I Love Gold!

Austin Powers in Goldmember is the golden finale to the unexpected hit trilogy. Dr. Evil’s newest plan takes him back in time to the year 1975. With the help of the titular villain’s cold fusion technology, he launches “Preparation H.” Mike Myers does quadruple duty by playing Dutch villain Goldmember (an obvious parody of Bond villain Goldfinger). He’s the least notable character Myers plays due to his disgusting habits, but he does have his moments.

Fat Bastard gets grosser too after becoming a sumo wrestler. Austin goes after Dr. Evil, only to reunite with FBI agent Foxy Cleopatra. Played by a sexy young Beyoncé. Her character is a hilarious send up of Blaxploitation characters such as Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones. A lot of the plot involves Austin’s father Nigel Powers (played by Michael Caine), who gets kidnapped by Dr. Evil. Their funniest moment involves the two speaking English English. Through the course of the movie, a shocking family secret is discovered.

Mini-Me also choses to side with Austin. Meanwhile, Scott gets more villainous. Despite good jokes like the misread Japanese subtitles or mole with a mole, a lot of the gags are repeated. Including the mistaken silhouette and sexually shaped spacecraft. Probably the funniest new gag is a film within a film titled Austinpussy. Starring Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danny Devito, Kevin Spacey, and John Travolta. Austin Powers in Goldmember is more immature, but it’s a whole lotta movie to just ignore.

Austin Powers 3

Austin Powers and Foxy in Dr. Evil’s lair

Preceded by: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

I Shall Call Him Mini-Me

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is arguably the most memorable film in the trilogy. Since it’s the one that introduces iconic characters Mini-Me and Fat Bastard. It’s also notable for making the British slang term less vulgar. After the events of the last movie, Vanessa is discovered to be a fembot. Austin quickly gets over it and celebrates being single once again (much like how Bond girls are quickly forgotten). After appearing on Jerry Springer with Scott, Dr. Evil hatches a new plan involving a laser on the moon.

The plan takes Dr. Evil back in time to the year 1969. Where a younger Number 2 and unaged Frau Farbissina greet him. But first, Dr. Evil hires a henchman to steal Austin Powers’ mojo. Mike Myers does triple duty by playing Scottish henchman Fat Bastard. He’s morbidly obese and famously says the line “Get in my belly!” Austin travels back in time to stop Dr. Evil after failing to satisfy Ivana Humpalot. Austin teams up with 60’s CIA agent Felicity Shagwell. Played by the gorgeous Heather Graham. While on their mission, the two encounter unkillable assassin Robin Swallows and the easily irritated Mustafa.

However, no villain stands out more than Mini-Me. Dr. Evil’s clone played by late little person Verne Troyer. He’s silent, but full of fury. While some jokes have definitely gotten more gross-out, it nevertheless takes advantage of the hilarious characters they created. Its funniest gags include “zip-it” (instead of shush), the mistaken silhouette scene, and the rocket that looks like someone’s- Willie Nelson and many other celebrities make funny cameos as well. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is one groovy baby… baby.

Austin Powers

Austin Powers and Felicity take aim

Preceded by: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery & Followed by: Austin Powers in Goldmember

Yeah, Baby!

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is the James Bond parody we deserve. Growing up, it was practically impossible to escape Austin Powers. It was so quotable that I knew lines from the movie long before I saw any of them. The movie begins in the 60’s. Austin Powers is an exaggerated British spy with bad teeth and colorful suits. After a fight with his archenemy Dr. Evil, both are cryogenically frozen until the year 1997. Austin Powers is one of a few parody films that’s both hilarious and sincere.

Austin’s horned up swinger attitude is lost on the modern sensibilities of his partner Vanessa Kensington. Played by British babe Elizabeth Hurley. Their best gag involves obscured nudity. Mike Myers is satirizing past Bond actors, but he does make the role his own. With catchphrases like “Oh behave,” “Yeah, baby,” or “Judo chop.” Myers does double duty by playing Dr. Evil, in a hilarious performance that very nearly outshines the hero. He’s an obvious parody of Blofeld with a hairless cat named Mr. Bigglesworth.

