Ever since GoldenEye was released 19 years ago, Bond movies have all sucked. Nobody seems to want to admit it, but it’s true. Now by that I don’t mean they started sucking with GoldenEye, I mean it was the last good movie. That’s six movies since that have ranged from mediocre to God-awful, going from one extreme of cartoonish nonsense to dull gruel hyped up as classy film-making. GoldenEye was the last great Bond movie because it found that threshold between fun and thriller.
Everyone agreed that GoldenEye was the promised 21st century reboot of the franchise. It was cool and suave, we all thought we were going to get a nice string of slick action movies with the right mix of humor, style and intrigue. It was time to grow up. But it wasn’t long before the old Roger Moore era problem of silly camp bullshit reared it’s ugly head again. Starting with Tomorrow Never Dies, the cringe started to come back as Bond slipped back into his old problem of being a caricature. Annoyingly invulnerable and dealing with situations and characters straight out of Chuck Norris’ ‘Karate Kommandos’.
By 2002, it was so bad that Bond was driving around in an invisible car. An invisible fucking car! While that movie came out, another spy thriller arrived with The Bourne Identity. A grounded action thriller that did not insult peoples intelligence. Even with Matt Damon and questionable camera technique (that got worse in ‘Supremacy’), Bond, with his super-villains and winking at the crowd just couldn’t keep up with the new kid on the block – and MGM knew it. They wanted a change.
By 2004 James Bond had been replaced by Jason Bourne and the era that that series had ushered in. With cynicism through the roof in the post 9/11 world, along with Christopher Nolan dulling up Batman, MGM and Barbara Broccoli tried to get serious and dealt us the hangover era from Brosnan’s acid trip run, GoldenEye notwithstanding. In doing that, they overcompensated. They hired a new actor to play Bond, a more serious man. But he was too serious. They requested a more gritty direction. But it was too dull.
Daniel Craig is a mediocre Bond and this problem compounds him into a poor Bond when paired with dull and flat writing. He has all the charisma of a T-800 in his movies and his trilogy thus far has been poor. I found Casino Royale (2006) to be unfulfilling with only the occasional well-staged action sequence interrupting the drabness. Quantum of Solace was a return to the exaggerated plot while maintaining the sourness and SkyFall was even worse, managing to introduce all of the elements which have plagued various Bond movies together at once; an uncharismatic lead, an overcompensated attempt to be ‘grounded’ yet forcing a camp super villain not unlike Moore-era bad guys. For example, whether people want to admit it or not, Edward Norton’s Eric Byer (The Bourne Legacy) blew Javier Bardem’s Raoul Silva (Skyfall) off the screen. One plays on our fears, the other looks like an Austin Powers villain.
Sorry, but it’s true.
One of the problems is that Bond is too big to fail. That means it’ll have its fanboys and untouchable place in the printed press alike. Saying ‘this will be the best Bond yet’ has lost all meaning, that’s what is now said regardless of how the movie is. They need to ask themselves – are they really enjoying the Craig era? SkyFall is a bad movie. It’s sequel and the one after that will be just as bad if they don’t admit it. Enjoying the hype is separate from enjoying the movie. A new leadership, a new actor and new perspective is needed. Sadly, the next Bond will be an ‘event’ to get caught up in, and not a ‘movie to see’.
Thankfully, there’s another Bourne on the horizon. Yes, Jeremy Renner’s current incarnation of the Bourne franchise is, currently, still the spy thriller to beat.
January 24, 2014 at 8:58 pm
So wait, a Bond villain that looks like a Bond villain in a Bond movie is a bad thing? And for the record, the Bourne movies ruined the action genre for over a decade and it’s only now starting to recover. Sorry, but it’s true.
January 24, 2014 at 9:37 pm
The Bourne Legacy. Yuck.
January 25, 2014 at 12:57 am
Knightrider, get your shit straight OK?
January 25, 2014 at 3:07 am
Brosnan’s movies after Goldeneye did suck, but I really LOVE Casino Royale. I always enjoy that movie, Craig appears much more badass and manly than any Bond before him. Quantum sucked and Skyfall was mediocre in my opinion, it had good moments (really liked the final battle at the mansion) but could also be dull at times. Casino Royale felt modern, smooth, sophisticated, and Craig’s Bond was more brutal and cool aswell.. So no I don’t think Goldeneye was the last good Bond movie, I think Casino Royale was but I also did enjoy Skyfall.. it’s just that Craig’s Bond was boring in this movie, too silent and too serious and he looked like an older man while in CR and QoS he seemed much younger (in looks, attitude, movement etc.)
January 25, 2014 at 8:06 am
I tend to agree. I just haven’t felt motivated to buy a Bond movie on DVD in a long long time.
January 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Daniel craig is the best bond since connery. Casion royale and skyfall were awesome quantum was om but better than most brosnan and moore’s movies. I think you have no idea what you are talking about. And more and more this site is losing crediblity with action fans
January 27, 2014 at 9:26 am
“Casion royale and skfall were awesome”
Well you sure told him.
May 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm
Ya. I 100% agree with your comment, on what Bond movies you said are the awesome Bond movies.
January 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm
A View to a Kill is the only Bond I watch more than once.
