The Biggest Flaw of the James Bond Series

edited March 2016 in Bond Movies Posts: 1,817
I love 007 as much as anyone else on this forum. But I will say that the series is not perfect and that the series runs into some constant problems throughout its long life. Obviously it is a successful series since it has gone on for so long, but there must be some elements that the series finds weakness in.

I frame this as a question to everyone, and hopefully no one will be offended by it. What do you think is the biggest shortcoming in the franchise as a whole?

In my opinion, the series' biggest problem is that they suffer from being too long. On the whole, they run on for just way too long. Like, way too long. Spectre, the latest, clocked in at 156 minutes - 36 minutes too long. The Bond films should be under two hours long in my opinion - they should hold your attention for those two hours on screen, then end, having fully entertained you. If they go longer, they usually run out of steam towards the end.

Anyone have other opinions, or think that the Bond series is perfect and that it faces no running problems?
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Comments

  • ForYourEyesOnlyForYourEyesOnly In the untained cradle of the heavens
    Posts: 1,984
    It's the imperfections that allow the series to adapt and renew itself.
  • Posts: 3,923
    I think some of the Bond films (and action film in general) often run out of steam in the last third, without going over 2 hours.
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,214
    Certainly not the biggest flaw, but I do agree certain Bond films could do with a bit of trimming, more recently the latest two, and also Thunderball which is easily a top 7 if it was trimmed
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,021
    While Spectre does feel more like two hours, Skyfall feels like 3 1/2 hours.

    You can't just say 2 hours is the perfect running time.

    There is at least one PERFECT BOND MOVIE and that is From Russia With Love.

    I wish BB would try to go there with the next actor, or Craig for that matter.

    It can be done, just hire some decent writers.
  • edited March 2016 Posts: 1,498
    Biggest flaw is, IMO, the frequent efforts to follow the cinematic trends of the time.
    This resulted in too many of the entries feeling either horribly dated or just becoming pastiches of their time.

    MR is the one usually singled out as 'trying to cash in on film trends', but there are plenty of others.

    DAF started this I think, it was just trying to be a 1970 U.S movie for most of it's second half, and it looks awfully tacky as a result.

    LALD & TMWTGG are the worst offenders. Faux-Blaxploitation and Kung Fu silliness ruins those films for me.

    LTK echoes the action machismo of mid to late 80's cinema, but luckily a superb Dalton saves that movie.

    CR integrated the bare knuckled Bourne-style well, but the parkour stuff is just stupid and has no place in a James Bond film. QoS has too much Bourne Supremacy going on for my liking. Even the final scene is almost a copy...

    SF's Dark Knight rip-off never did it for me either.
  • Posts: 1,392
    I love 007 as much as anyone else on this forum. But I will say that the series is not perfect and that the series runs into some constant problems throughout its long life. Obviously it is a successful series since it has gone on for so long, but there must be some elements that the series finds weakness in.

    I frame this as a question to everyone, and hopefully no one will be offended by it. What do you think is the biggest shortcoming in the franchise as a whole?

    In my opinion, the series' biggest problem is that they suffer from being too long. On the whole, they run on for just way too long. Like, way too long. Spectre, the latest, clocked in at 156 minutes - 36 minutes too long. The Bond films should be under two hours long in my opinion - they should hold your attention for those two hours on screen, then end, having fully entertained you. If they go longer, they usually run out of steam towards the end.

    Anyone have other opinions, or think that the Bond series is perfect and that it faces no running problems?

    The biggest flaw is the continuity problem between YOLT and OHMSS.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,021
    Good points @AceHole

    MR is probably the best example of them all. But at least that one was comedic and fun, and that has a timeless quality.

    But SF and LALD certainly suffer immensely. While LALD is re-watchable for the comedic elements, SF is a dreary and drab affair with a stupid Joker rip-off.

    I don't see any Bourne in CR, but QOS certainly suffers greatly from that trend. QOS is the one Bond movie with the most wasted potential. It could have been the FRWL of our times with only a few changes.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117

    I find SF and SP to rattle by far quicker than the likes of TB and TMWTGG.

    In any event to say it's the series biggest flaw is a bit excessive given for most of the series the average running time is around 2 hours 10 mins.

    There's only OHMSS, CR, SF and SP that have gone significantly over the 2 hour mark and given OHMSS and CR are two of the best films in the series and SF and SP despite their flaws are still pretty solid top half entries perhaps we should be wishing for longer running times?

    The fact is if you have a good an engaging script the runnng time is irrelevant. DN and FRWL have two of the shortest running times yet are two of the best so what does running time prove? To quote Edwin Starr 'Absolutely nothing'.

    I'll admit quite a lot of Bond films run out of steam by the 3rd act but that's a different debate to running time.