His plan is to steal nuclear weapons, hold the world ransom for “one million dollars,” and use sexy fembots to kill Austin Powers. The only problem is he’s surrounded by frickin’ idiots that can’t even get sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads. Like Number 2, Frau Farbissina, and Mustafa (who can’t seem to die). His Oddjob-like henchman is the shoe throwing Random Task. Seth Green also stands out as Dr. Evil’s grungy son Scott whom he takes to father-son counseling. Other Bond parodies include much more obvious names like Alotta Fagina or multiple one-liner attempts. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a very shagadelic riff on the spy genre.

Austin Powers.jpg

Austin Powers and Vanessa at the poker table

Followed by: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

007 Sees Ghosts

Spectre finally brings the titular evil organization back to the Bond franchise. After not appearing since Diamonds Are Forever. Due to the Thunderball legal controversy that was at last settled in 2013. Spectre is the twenty-fourth film in the long running franchise, and is based only on the newly secured Ian Fleming characters. Meaning Ernst Stavro Blofeld not so surprisingly makes a return.

With a few changes made to fit it into the newly established continuity. Like the removal of Spectre’s acronym or retconning Quantum and previous villains as being part of Spectre all along. Much like Quantum of Solace, Spectre is a far weaker installment in comparison to the film that preceded it. It bares the distinction of being both the longest and most expensive Bond film ever made…

24. Spectre

James Bond in the mountains

The Mission: Uncover secrets behind criminal organization Spectre and stop plan to launch global surveillance

Gadgets & Vehicles: Aston Martin DB10 (equipped with flamethrowers, rear machine guns, body armour, driver ejector seat, phone holder, and HUD), Explosive Omega Watch

Bond Girls: Madeleine Swann, Lucia Sciarra

Bond Villains: Franz Oberhauser, Mr. Hinx, Max Denbigh, Marco Sciarra, Mr. White, Lorenzo

Analysis: Skyfall was admittedly a tough act to follow, but Spectre was such a dramatic decline that I decided against seeing it in theaters. I somewhat regret doing it, but I was trying to save money, and didn’t have time for just okay. It’s a real shame when a Bond film is the least memorable spy movie in a year full of spy movies. The only really groundbreaking part is the opening. A single unbroken shot of Bond in Mexico with a woman during Day of the Dead. Followed by an exciting action scene that ends on a helicopter. The opening credits sequence is fine, but the naked women wrapped in tentacles might give off the wrong idea. Sam Smith won an Oscar for Best Original Song.

Even though “Writing’s On the Wall” is one of the most ear piercing Bond themes ever written. I think Smith was only chosen because he and Adele are both British. The song’s title refers to a wall of names in the movie. The rest of the nearly 3 hour long Spectre is so ridiculously slow that it becomes almost boring. With far too much time being dedicated to MI6 business meetings. 007 does use a spy car, but Q still gives him barely any gadgets. Just a watch that’s later revealed to be a bomb. Bond uses a Spectre ring and the alias Mickey Mouse to infiltrate a meeting conducted by Franz Oberhauser. The head of Spectre played by Oscar winner Christoph Waltz. Oberhauser is obviously revealed to be Blofeld. Albeit with an origin that connects to Bond’s childhood.

His plan is to initiate a mass surveillance system. Which connects to our current fear of being spied on by technology. Mr. Hinx is Blofeld’s henchman. Dave Bautista plays him much in the style of a classic silent Bond henchman. Monica Bellucci is the oldest actress to play a Bond girl. Playing the widow of a Spectre agent. The main Bond girl is psychiatrist and daughter of Mr. White, Dr. Madeleine Swann. She’s surprisingly the first blonde Bond girl lead since The Living Daylights. Since Daniel Craig’s attitude towards the franchise has put his future into question, it’s hard to say how long he’s got left. Spectre is just an exercise in how to make a by the numbers Bond flick.

