An overview of James Bond-related film music to tie in with the franchise’s 60th anniversary. A straightforward, upbeat, and largely chronological overview, tending to focus on theme songs over scores. Fine for both casual and committed fans, though no deep dive (Serra, Kamen, and A-ha are among those who get swept past).
A retired Bond combats the threat of a stolen bioweapon. Last of the Craig-era pics, this is the Avengers: Endgame of Bond flicks, rounding out a loose five-film arc. Less successful as a stand-alone movie, but it tries something different, Craig and a guesting Ana de Armas are both great, and there’s neat moments aplenty among the bombast and soapy stuff.
Bond battles a former MI:6 agent intent on revenge on M. Superior series entry with lots to recommend it, not least a back-to-basics siege third act. A couple of wobbly moments (beware the oddly-empty tube car), but apart from those, this is superior genre entertainment.
Bond again battles Blofeld; this time up to germ warfare. Despite the awkwardness at times of lead Lazenby, this is perhaps the best all-round Bond; bags of action, some self-aware humour, lovely design work and excellent direction and editing.
007 investigates a diplomat’s murder; the trail leads to a nuclear conspiracy. The first Bond adaptation gets a lot of things right, not least the lead performance. Of its time, certainly, but influential in all kinds of ways, and gorgeous to look at.
Bond battles a private banker for terrorists. Casino Royale does a lot of things well: a series reboot, an introduction to the Daniel Craig era, and a film that connects to its source novel. It goes on too long, with perhaps one ending too many, but this one of the strongest series entries.
Bond teams up with an NSA agent to uncover the truth about a conspiracy involving conflict diamonds and North Korea. Fourth, last, and least of the Brosnan Bond flicks. The central performance is good, but the script is a lazy series of puns and there’s an over-reliance on iffy CG throughout.
A political attempt to neuter M16 is found to be the work of an enemy organisation. The first two acts work well, but the last hour falls apart through trying to stitch the Craig-era Bond films into a single narrative with an awkwardly-revealed Blofeld at its centre.
Bond investigates stolen spacecraft so he can avert a nuclear war. Fifth in the franchise and the cracks are starting to show. Connery is jaded, and the Roald Dahl script is awkwardly dated at best. Impressive production design and a couple of neat directorial moments lift some of the tiredness.
Bond battles a rogue Soviet general intent on starting a nuclear war. Lacking the restraint of predecessor For Your Eyes Only, this is lesser Bond, with an eye as much on laughs as on thrills or plausibility. Louis Jourdan, though, makes for an elegant adversary.