  • Posts: 1,498
    I love 007 as much as anyone else on this forum. But I will say that the series is not perfect and that the series runs into some constant problems throughout its long life. Obviously it is a successful series since it has gone on for so long, but there must be some elements that the series finds weakness in.

    I frame this as a question to everyone, and hopefully no one will be offended by it. What do you think is the biggest shortcoming in the franchise as a whole?

    In my opinion, the series' biggest problem is that they suffer from being too long. On the whole, they run on for just way too long. Like, way too long. Spectre, the latest, clocked in at 156 minutes - 36 minutes too long. The Bond films should be under two hours long in my opinion - they should hold your attention for those two hours on screen, then end, having fully entertained you. If they go longer, they usually run out of steam towards the end.

    Anyone have other opinions, or think that the Bond series is perfect and that it faces no running problems?

    The biggest flaw is the continuity problem between YOLT and OHMSS.

    Duh! Blofeld did not recognize Bond because it was George Lazenby dressed as Sir Hilary instead of Sean Connery.
  • edited March 2016 Posts: 613
    I think how Blofeld was handled was the biggest flaw of the franchise.3 different actors, and the continuity problems for the main villain of the franchise, not good.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 16,057
    I think how Blofeld was handled was the biggest flaw of the franchise.3 different actors, and the continuity problems for the main villain of the franchise, not good.

    This right here.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,721
    Murdock wrote: »
    I think how Blofeld was handled was the biggest flaw of the franchise.3 different actors, and the continuity problems for the main villain of the franchise, not good.

    This right here.

    It's certainly one of the major ones, yes.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 16,057
    On an individual Bond film basis, I don't give a damn about the flaws. but for me the biggest misstep in the series was how they messed up Blofeld originally. Hopefully history doesn't repeat itself.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Murdock wrote: »
    for me the biggest misstep in the series was how they messed up Blofeld originally. Hopefully history doesn't repeat itself.

    Err it already has. Need I remind you about the Oberhauser fiasco?
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 16,057
    Murdock wrote: »
    for me the biggest misstep in the series was how they messed up Blofeld originally. Hopefully history doesn't repeat itself.

    Err it already has. Need I remind you about the Oberhauser fiasco?
    That didn't bother me.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,721
    Murdock wrote: »
    for me the biggest misstep in the series was how they messed up Blofeld originally. Hopefully history doesn't repeat itself.

    Err it already has. Need I remind you about the Oberhauser fiasco?

    It could certainly be regarded as an unwanted distraction, yes.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,996
    Yes.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,021
    After the rather forgettable villain and the court jester villain we got before Spectre, Waltz came at the right time and delivered a brilliant performance only matched by Mikkelsen.
    And the general audience for sure doesn't know enough (if anything) about Blofeld of the past.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,534
    Purvis & Wade.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,021
    Purvis & Wade.

    How true :))
  • Posts: 3,923
    Purvis & Wade.

    Isn't that 2 flaws?

  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,721
    vzok wrote: »
    Purvis & Wade.

    Isn't that 2 flaws?

    Well who's counting? ;)
  • Posts: 3,923
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    vzok wrote: »
    Purvis & Wade.

    Isn't that 2 flaws?

    Well who's counting? ;)

    Purvis & Wade are counting the £££ all the way to the bank.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    edited March 2016 Posts: 9,021
    vzok wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    vzok wrote: »
    Purvis & Wade.

    Isn't that 2 flaws?

    Well who's counting? ;)

    Purvis & Wade are counting the £££ all the way to the bank.

    I believe they are a single entity posting as two humans. Its origin is unknown, but I suspect from an alternate universe where hell is a real region on Earth. Its goal is to create havoc amongst the cinephiles.

    Originally their plan was to derail the franchise by putting a spell on Babs, so she got the hots for the most unlikely candidate for Bond, Daniel Craig.
    When she casted Craig against the will of all others, P+W thought they had succeeded in destroying the franchise, the plan almost worked.

    Only Martin Campbell saved the franchise by molding Daniel Craig into Bond. Rumour has it Martin Campbell was possessed by the time he directed Casino Royale by another, good entity from the alternate universe to make sure, P+W plan was foiled.
  • Posts: 1,580
    There is at least one PERFECT BOND MOVIE and that is From Russia With Love.

    I wish BB would try to go there with the next actor, or Craig for that matter.

    It can be done, just hire some decent writers.

    According to Michael G. Wilson, that is always the goal when they set out to make the next Bond film:
    "We always start out trying to make another ‘From Russia with Love’ and we always end up with another ‘Thunderball.’ ”


    I'd love to see them go back to the template of Dr. No and From Russia With Love, but it would take a brave studio and distributor to allow that to move forward. I can't see MGM doing it, since Bond is about the only thing keeping them afloat.