24. Spectre

James Bond has diner with Madeleine Swann

James Bond will return in No Time to Die

007 Meets His Match

Skyfall finally brings Bond back to his former glory. Earning the film critical acclaim, 2 Oscar wins, and a $1 billion box-office gross. Skyfall is the twenty-third film in the long running franchise, and it was the first Bond film released in the action-packed 2010’s. It was also released during the 50th anniversary of the franchise. It’s not based on Ian Fleming’s work, but it does celebrate the anniversary by bringing back elements that were missing for over a decade.

Such as the reintroduction of Q and Miss Moneypenny. Albeit with slight differences. Q is now much younger than 007 and Miss Moneypenny is now black. There was also the welcomed return of gadgets. Like the continued use of Bond’s signature Walther PPK and the return of the classic Aston Martin. M was even given her largest role in the franchise to date…

23. Skyfall

James Bond and M arrive at Skyfall

The Mission: Investigate attack on MI6 and keep M out of harm’s way

Gadgets & Vehicles: Walther PPK/S with palm scanner, Radio Transmitter, Aston Martin DB5 (equipped with machine guns)

Bond Girls: Eve, Sévérine

Bond Villains: Raoul Silva, Patrice

Analysis: Skyfall is actually the first (and only) James Bond film I went to the theater to see. Since my brother and I finally got around to binge watching all 22 films before its release. We were hesitant at first, but decided the movie was simply too big to ignore. Contributing to its billion dollar gross. Making it the highest grossing Bond film of all time. Skyfall is perhaps the most personal film in the franchise. Oscar winning director Sam Mendes (of American Beauty fame) makes an impact. It opens with 007 on a mission with a field agent named Eve. Bond is tasked with retrieving a stolen hard drive containing names of undercover agents. The train chase is thrilling and features some of Bond’s trademark wit.

M orders Eve to shoot the assailant, only to hit Bond instead. To which he plunges into the water to his apparent death. Followed by one of the franchise’s all time best opening credit sequence/song combinations ever. The main theme, sung by Adele, is a powerhouse Bond theme. Only supported by visuals of women, guns, and death. The song was so incredible that it became the first Bond theme to ever win the Academy Award for Best Original Song (it was also tied for Best Sound Editing). Daniel Craig delivers his best Bond performance yet, with a Bond that’s become weary and self reflective. Bond returns from death after an attack on MI6, only to receive reevaluation. 007 meets the new Q in an art gallery where he simply supplies him with a gun that can only work for him and a transmitter. Ben Whishaw does his best to replicate Q’s signature snark.

Bond’s mission takes him to Shanghai where he fights off many henchmen and seduces the film’s only romantic Bond girl. Sévérine has a bit of an uncomfortable backstory and dies suddenly, but she does evoke classic Bond girl flare. It’s not till the halfway mark that we meet the film’s main Bond villain. Javier Bardem makes a big impression as Raul Silva. An ex-MI6 agent and current cyberterrorist seeking revenge against M. In her increased screen time, Judi Dench makes M more human than she’s ever been before. After resurrecting the original Aston Martin, M and 007 hideout in Bond’s titular childhood home Skyfall. Ending with a dramatic confrontation that shockingly ends in M’s death. A new MI6 with Ralph Fiennes as M is established in her memory. Naomie Harris has a large role as Eve, who chooses to become a secretary at the end. Revealing her last name to be Moneypenny. Skyfall is everything you could ever want in a Bond blockbuster.

23. Skyfall

James Bond meets Sévérine

James Bond will return in Spectre

007’s Time of Sadness

Quantum of Solace has the worst title of any Bond film. I honestly had no idea what it meant the first time it was announced. It’s the twenty-second film in the long running franchise, and it’s based on one of the short stories featured in Ian Fleming’s book For Your Eyes Only. I understand utilizing what little there was left of Fleming’s work, but “Quantum of Solace” is not a good choice.

