I could be wrong about this, but I think the James Bond films have a (somewhat deserved) reputation for falling off a bit in their final acts. Even beloved entries like Thunderball and Casino Royale are generally considered to have finales that are significantly weaker than their buildups. Or a film like The Living Daylights, for many, seems to go from a perfect Bond film to a very good film once they reach Afghanistan. Spectre is frequently said to go from being a decent or pretty good Bond film to being a bad one in the third act. Whatever your favorite scene is in Goldfinger or The Spy Who Loved Me, it almost certainly happens in the first hour. And it seems to be a rare thing indeed where the third act is the best part of the movie. Dr No, OHMSS, and Licence to Kill are probably all examples of this.
I don't necessarily agree with all of those specific examples, but I think it's a fair representation of consensus. I'm wondering what other people think. What's your favorite/least favorite third act of a Bond film? Which third acts elevate or hurt their films the most?
My favorite: Licence to Kill. Probably uncontroversial. I think that while the film has some rocky moments, it nails the landing. The tanker truck action sequence rocks, and the cathartic and poetic dispatch of Sanchez is about as satisfying as a villain death comes.
My least favorite: Tomorrow Never Dies. I don't think I'd have ever loved this movie, but it's definitely a pretty fun romp...until they get to Carver's boat. The generic machine gun action is just visual white noise to me, and Wai Lin, already a pretty weak character, becomes a damsel in distress. Too bad.
Third act that most improves its film: Live and Let Die. I think a lot of people would disagree, but I think this one is just about perfect. Roger looks great in his black turtleneck and Magnum, and the wonderful adventure serial atmosphere of the island, along with weirdness like the Baron Samedi statue (?) add the whimsical quality I love to a film that occasionally drifts into the mundane.
Third act that most weakens its film: Diamonds Are Forever. This is certainly nobody's favorite ending, but I really think the rest of the film is perfect. The tongue-in-cheek approach brings some series-best one-liners, and action scenes that are, if not exactly heart-stopping, original and interesting. Then they get to the oil rig and completely run out of gas. Or money.