January 26, 2014 at 10:11 pm
January 25, 2014 at 1:33 pm
Jesus fucking Christ, how can a website that praises my favorite actor, Mel Gibson, be written by such a self-righteous, condescending prick? Man, ALL of your articles are so repulsively pedantic that it is actually SAD to read them, because it is impossible to take you seriously. Now, I DIDN’T like Skyfall, but reading your “review” actually makes me want to praise it as the best movie ever just to be able to disagree with your aburd and disrespectful comments. What the fuck do you mean “Sorry, but it’s true”? I wasn’t aware that any single person in the planet was in possession of the absolute truth, and certainly not you. One time I read in one of your articles that cinema criticism is “in the shitter”, but by writing this sort of stuff you are actually worse than those peolpe you so heatedly seem to despise. If I have learnt one thing in my life from my love of action movies and, specially, MEL GIBSON, two very unreputed “subjects”, is that if I want people to respect and maybe share my tastes I must first start by respecting theirs. How do you expect cinema criticism to respect action movies if you yourself talk about films such as Skyfall with the same impoliteness as they speak about Lethal Weapon? Please STOP thinking you have all the answers, because trust me, you DON’T, and start respecting other people’s tastes if you want them to start appreciatng action cinema and Mel.
And for all our sakes, correct your “its”. When “its” acts as a possessive, it DOESN’T HAVE AN APOSTROPHE.
The Knight Rider
January 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm
Try therapy pal!
January 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Nice reply. I rest my case.
The Knight Rider
January 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm
Yes dude, I couldn’t keep up with your wall of text thesis comprised of ‘YOU’RE WORSE THAT THE CRITICS’ (excellent argument, it’ll take my brain a while to digest that one) and other capital-laced fangirl-isms.
Attacking other articles, i.e. not this one, and yelling MEL GIBSON in every third sentence, is not a rebuttal of the arguments on this page. Nice tantrum.
January 27, 2014 at 9:27 am
I think this is that Milla Jovovich deranged nut that keeps coming here. Notice she can’t refute anything written, oh wait you did notice that.
April 15, 2014 at 8:24 pm
This comment has been removed by the author.
April 15, 2014 at 8:29 pm
Really? It was obvious that The Knight Rider who can’t refute anything that made as an argument against this article and comes across as quite butthurt that there are people that dare disagree with his views. Personally, Casino Royale is my third favorite Bond film, right behind The Spy Who Loved and From Russia With Love.
January 25, 2014 at 3:13 pm
I think I will spend no more time arguing with a sexist, disrespectful ignorant. No real need, I already proved my point. But just to further clarify it for you, partner, my criticism of your other article was to support my criticism of your present article. I don’t know why I expected you to understand, you ill educated bellend.
The Knight Rider
January 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm
January 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm
The new bond movies are an abomination but Goldeneye was already the beginning of the end.
January 25, 2014 at 7:37 pm
Man, you are delusional : )). Casino Royale and Skyfall are the two best Bond movies ever made. By FAR.
January 27, 2014 at 9:28 am
They are? Why? HERP DERP circle jerk? Adele?
January 30, 2014 at 9:36 am
lol @ rampant butthurt fan boyism in this comments
February 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm
i can understand where you are coming from…but…the truth is…..Casino Royale, Quantum and Skyfall – really brought it back down to earth. I was a kid when i saw Goldeneye and to be honest…i didn’t like it. why? i just wanted explosions and mindless action. it wasn’t until i was older that i began to appreciate the style of golden eye. it’s truly a masterpiece of the 90’s filmmaking. The, story of 006 vs 007, the soundtrack and cool score for the film was just fuckin’ awesome. and all the other sequels after that began to be bland action. they’re fun and watchable spy movies. but the pierce bond films started to become like the later roger moore bond flicks. they became too over the top, too fun. … Daniel Craig is a good 2013 bond. If daniel was in golden eye in the 90’s it would not have worked at all. It’s different time. Daniel is a bodybuilder, he’s feirce and he’s more real…Brosnan is more of handsome male model bond who’s cool and suave. The Brosnan Bond wouldn’t last 5 seconds in gritty Casino Royale world that craig exists it.
April 15, 2014 at 8:38 pm
“Ever since GoldenEye was released 19 years ago, Bond movies have all sucked. Nobody seems to want to admit it, but it’s true.”
Or it’s more like, people have different “opinions”, and people do admit that Bond started to suck, Diamonds Are Foever, A View To A Kill, Die Another Day and Quantum Of Solace are usually in the running for worst Bond film ever listings, they just like Casino Royale and Skyfall too. As someone who grew up with Roger Moore’s Bond and is old enough to see The Living Daylights in theaters (and eventually considering Connery to be my favorite), the Bond franchise is in good hands for now, at least compared to the Post-Golden Eye Brosnan films (though I did enjoy Tomorrow Never Dies).
April 16, 2014 at 10:19 am
I think you’re taking this slightly more seriously than the rest of us.
April 16, 2014 at 11:01 am
Well, I’m not exactly fond when anyone openly insult people for liking something like the Avengers film like that one article listing the worst films of 2012 (which in my opinion wasn’t a very good list although I agree with stuff like the Total Recall remake being crap). Since you know, I actually like the Marvel films and the Daniel Craig Bond films (except QOS, which wasn’t very good) and to be called an idiot or someone in denial for liking those by one of the main people on this site isn’t exactly what I had in mind coming to a site like this but that’s just me.
May 20, 2014 at 8:06 pm
Wow!! This article from this guy has really bad taste in popular movies!
May 20, 2014 at 8:13 pm
Wow!!! Some guy who made this article on this site has really bad taste in popular movies!
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