Neither are any of the remaining short story titles. Quantum of Solace is the first Bond film to be a direct sequel. Unlike Casino Royale though, it was a far weaker addition by comparison. The Writers Strike might have had something to do with it. Despite being the shortest Bond film to date, it has more violence than any other…

22. Quantum of Solace

James Bond and Camille walk in the desert

The Mission: Avenge the death of former lover and stop plot to seize control of Bolivian water supply

Gadgets & Vehicles: Modified Cell Phone, Quantum Earpiece

Bond Girls: Camille Montes, Strawberry Fields

Bond Villains: Dominic Greene, General Medrano, Mr. White, Guy Haines, Elvis, Edmund Slate, Carlos, Craig Mitchell

Analysis: While Casino Royale dealt with terrorism, Quantum of Solace deals with environmentalism. Since movies about the environment ran rampant in the late 2000’s. Although I still didn’t decide to embrace the franchise at the time, the trailer blew me away the first time I saw it. It’s fast paced action and use of the theme made it look awesome, but Quantum of Solace might be the most forgettable Bond film I’ve ever seen. The super quick runtime makes it feel so insignificant compared to the rest of the franchise. The gun barrel sequence doesn’t even come till the end. The only exciting part of the movie is most of the beginning. Except for the opening credits sequence. Not for its visuals, that thankfully bring back the women (made out of sand).

It’s the main theme that bares no Bond distinction at all. The song is “Another Way to Die” and it’s the series first duet (sung by Jack White & Alicia Keys). I just don’t get the collaboration. Quantum of Solace takes place right after Casino Royale. As Bond grieves the loss of his beloved Vesper Lynd. The vengeance 007 seeks eventually leads to his discovery of Quantum. The organization responsible for her fate. Bond is assisted by Camille Montes. An agent with her own vendetta against the villain. Her lack of love scenes make her stand out less than other primary Bond girls.

Bond does however seduce an MI6 agent named Strawberry Fields played by notable redhead Gemma Arterton. Unlike previous Bond films, they’re too embarrassed to even say her name out loud. Even though it’s not half as suggestive as previous Bond girl names. She meets a similar fate to Jill Masterson from Goldfinger. Only with oil instead of gold. Dominic Greene is the Bond villain who plans to control the Bolivian water supply. I barely remember anything about him, because he just looks like some guy. With barely any gadgets, the film makes up for it with brutal, almost gratuitous, sloppily edited, non-stop action. The rest of Quantum of Solace is just a snoozefest.

22. Quantum of Solace

James Bond attends an event with Strawberry Fields

James Bond will return in Skyfall

007 Starts Over

Casino Royale was the soft reboot that finally brought realism back to the Bond franchise. Despite being the twenty-first film in the long running franchise, Casino Royale is actually based on the 1st book written by Ian Fleming. The story itself has been adapted two times before. The first time was actually in 1954. As an episode of a forgotten anthology series titled Climax! The second time was as that lousy 1967 parody film. Eon Productions was finally able to use the name in 1999.

Pierce Brosnan was intended to return, but since he had just turned 50, he knew he was officially too old. So the search was on for a new Bond. Ultimately, the sixth actor to portray Bond became British actor Daniel Craig. He was met with immediate criticism for being too blonde and too ugly to play the tall, dark, and handsome spy, but he proved everybody wrong. After the CGI heavy Die Another Day, the goal was to bring 007 back to the grit of Fleming’s intention. Q and his Gadgets were out, Felix Leiter is now black, Moneypenny was out, but thankfully, Judi Dench wasn’t out as M…

21. Casino Royale

“The name’s Bond, James Bond”

The Mission: Play a high stakes poker game and topple the terrorists responsible

Gadgets & Vehicles: Explosive Keychain, Phone Detonator, Portable Implant Equipment, Bug & Earpiece, Field Medical Kit

Bond Girls: Vesper Lynd, Solange, Valenka

Bond Villains: Le Chiffre, Mr. White, Alex Dimitrios, Dryden, Kratt, Leo, Adolph Gettler, Steven Obanno, Mollaka

Analysis: A reboot to the Bond franchise seemed like a bad idea, but the floating timeline begged the differ. It was hard to believe the 007 in Die Another Day shared the same history as the 007 in Dr. No. It’s why so many people believe the name James Bond is just a code name. Casino Royale instead takes place at the beginning of Bond’s career. In the process of obtaining his license to kill and 00 status. The only conflicting factor is that M is still played by Dame Judi Dench, but it would have been a shame to let her go. The film is the first not to begin with the gun barrel sequence. Instead the sequence is cleverly incorporated into the story. After Bond makes his first kill for MI6.

