Drenched In Dench

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“Dench” is to the Skyfalliverse as “Smurf” is to the Smurfiverse. 

I watched Die Another Day for the first time a couple of nights ago. I don’t really consider Pierce Brosnon to be canonical Bond. He seems more like a Hot Shots-style Bond parody minus all the comedy. Speaking of “comedy,” Die Another Day is just CHOCK FULL of dick jokes. Like really terrible dick jokes too. Bond seems to punctuate nearly every thought with a reference to his “tip” or his “weapon” or his “raging erect shaft, I mean as to say the turgid column that is my male member, commonly referred to as THE DONGER.” That last one lacked a certainly Bond-esque subtlety. Anyway, that movie was terrible.

COMMENTERS: Are we all in agreement that P.B. 90’s Bond is silly playtime fake Bond? Is there a worse Bond (who held the mantle for more than one film)?

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  1. Goldeneye was a superb film, and my first Bond movie I saw in the cinema (hence a certain amount of default admiration)

    That and the game was awesome.

    The three after that were rubbish (just re-watching all the Bonds with the missus now as she hasn't seen most of them.)

    Moore is by far the worst. I have fond memories of being a kid and seeing him as Bond, but they are truly rubbish in parts (looking back and rewatching now)

    Connery is the best, followed by Craig. Dalton/Brosnan/Lazenby fall somewhere in the middle, with Moore bringing up the rear.

    Hillbilly Hick Cop in two, count 'em two, Bond movies? Blergh! He's even worse than that CIA dude from Goldeneye/Tomorrow Never Dies.

    Worst Bond Movie? Has to be Die Another Day. Followed by Moonraker (despite Dr Goodhead.. snicker..)

  2. Look at all of these people who haven't seen the George Lazenby movie. Sure, Dalton wasn't great and Brosnan was happy-fun-time-playBond, but George Lazanby was pure, unadulterated ballsack.

    • Pretty sure "for more than one film" means "for more than one film." But good job looking down your nose at people nonetheless.

  3. @BenMS

    I would argue that Lazanby was untested and never had a chance to grow into the role the way Connery did.

    I will also argue the “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is from a filmmaking stand point, one of the stronger Bonds. Thanks in part to long time editor Peter Hunt taking the director’s chair.

    • these things. Lazenby's bond was as true to the book as Connery or Craig, far better than the others. But then he go and turns down a 7 movie deal for some reason and we get stuck with OLLD connery in Diamonds are Forever.

      I think OHMSS is one of the best films in the series.

  4. I dunno, I rather enjoyed PB as Bond. I mean, let's face it, Bond is pretty silly and playtime-esque all by himself. He's already a caricature; but that's what makes Bond flicks fun to watch!

    Aside from Lazenby (since he was just in the one) I'd have to say my least favourite Bond is Timothy Dalton; I just didn't enjoy his take on Bond. I have a certain appreciation for Roger Moore, but his definitely felt like the most consciously tongue-in-cheek bond of them all.

  5. I will contend that Dalton got double smacked as Bond. First, he had the distinction of being the first Post Cold War Bond. Then he had to deal with trying to push the character away from the campiness of the Moore era and wound up making him too serious.

  6. Dalton is the worst of all the Bonds, full stop. And you have a typo (is that right for drawings) in panel 2 — I assume that "just _deching_ up a cup of tea" is meant to be "just _Denching_ up a cup of tea", yes?

  7. I'm sorry, you are all full of wrong, except for voxpopuli. Lazenby was an awesome kilt-wearing, mountaintop curling sex machine, and Dame Judy Dench makes EVERYTHING BETTER EVERY TIME. "Too much Dench" is like "too much chocolate" or "too many threesomes". It just doesn't make any sense.

  8. Timothy Dalton had neither the charm nor the brawn to carry off either aspect of the Bond character. Just terrible for the part. Lazenby and Moore, to me, pulled off the smooth talking aspect of the character well enough – like Jeffrey Donovan on Burn Notice, they strike me as guys who have the confidence to walk into any situation and appear to be the one in control. So I give them half credit. It's not their fault that the films they were in were made in an era where "judo chop to the neck" was considered legitimate action footage.

    Brosnan was much more believable when it came to the soldier aspect of Bond, while maintaining the charm. Again, it's not his fault that the scripts were TERRIBLE, nor was he the genius who cast Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist. It's also not his fault that his movies began the introspection of the Bond character that has been going on since Goldeneye wherein Dench's M has been calling him out as a sexist dinosaur and the audience isn't sure if they're supposed to like him any more. I think if Brosnan had been allowed by NBC to do the Dalton Bond films, he'd be one of my favorite.

    Craig is the Action Figure Bond, all soldier, no charm. I enjoy the action sequences of the film a great deal more, but he has never struck me as being clever, just really tough. That being said, he pulls the tough guy stuff off so much better than all the previous Bonds that I put him in second place.

