and enjoy. I'll take it over half of the series, to be honest. Bond films would be lucky to have dialogue of such wit by Mankiewicz too. I often hear the criticism that Connery looked "bored" or was "phoning it in", which I never got from his performance. He's no longer in top form like in his early films, but he seems to be having a ball here, especially when having fun with the dialogue. He's much more energized here than he was in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. Him being out of shape is too bad, but couldn't be helped since he only returned near the last minute before he even thought he would come back for another Bond film, so there wasn't time to shed those few pounds.

    Another highlight is Barry's score. He's still coming in strong for me after OHMSS. Not as elegant, but given the setting of Vegas, he's clearly mirroring the sleaziness of the flick and quite successfully. My favorite cue by him is "Bond Meets Bambi And Thumper", to me that sounds like a statement: Bond has entered the 70s.

    One thing I won't be soft on is the climax. It's half baked, and was obviously cut short, given that more was supposed to happen in it and after the oil rig with Bond chasing down Blofeld to the salt mines as originally scripted. My guess is they didn't want to definitively kill Bond's arch nemesis, so they cut that all out and leave his fate hanging in case they want to bring him back again.

    Agreed. Flawed, but enjoyable. I especially like the moon-buggy scenes. I heard the reason they didn't include the salt mine ending was because the owners of the mine decided against letting them film there. Sad that something so small affected the ending so greatly.

    DAF is worse than flawed...it's flat-out awful...ON PURPOSE.

    I agree with @MakeshiftPython: Barry's score is terrific in DAF.

    The film is pure camp, pure fun, the one Bond film that doesn't attempt to be something it's not. Even Charles Gray is awful. What other Bond film can have...

    A stand-up comic as a villain?
    Diamonds hidden in a corpse?
    Homosexual partners as hit men?
    Dead elderly female drug smuggler in the Amstel?
    A slot-machine playing elephant?
    A gorilla loose in a casino?
    Bond in a pink tie?
    Vegas?
    Circus Circus?
    Female bodyguards named Bambi and Thumper?
    Bond called a "Son-of-bitchin' saboteur"?
    A moon buggy chase scene?
    Blofeld in drag?
    Bond saying "Wrong pussy"?
    A nipple shot (in the pts)?
  • TubesTubes The Hebrew Hammer
    Posts: 158
    I have a fondness of QUANTUM OF SOLACE, which seems to be despised everywhere.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    Posts: 4,147
    Tubes wrote: »
    I have a fondness of QUANTUM OF SOLACE, which seems to be despised everywhere.

    No, you'll find plenty of love for QoS on these boards. But the critics did mostly despise it.

  • ForYourEyesOnlyForYourEyesOnly In the untained cradle of the heavens
    Posts: 1,984
    QoS isn't rock-bottom bad, but I've never been particularly fond of it. I'm definitely not with the people who consider it the worst Bond ever, though.
  • Never Say Never Again.

    Connery is on top form in his scenes with M, Monneypenny and a delightful Q and the film fully acknowledges his advanced age (one of the faults of the later EON films with Moore was to not do that). Klaus Maria Brandauer makes for a great villain and Barbara Carrera for a very memorable henchwoman.

    I ever rather like Michel Legrand's score: the title song is suave and works well under the opening sequence; there are big band numbers, tangos, waltzes and a French chanson as source music.

  • DariusDarius UK
    Posts: 354
    For me, it's DAF.

    A very much denigrated movie, it is a move I saw when it first came out back in the day when car chases were an all-new thing and kitsch-ness was the done thing. As such, to an adolescent mind, the movie was then the coolest thing around to me.

    Being able to look back at it from a modern, more mature perspective now, it seems like a handicapped child -- something I will always love, despite its shortcomings.
  • Posts: 1,482
    Most underrated: TLD - apart from the odd lacklustre villain it has all the ingredients of classic Bond and feels like a real bond adventure

    Most overrated: LALD - a yawnfest from start to finish... how anyone can rewatch this again & again is beyond me
  • ForYourEyesOnlyForYourEyesOnly In the untained cradle of the heavens
    Posts: 1,984
    I thought The Living Daylights is commonly held to be one of the best?
  • Posts: 1,482
    I thought The Living Daylights is commonly held to be one of the best?