Followed by an opening credits sequence in the style of casino playing cards (with an unsettling lack of naked silhouettes). Chris Cornell performs a theme titled “You Know My Name.” It fits the character, but I wouldn’t call it memorable. Bond is tasked with putting a stop to the financing of terrorist activities by banker Le Chiffre. The often villainous Mads Mikkelsen plays the Bond villain. He’s best recognized by his damaged left eye that requires him to use an inhaler. His lady love and henchwoman Velenka is always by his side. Bond plays Le Chiffre in a stressful high-stakes poker game that nearly costs him his life. Gadgets are used sparingly in favor of old fashion stunts and action that makes Casino Royale one of the best Bond’s ever made.

It’s best set pieces include the parkour fight and the Aston Martin car crash. Martin Campbell (director of GoldenEye) knows how to reintroduce 007. Daniel Craig may not have a pretty face, but he is ripped. In a strangely sexualized way (along with a disturbing testical related torture scene). Bond attracts poker wife Solange, but most importantly, he falls in love with one of the strongest Bond girls yet, Vesper Lynd. Played by the always seductive Eva Green. Vesper finances the game and tragically dies a watery death. It’s not until the very end when Craig says “The name’s Bond, James Bond,” that I was officially sold on his more brutal portrayal of 007. Casino Royale is an ace in the ever growing Bond film deck.

21. Casino Royale

James Bond and Vesper Lynd in an elevator

James Bond will return in Quantum of Solace

007 is Jinxed

Die Another Day is the twentieth film in the long running franchise, and it was the first Bond film in the new millenium. It was also released during the 40th anniversary of the franchise. It’s not based on Ian Fleming’s work, but it does celebrate the anniversary by including a reference to every single James Bond film released up to that point. From Dr. No to The World is Not Enough.

Some references simply appear as past gadgets in Q’s basement. While others are more difficult to spot. I won’t list them all off, but I do recommend looking them up. Die Another Day is viewed by many as the Bond film that jumped the shark. Since it more or less panders to young people who were into extreme sports and special effects heavy movies in the early 2000’s. Leading to this becoming Pierce Brosnan’s final go at 007…

20. Die Another Day

James Bond activates his invisible car

The Mission: Find mole hidden within British government and prevent use of destructive laser

Gadgets & Vehicles: Aston Martin V12 Vanquish (equipped with adaptive camouflage, shotguns, machine guns, rockets, remote control, passenger ejector seat, retractable tire spikes, reinforced chassis, and radial thermal imaging), Surfboard (equipped with communications, explosives, detonators, transmitter knife and Walther P99), Virtual Combat Training Simulator, Cutter/Detonator Wristwatch, Glass-shattering Ring, Miniature Rebreather

Bond Girls: Jinx, Miranda Frost, Peaceful Fountains

Bond Villains: Gustav Graves, Zao, Vlad, Mr. Kil, Dr. Alvarez, General Han, Li, & Dong, Van Bierk

Analysis: While Die Another Day does do some pretty outlandish things, it still has one of the darkest openings in any Bond film. After surfing his way into a North Korean military base, 007 stops an illegal diamond trade, and presumably kills their Colonel Tan-Sun Moon. It gets really dark when Bond is betrayed and imprisoned in a North Korean compound. Where he’s tortured for information. All of which is shown during the opening credits sequence. Along with scorpion’s and women made of embers and diamonds. Most people can’t agree on the quality of the Madonna theme, but I personally think it’s one of the worst. The autotuned nature of the song is too early 2000’s to fit the Bond style.