    Connery had it all, even in Never Say Never Again (which was a remake of Thunderball, I think). He was both convincingly suave and tough, within the confines of the time in which he made his films. So even though the action sequences were pretty cheesy by today's standards, I still watch the movies and go, "Yeah, he could probably take that guy," even though he's using the "judo chop to the neck" move to do it.

    • Unfortunately, Christmas Jones did establish herself as the smartest Bond girl in the series; when Bond failed to bluff his way past her she played dumb, let him past and grabbed Security.

  9. I'd say Lazenby is the worst Bond performance, but On Her Majesty's Secret Service is probably my favorite Bond movie (haven't seen Skyfall yet), so it's a bit of a zero sum game.

  10. 007 was like audiovisual wallpaper to my childhood. Dad was a fan and had the theme collection on repeat in our car, but I never watched a whole film. I remember bits: An escape on a cello case there, an underwater base there, Mr Bean in something! Whatever, I was more interested in playing with my dinosaurs. (It was the vcr era and I was so pissed when someone taped a Bond over my favourite Stargåte SG-1 episodes..)

    First Bond I saw in the cinema was Casino Royale (2006, nitpickers), so technically Daniel Craig is "my" Bond. Craig's Bond is basically a slightly more humane T-1000, an unstoppable killing machine. Sure Skyfall (and CS to an extent) grounded him a bit, but he's still an unflinching, brutal blunt instrument.

    I'm slowly working my way through the earlier films, just caught the first three Connery ones. Quite charming, one even passed the Bechdel test!

    However the Brosnan Bonds get worse in chronological order: Goldeneye is good, Tomorrow Never Dies is… okay, -ish, with evil Steve Jobs/Robert Murdoch villain and lukewarm theme tune. The World Is Not Enough has a good song (theme tunes are essential in 007 films so bear with me) but pretty much worse everything: Worst Bond girl, worst bad guy (and I say this as a Robert Carlyle fan), worst last joke. Okay, it's got more M than others, but even Dame Judi couldn't redeem that omnishambles.
    And then there's Die Another Day, which is worse than TWINE (love that acronym, it rather fits) in every aspect. That's some accomplishment..

  11. "Are we all in agreement that P.B. 90′s Bond is silly playtime fake Bond?" Then what would you call Roger Moore? Saturday Morning Cartoon Bond? The thing the two of them had in common was having built a reputation on TV. Moore's "The Saint" solidly established him as a NON-serious actor. The only worse TV Spy of the era to play Bond would've been Patrick MacNee… although Patrick McGoohan would've been inspired casting, but "The Prisoner" just scared the Bond producers away.

    It was probably better that Brosnan didn't get the Bond gig earlier, since his "Remington Steele" character, the "roguish fake detective", would've made him even more cartoonish than he turned out to be… to me, he ended up trying to meld together the previous performers into "Generic Bond".

    As for the other Bonds, Connery "defined Bond" but any actor who got the first couple movies would've done the same thing. Still, he set a standard, but it's more like trying to be a "definitive Sean Connery" than "definitive Bond".

    George Lazenby was basically "we're trying to show that almost ANYBODY can play Bond".

    Timothy Dalton was "please take me seriously Bond" and Daniel Craig is now "DAMMIT YOU'RE GOING TO TKE ME SERIOUSLY BOND".

  12. Actually, you guys have all forgotten: the "worst" Bond was David Niven in the original Casino Royale (1967). Not that that really counts, of course. A very goofy film.

    Regarding Moore: Remember Cannonball Run where he played the deluded Seymour Goldfarb who believed he was … Roger Moore?

    • Woody Allen as a mastermind with a virus to kill every man taller or more handsome than himself? That movie is a work of bizarre genius.

      • That movie plus his experience working with Charles Feldman (Who also produced CR 1.0) on "What's New, Pussycat" drove him to make sure he had complete control over all his projects. So we owe Woody's future Career to that movie. Which is an excellent argument for it's existence. That and Dusty Springfield doing "The Look of Love".

  13. Skyfall is two thirds of a great film followed quickly by an abortion. I think they took the wrong lessons from the Dark Knight and just pasted two unfinished movies together.

  14. I'm really surprised that Live and Let Die isn't getting mentioned, even by the Moore haters. It's got a supervillain plot that shows a huge misunderstanding of basic economics, the worst bond girl and possibly Moore's worst acting. It's got an okay Paul McCartney theme song.

    My big problem with Skyfall is that it's got the Raiders of the Lost Arc problem, but worse. The villain's plan is to kill M and himself. Thanks to Bond, he dies. . .after fatally wounding M. If he's just stayed in that bar drinking and sleeping around, M would be just as dead and a bunch of bystanders and property wouldn't have been blown up in the crossfire.

  15. Until the reboot, I really considered Goldeneye to be the quintessential, Bondiest Bond movie ever. Good pacing, good suspense, Sean Bean as a very threatening bad guy (and Famke Janssen), and the obligatory exploding helicopter that every Bond movie requires.
    I don't know why the writers felt like that gave the license to just make horrible horrible crap for the next few movies.
    We decided that the last Brosnan movie wouldn't have been so bad if you watched it muted. Like James Cameron's Avatar.

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