Overrated and Underrated
Alternative007's worldwide network of Agents were recently
activated to participate in another round of overrated and underrated.
An overrated film is not neccesarily disliked just deemed slightly
overpraised. To give an example: GoldenEye is a fun entry in the series
but is vulnerable in this experiment when placed against the superb
reviews it received and its general standing. Films that are usually
found at the bottom of the pile in Bond lists have the best chance of
being branded underrated. The overrated and underrated tag is dictated
by the mythical Bond 'pound for pound' list.
If you put a gun to my head and forced me to choose an overrated James
Bond film I would have to plump for GoldenEye.
I enjoyed the film and
have it in my collection but I'm not quite sure how Martin Campbell
ended up being credited as the man who saved James Bond while John Glen
is about as popular as Jack the Ripper on James Bond forums. Was
GoldenEye much better than The Living Daylights or Licence To Kill? I'm
not sure it was.
Never Say Never
generally regarded as an ill-advised mess but I'll stand up and admit
to a soft-spot for the film. The end of my Never Say Never Again review
went like this:
Overall NSNA suffers distinctly from a modest budget. There simply
isn't enough spectacle for even a renegade Bond film. Problems with the
script are very evident in the final product. One can only imagine the
rejigging that went on and there is ample evidence of whole scenes
missing. Indeed some sequences originally mooted for the film were cut
on the grounds of money. A shame that this and a script that never
truly comes together stops this from being as good as it could have
been. On the plus side Connery (in Diamonds Are Forever mode) is funny
and self-deprecating. There are moments of genuine invention and Largo
proves a fine villain. For all its flaws NSNA is a welcome addition to
the Bond universe. Not nearly as bad as some make out. My own view is
that NSNA is a few chromosones and a few dollars from being a very good
Klaus Maria Brandauer is excellent as Largo and Bond's fight with Pat
Roach is almost worth the price of admission alone. Oh, and Edward Fox
was a hoot as M.
Thus far, I think the most overrated Bond film is GoldenEye.
There was so much hype, so much praise, etc, but, personally, I think
that is the worst of the Brosnan movies. During the Brosnan era though,
Bond was Schwarzeneggered, and by that I mean, the Bonds of the
nineties had the feel of Schwarzenegger movies. Eon had already
bastardized the whole idea of Bond by turning him into a macho machine
gun wielding psychopath in the same line as the characters Chuck
Norris, Bruce Willis, and Sly Stallone played, then, all of a sudden
they had to make him blonde! People only said it was so good because it
had been so long since the last James Bond film. It seemed they just
wanted it to be good
The underrated one is still The
World Is Not Enough.
I like that particular Brosnan Bond movie because it's interesting to
see how Electra King's character fell in love with him, and yet, still
seems so hell bent in harming him. She even tries to kill him several
times. Also, another interesting thing about it is how the main bad guy
and Bond fight over the girl. I liked it, because of all the Brosnan
movies, it made it a point to say that espionage is as much about mind
games and manipulating people as it is about getting one's objective
finished. Also, it was tragic in how even though Electra King was in
love with Bond, she was much too arrogant to admit it.
You Only Live Twice.
one's difficult, so I'll go with a wild card. It may not be regarded as
one of Connery's best, but it does seem to grow in stature with each
passing year. (Ign.com ranked it #4 not too long ago!) I always felt
this was the weakest of Connery's efforts, as he suddenly appeared much
older (and disinterested) than the vital 007 of Thunderball. It's also
the true culprit for the direction the later films would take, with its
deviation from Fleming and over-the-top plot/villain/lair/etc. If
Goldfinger set the standard the producers would forever try to reach,
this is the one they usually came closest to duplicating. The elaborate
Little Nellie sequence feels tacked-on and only serves to create a plot
hole ("Why bother attacking Bond when you're in a hidden base?").
Meanwhile, the 6'3" Connery attempting to pass for a Japanese might be
as far-fetched as diminutive Craig trying to pass for an imposing 007.
More than any other entry, I think Diamonds Are Forever is judged
primarily by comparison to the film which preceded it. But I find
Connery's performance in Diamonds far more interesting than YOLT, as he
seems to be enjoying the role once again. It isn't Connery who is bored
(ala YOLT), but Bond himself who has simply become a jaded hedonist. It
may be the only EON film where an actor essentially got to portray Bond
as a much older 00. He was still supremely confident, but had just seen
far too much of the world by that point in his life.
The Man With The
The world's greatest hitman sets his sights on 007. If that plot were
announced today, fans would be salivating at the prospect. Sure, it
doesn't really reach its true potential, but it's a great premise and
Christopher Lee is one of the most overlooked Bond villains. Toss in
some inspired locations and you have one of the most exotic-looking in
the series. This film also illustrates one major advantage Roger Moore
had over all the actors who have followed him: He didn't have to be
politically correct. This is one aspect in which he is closer to
Fleming's Bond than any of his successors can ever hope to be. Much
like Connery, he could do whatever he wanted while making no excuses
for enjoying it so openly.
I find that Thunderball
bit and doesn't have the appeal of the earlier Connery Bond films. Some
of the underwater sequences go on for too long and Largo isn't quite up
to Goldfinger. Thunderball is regarded as one of the classic Bonds but
I think it ranks below From Russia With love, Goldfinger and the two
films that followed.
It is quite
trendy to dismiss Moonraker as the cartoon black sheep of the Bond
canon but I have a big weakness for it. You can say that the humour and
sci-fi element goes OTT, and it does, but it is very well made and
you'd have to have a heart of stone not to glean any enjoyment from the
film. Moonraker is one of the first James Bond films I can remember
watching on television as a child. Perhaps that explains my fondness
Although On Her
Majesty's Secret Service is
one of my favourites I actually watched it again recently and was
slightly disappointed. I can't put my finger on one particular reason
it just did not meet up to expectations. Also, does anyone agree that
the opening fight scene on the beach reminded them of early 'BATMAN'
fight scenes? All that was missing was the captions: POW, CLUNK etc....
A View To A Kill.
This movie often ranks alongside Die Another Day as one of the poorer
Bond entries. Is this a fair assessment? I’m inclined to say
I feel this Bond movie is underrated and I’ll tell you why.
of all, I have to get the film’s flaws out of the way, as
are a few. The Beach Boy’s musical interlude during the PTS,
Tanya Roberts acting performance and the plot, have often been
criticised and they are well documented as being disappointing aspects
of the film. The other point for criticism in this movie was the age of
Sir Rog. He was indeed looking old in this film, but did it really
affect the film and my enjoyment? The answer is no. The reason for this
was that the pace of the film and the direction by Glen was well suited
to Moore's Bond and I personally felt this covered the age issue quite
well. The scenes with Bond and Tibbett were particularly funny and
quite memorable. The supporting cast was good for this film, with
Christopher Walken and Patrick Macnee deserving for particular praise.
AVTAK delivers a classic Bond performance and for all the negative
issues surrounding the film, I feel it is a fitting swansong from the
longest serving Bond and my personal