Saturday, November 18, 2006

A beginner's guide to James Bond

Dr No (1962)
Fourth book of the Ian Fleming series brings you the very first Bond on screen, Sean Connery, though he was not the first choice. The first choice was Roger Moore, who turned down the offer only to return as the third incarnation. The scene is Jamaica, the villain is Dr No, who intends to destroy the US space program with a radar-jamming device, and the Bond girl is Ursula Andress, who appears from the sea. No pre-title action, not much gizmos, but the first Bond offers his immortal intro: “Bond. James Bond.”

From Russia With Love (1963)
Connery returns as Bond, in Istanbul, in a mission to acquire a Russian cypher machine known as Lektor, and falls in the trap laid by his mortal enemy SPECTRE, who wants to avenge the death of Dr No. A slow, sleek thriller, but far from being a signature bond film.

Goldfinger (1963)
The mother of all Bond movies. Starts the trend of pre-credit action sequence, and deadlier villains in Auric Goldfinger, who kills with painted gold. Bond gets his finest gadget: The Aston Martin complete with machine guns and ejector seat, and not to mention his girls.

Thunderball (1965)
Bond investigates about two nuclear bombs stolen by SPECTRE. Not upto Goldfinger, the highlight is the underwater extravaganza.

You Only Live Twice (1967)
Bond comes to Japan for a final confrontation with the SPECTRE leader Ernest Stavro Blofeld. It was supposed to be Connery’s last appearance as Bond, even supposedly the last Bond film. But it was never to be so.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Comes a new Bond, an unknown Australian model George Lazenby. Blofeld too returns with new vigor, and Bond finally falls in love and marries Tracy, before she is killed. The point is, Lazenby failed to recreate the Connery magic.

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Connery returns for one last time to face another Blofeld who uses an orbiting diamond laser to enslave the world.

Live and Let Die (1973)
Roger Moore takes over as Bond, this time after a heroin king in the Caribbean islands.

The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
Famous for the ultimate Bond baddie, Christopher ‘Dracula’ Lee as the titled assassin, in front of whom Moore looks really juvenile.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Moore at the Bond’s best, especially remembered for its incredible skydiving pre-title sequences.

Moonraker (1979)
Bond goes to the moon. Over-the-top, to say the least.

For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Bond comes down to earth in a serious mission to chases down an encryption machine before the bad guys catch hold of it.

Octopussy (1983)
From Indian point of view, known for Kabir Bedi and a very dashing Vijay Amritraj, and the incredible auto-rickshaw chase in the streets of Udaipur.

Never Say Never Again (1983)
Connery returns for a second time. But clearly, this Bond is old, even his gadgets look older. Only fresh thing was the introduction of Kim Basinger.

A View to a Kill (1985)
Moore again, trying to stop a madman industrialist from blowing up a fault line in California to obliterate Silicon Valley, a rip-off from Superman.

The Living Daylights (1987)
A newcomer called Timothy Dalton tries to wear Moore’s boots, but he’s too brooding to be flamboyant. And Afghanistan didn’t really suit him.

Licence to Kill (1989)
Dalton again. Bond improves in his performance, but the story does not.

Golden Eye (1995)
A long hiatus and we get the fifth Bond, the Generation X favourite Pierce Brosnan, that too, on the mean streets of Russia.

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
After the jittery of the first film, Brosnan looks comfortable, even to drive a motorbike with one hand, other being handled by Michelle Yeoh, in the streets of Shanghai this time.

The World is Not Enough (1999)
Truly world is not enough for Brosnan, and even to his nemesis, a beautifully ruthless Sophie Marceau, and Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist in short shorts and a bare midriff. Nothing looks like real anyways.

Die Another Day (2002)
The best special effect in the film is Halle Berry, wearing a bikini and a big knife, a throw-back to Dr No with the bikini-clad Ursula Andress and her large blade, and did we mention diamond are forever, especially when they are strewn on your face!

1 comment:

  1. I have always loved Bond movies.. I dont think they're Bond movies now, they're a cult - just the way Star Wars used to be..or what The Lord of The Rings became! Style, Sophistication and Sexiness all rolled into one - The Bond is everything which we all want to be in some way or the other!