    Not by the press or general public. Here perhaps... but it's rarely rated in anyone's top 8
  • The World is Not Enough.

    For a movie that often gets listed in worse Bond film lists it really isn't that bad and better than most of Moore's in my humble opinion.

  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    TMWTGG. Love it. So take that.
  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    Posts: 5,065
    DAF, AVTAK and OP. All three are just so darned fun.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 12,784
    I really have a soft spot for AVTAK, I'm fully aware of all the arguments
    and criticisms it gets, but I really enjoy Roger's swan song. :)
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    Posts: 4,147
    DrGorner wrote: »
    I really have a soft spot for AVTAK, I'm fully aware of all the arguments
    and criticisms it gets, but I really enjoy Roger's swan song. :)

    It's not a bad Bond film at all. Yes, there are some bad stunt double moments, and the Beach Boys song in the PTS, but Walken is good, so is Jones, and I didn't mind Tanya Roberts as much as some.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited October 2015 Posts: 5,119
    Never Say Never Again.

    Connery is on top form in his scenes with M, Monneypenny and a delightful Q and the film fully acknowledges his advanced age (one of the faults of the later EON films with Moore was to not do that). Klaus Maria Brandauer makes for a great villain and Barbara Carrera for a very memorable henchwoman.

    I ever rather like Michel Legrand's score: the title song is suave and works well under the opening sequence; there are big band numbers, tangos, waltzes and a French chanson as source music.

    Agreed on all points bar the score which is crap. Theme song is fine though. It gets plus points for having Sharks, but Rowan Atkinson should be edited out.
  • Posts: 3,324
    For your eyes only
  • Posts: 1,482
    For your eyes only

    Yes, it's easily top ten stuff
  • AceHole wrote: »
    For your eyes only

    Yes, it's easily top ten stuff

    Agree. It went way up in my estimation when I watched it in my recent pre-Spectre Bondathon. The action is fun and mixes thrills with humor, the rock climbing scene is very suspenseful, the stripped-down-ness really works, and the locations are well used. The only gripe I have is the villain is a bit of a dud and unmemorable.
  • TubesTubes The Hebrew Hammer
    Posts: 158
    The more I think about it, the more I see people underrate the 70's Bond films (bar TSWLM) and overrate the 90's Bond films.
  • Posts: 1,580
    Knowing that I'm probably alone in thinking that they're underrated, I'd say that Licence to Kill and Quantum of Solace are very underrated, both by the general public and Bond fans.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    edited October 2015 Posts: 10,424
    Bondite wrote: »
    The World is Not Enough.

    For a movie that often gets listed in worse Bond film lists it really isn't that bad and better than most of Moore's in my humble opinion.
    I also love the more era, but I do agree The World is Not Enough is nearly criminally underrated. Alright, maybe not criminally, however some elements are excellent, and it still remains high in my rankings.
    P.S sorry @bondjames ;)
  • Posts: 444
    Octopussy-Octopussy-Octopussy!

    It always seems a shame that even Moore seems to underrate this and FYEO.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 16,035
    jake24 wrote: »
    Bondite wrote: »
    The World is Not Enough.

    For a movie that often gets listed in worse Bond film lists it really isn't that bad and better than most of Moore's in my humble opinion.
    I also love the more era, but I do agree The World is Not Enough is nearly criminally underrated. Alright, maybe not criminally, however some elements are excellent, and it still remains high in my rankings.
    Mine too. I don't get the hate for it. It's not one of the best but it's a good film none the less.
  • Posts: 3,052
    AceHole wrote: »
    I thought The Living Daylights is commonly held to be one of the best?

    Not by the press or general public. Here perhaps... but it's rarely rated in anyone's top 8

    I don't recall the UK press being down or negative about TLD back in 87, nor the general public for that matter. All the "major" UK press critics gave it a positive review back in the day, especially after the terrible AVTAK that preceded it. Can't really say the same for the US critics as I wasn't really that privy to their media responses back in 87. But then us moviegoers didn't take much notice of critics back in the 70's or 80's. It's only today that critics appear to be have been elevated to the godly status of purveyors of good taste and gold standards; a rather strange phenomena.

    I think the one Bond movie that truly fits the most under-rated is DAF, especially now that OHMSS has been rightfully reclaimed as one of the very best Bond's.
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