    I'm also not sure I'd agree with the premise that Bond films should be 2 hours or less. Now, on average, they should probably even out to that over the course of the franchise, as not every film should be a behemoth 2.5-3 hour ordeal, but that's certainly OK every once in a while, provided the film is solid and the story requires that amount of time to tell. It barely worked with Casino Royale (they could have axed an entire action set piece from the first half and been fine) and then it worked out pretty well for On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Skyfall, so there are instances of longer Bond films being worthwhile ventures. After Spectre, though, I want them to go back to a leaner, meaner film. They tried to stretch a flimsy story way too far in the last one and it didn't do them any favors. The next film should take the opposite approach, unless they can find something really interesting to do with Fleming's You Only Live Twice.
  • I find SF and SP to rattle by far quicker than the likes of TB and TMWTGG.

    In any event to say it's the series biggest flaw is a bit excessive given for most of the series the average running time is around 2 hours 10 mins.

    There's only OHMSS, CR, SF and SP that have gone significantly over the 2 hour mark and given OHMSS and CR are two of the best films in the series and SF and SP despite their flaws are still pretty solid top half entries perhaps we should be wishing for longer running times?

    The fact is if you have a good an engaging script the runnng time is irrelevant. DN and FRWL have two of the shortest running times yet are two of the best so what does running time prove? To quote Edwin Starr 'Absolutely nothing'.

    I'll admit quite a lot of Bond films run out of steam by the 3rd act but that's a different debate to running time.

    I agree running time depends on the film and what the script is trying to convey. SF gives an entirely different vibe to SP. Whereas SF's length feels appropriate SP feels like it goes on too long for a fun escapist film.

    Some films just could be better if they were cut down a little. Some of the scenes in Afghanistan in TLD could be trimmed. OP definitely felt like it went on for way too long somewhere in Germany. And TB and TMWTGG definitely drag.

    I will get shot for this as I once did previously but the Piz Gloria section of OHMSS definitely goes on too long.

    The only film that should have been longer is QOS. So I am of the belief that Bond films should thrill you and give you your money's worth, then end. But some films can sustain a long running time quite well, so yes, as you say, it all depends.
  • Actually now that I think of it, probably the series biggest flaw is that most of the movies lack any real sense of suspense.

    If I were to rank the films suspense-wise:
    1. LTK
    2. CR
    3. DN
    4. FRWL
    5. OP (only because of the Germany section)
    6. ehhhh not much else.

    Maybe in between blowing stuff up on screen EON should dedicate time to atmosphere and build-up so that there is pay-off for those explosions.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,351
    The biggest flaw in James Bond movies is also it greatest strength and indeed SOLE reason for continuing to exist as a viable series....

    wait for it....

    There has never been a perfect James Bond film.

    Yes, there's FRWL, GF, and some would argue a few others, but no Bond film was ever so spectacularly & singularly excellent in all cinematic aspects that it by definition of its supreme excellence puts all others to shame. The death of a film series is when it makes 'the perfect' film out of the gate and the sequels become poor copies and/or obvious cash grabs as they go on.
    The books were like this as well... evolving and imperfect... much of their charm is in the pulp fiction aspect...
    If any Bond film were to win an Oscar for best picture, the end of the franchise would be mere years away.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited March 2016 Posts: 30,996
    Actually now that I think of it, probably the series biggest flaw is that most of the movies lack any real sense of suspense.

    If I were to rank the films suspense-wise:
    1. LTK
    2. CR
    3. DN
    4. FRWL
    5. OP (only because of the Germany section)
    6. ehhhh not much else.

    Maybe in between blowing stuff up on screen EON should dedicate time to atmosphere and build-up so that there is pay-off for those explosions.

    You wouldn't consider the table laser scene in GF suspenseful?
  • edited March 2016 Posts: 1,817
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Actually now that I think of it, probably the series biggest flaw is that most of the movies lack any real sense of suspense.

    If I were to rank the films suspense-wise:
    1. LTK
    2. CR
    3. DN
    4. FRWL
    5. OP (only because of the Germany section)
    6. ehhhh not much else.

    Maybe in between blowing stuff up on screen EON should dedicate time to atmosphere and build-up so that there is pay-off for those explosions.

    You wouldn't consider the table laser scene in GF suspenseful?

    Of course it is suspenseful. It is very suspenseful. It is also one scene in an otherwise mostly suspenseless movie, IMO.

    Many of the films have some element of suspense but usually they are restricted to one or a few scenes only. For example, FYEO has a few - fight at the warehouse and car kick, underwater retrieval of ATAC, keelhauling and rock climbing scene. But they do not contribute to an overall level of suspense, not like all the fantastic build-up to the bomb in OP, for example. Everyone held their breath as Bond defused that warhead.

    There probably aren't many or any truly suspenseless films in the canon. But there was little suspense in SP I thought.
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