Madonna also makes a cameo in a fencing scene (which earned her a Razzie). After a grueling 14 months, Bond is exchanged for Zao. Moon’s henchman with genetically albino skin, enhanced vision, and diamonds implanted in his face. M suspends 007, but he still sets out to uncover the identity of his betrayer. Along the way Bond meets Jinx. An NSA agent who makes her entrance in a sexy orange bikini à la Honey Ryder. It was only a matter of time for Halle Berry to play a Bond girl, and she certainly left an impression. She was the first black Bond girl to be both a lead and heroic. Since all others were in some way villainous. Jinx was so popular that she also nearly got her own spin-off.

Miranda Frost is the other Bond girl who appears as a fellow MI6 agent, but turns out to be responsible for Bond’s betrayal. Rosamund Pike plays villains well. It’s what brings us the series first Bond girl fight. In the end, Bond finally ends up with Moneypenny (but only in a simulation). Die Another Day is really faulted by its over abundance of wacky gadgets, cheesy one-liners, explosions, and dreadful CGI. The new Q actually supplies 007 with an invisible car and the villain has a palace made of ice. The weird thing about the villain is that he’s the Asian Colonel Moon in disguise as the caucasian Gustav Graves. The biggest shark jumping (or should I say wave surfing) moment is when a space laser melts the ice caps and Bond is forced to surf a giant poorly rendered CGI wave. Die Another Day may have killed Pierce Brosnan’s 007, but he fortunately lives on as James Bond’s craziest chapter yet.

20. Die Another Day

James Bond speaks with Jinx on a beach

James Bond will return in Casino Royale

007: Christmas Special

The World is Not Enough closes out the 20th century in which Bond was born. Sadly, it was the final appearance of Desmond Llewelyn as Q. Who in a cruel bit of irony died in a car accident after the film’s release. Llewelyn appeared in 17 Bond films and starred alongside 5 different 007’s. The longest tenure of any actor in the franchise.

The World is Not Enough is the nineteenth film in the long running franchise, and is once again not based on any book by Ian Fleming. Although the title does derive from the family motto of the Bond family. It’s one of the more lower regarded Bond films. Due to one very specific reason. The casting of 27 year old Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist. Her performance earned the series its first Razzie award…

19. The World Is Not Enough

James Bond and Elektra at a casino

The Mission: Protect daughter of assassinated billionaire and defuse international nuclear power struggle

Gadgets & Vehicles: BMW Z8 (equipped with surface-to-air missiles, targeting display, and keychain remote control), Q Boat (equipped with missiles and GPS tracking), Detonator Spectacles, X-Ray Shades, Ski Jacket, Multifunction Lock-pick, Grappling/Torch Wristwatch

Bond Girls: Christmas Jones, Elektra King, Molly Warmflash

Bond Villains: Renard, Mister Bullion, Sasha Davidov, Gabor, Giulietta da Vinci

Analysis: The World is Not Enough has enough thrills to counter its more glaring problems. Current news stories about oil companies attempting to control an untapped reserve provided the motivation for the film’s Bond villain. Oil soaked naked women are of course used in the opening credits sequence. The main theme is pure garbage. Literally, as it was sung by the band Garbage. The song itself isn’t bad. The villain seems to be Renard. A high-tech terrorist who plans to increase the cost of oil through the means of a nuclear meltdown. As explained by an MI6 doctor (that Bond promptly seduces), Renard is unable to feel pain due to a bullet lodged in his brain. After a failed attempt to kidnap the daughter of an oil tycoon.

Following his apparent assassination by Renard, Bond is tasked with protecting the aforementioned daughter. Elektra King is attractive and intelligent. More than earning Bond’s affection. Q provides 007 with x-ray glasses (that he briefly uses to see through women’s clothes) and many other gadgets one final time. The strange thing is, Llewellyn must have known he had little time left. Since his one scene involves a replacement named R (played by John Cleese) that Q is training. Even at 85, Q was just as snarky as ever. Leaving Bond with a heartfelt final lesson. Considering the use of nuclear power, Bond teams up with a nuclear physicist named Christmas Jones.

Along with her sexy Lara Croft outfit, Denise Richards is still just the girl from Wild Things. Her age or supermodel good looks do not fit her profession at all. The name Christmas just adds insult to injury. As it leaves room for plenty of cringy jokes. Really it’s the villain reveal that makes up for her presence. Elektra King turns out to be the real mastermind behind everything. Making her the first true Bond girl villainess. Showing her to be calculating and even capable of torture (she even captures M). Her death brings out Pierce Brosnan’s best Bond performance. As he carries out his coldest kill to date. Save for Denise Richards, The World is Not Enough is enough to satisfy.

19. The World is Not Enough

James Bond hides with Christmas Jones

James Bond will return in Die Another Day

007 Fights the News

Tomorrow Never Dies plunges Bond even deeper into the digital age. Making for a distinctively modern affair. Tomorrow Never Dies is the eighteenth film in the long running franchise, and is also not based on any book by Ian Fleming. The title is a play on the Beatles song “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

The production had to be rushed due to the newfound success GoldenEye sparked. It was the first Bond film made after the death of the franchise’s long standing producer Albert R. Broccoli. His daughter Barbara Broccoli would take over for him from then on. It was also the only Pierce Brosnan Bond film not to open #1 at the box-office. Since they were foolish enough to open the same day as Titanic

18. Tomorrow Never Dies

James Bond rides with Wai Lin

The Mission: Stop media mogul from inciting war between Western and Chinese forces via broadcast

Gadgets & Vehicles: Remote Controlled BMW 750iL (equipped with concealed compartment, security system, reinforced chassis, tear gas, rocket launcher, caltrops dispenser, re-inflating tires, and cable cutter), Cigarette Lighter Grenade, Ericsson Mobile Phone, Walther P99

Bond Girls: Wai Lin, Paris Carver, Inga Bergstrom

Bond Villains: Elliot Carver, Richard Stamper, Dr. Kaufman, Henry Gupta, General Chang, Captain Scott

Analysis: With the ultra techno 90’s on full display, Tomorrow Never Dies chooses to make its villain a modern media mogul (a first in the franchise). Elliot Carver is the owner of a near global television news broadcast. Since China won’t allow his broadcast, he uses his outlet to ignite a war between China and the United Kingdom. That’s right, James Bond essentially fights the news. As farfected as it might seem, Carver’s plan might be the most realistic of any Bond villain scheme. His henchman Stamper is notable for being fond of torture. In keeping with the motif, the opening credits sequence is entirely digital. With microchips and cyber technology placed around naked women. Sheryl Crow performs the main theme. It was nominated for a Golden Globe, but it’s not one I’d easily remember.

After receiving a Danish lesson from a lovely professor, Bond is assigned to investigate Carver. Which leads him to former flame and current wife of the mogul, Paris Carver. While furious at first, she can’t resist Bond’s charm. Teri Hatcher was 3 months pregnant at the time and she regretted doing the role even though it was small. Brosnan wasn’t overly fond of working with her, but he was fond of Michelle Yeoh. She plays Chinese Intelligence agent Wai Lin. Who agrees to work alongside 007 due to their shared mission. Similar to The Spy Who Loved Me. She became the first Chinese lead Bond girl and is considered to be one of the best Bond girls of all time.

Wai Lin was so popular that she nearly returned in a future installment. A spin-off film was even considered. What makes her stand out is Yeoh’s natural confidence and ability to perform martial arts. She even comes with her own set of gadgets. Q supplies 007 with another extravagant spy car. A BMW that can be remote controlled and a cell phone because hey it’s the 90’s. The most stand out action scene by far is one where Bond and Wai Lin have to ride a motorcycle while handcuffed. It’s funny and action packed at the same time. Tomorrow Never Dies is a broadcast that deserves more viewers.

18. Tomorrow Never Dies

James Bond works Q’s latest invention

James Bond will return in The World is Not Enough