Top 5 WORST James Bond Films Ever Made

In light of news for the upcoming James Bond film titled Skyfall, I’m teaming up with my pal Ted S. to list five WORST James Bond films ever made.

Ok so the likelihood of Oscar winner Sam Mendes’ Bond film would end up on this list is pretty slim. For sure this one is off to a flying start with the most award-winning Bond cast ever — Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney & Ben Wishaw joining Daniel Craig on his third outing as 007.

Craig with new Bond girls Bernice Marlohe & Naomi Harris

Ted: I think most film lovers have seen some or maybe all of the James Bond films; even if you’re not into them, I’m quite sure you’ve seen one or two Bond films in your lifetime. As for me, I considered myself a Bond fanatic, I mean come on now, the dude looks good, gets to sleep with beautiful women, drives a super expensive car, blow a lot of stuff up and save the world from the bad guys. It’s a fantasy for every male out there, okay maybe some would rather be Batman or Superman but I digress.

I’ve seen all of the Bond films and read most of the books, so I guess I’m qualified to give MY list of the worst Bond films ever produced. Just remember films are subjective, so don’t get mad at me if I included your favorite Bond films on my worst list.

Ruth: James Bond is huge in my household growing up. I used to watch the older Sean Connery Bond movies with my brothers who were both 5 years older than me, but the Bond I grew up with were Roger Moore & Timothy Dalton. I think Bond movies are the quintessential escapist entertainment — cool actions, exotic locales and our suave hero hardly ever gets hurt. But out of 22 Bond films, there are definitely quite a few duds.

Ted gave me this list a few months back and guess what, apparently we share a similar taste when it comes to Bond movies as I also regard these as my least favorite. We differ on one that I include on the honorable mention though, but let’s get to the top five first:

1. Never Say Never Again

Ted: There are several reasons why I think this is the worst Bond film ever. First off, this one wasn’t considered part of the Bond franchise since it was produced by Warner Bros. (MGM bought the rights a few years ago but it’s still considered the black sheep of the franchise) and also it was a remake of a much superior Bond film, Thunderball. Yes, it starred Sean Connery but he was in his late 50s around this time and when you paired him with the young Bond girl, Kim Basinger, it was kind of creepy.

The villain was pretty weak, in fact I thought the actor who played the villain was very dorky looking and every time he appeared on screen, I started laughing. Then there’s the action or should I say what action? There were two major action sequences in the whole film and they were badly directed by Irwin Kirchner, this is the same man who directed The Empire Strikes Back; not sure what happened there. In an interview, Kirchner said he didn’t want to direct those action scenes, so I guess that’s why there were so badly shot. And lastly, the film was just plain boring.

Ruth: An elderly, balding Bond just ruins the image of the super spy. You know the phrase, quit when you are ahead? Well, Connery definitely overstayed his welcome with this one.

2. A View To A Kill

Ted: You know the film isn’t any good when you have Christopher Walken is playing the villain and yet he’s boring as heck. Also, Roger Moore wasn’t such a young man anymore; he looked bored and probably wanted to be anywhere else but on the set of this film. Oh yeah, Grace Jones was probably the most scary Bond girl/henchwoman ever and not scary in the good way.

Ruth: Grace Jones aside, this movie also had one of the worst Bond girls ever. I realize some Bond girls are merely serve as ‘damsel in distress’ but Tanya Roberts took it way too literally. She came across ditzy and whiny, I mean saying the word ‘Oh James’ multiple different ways doesn’t exactly count as acting!

3. Diamonds Are Forever

Ted: So Connery was basically begged to come back and play Bond again since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was a box office disappointment. They even paid him a then record $1.2 mil to reprise his most famous role. This was the film that kicked off the comedic tone in the Bond films throughout the 70s and 80s, the dark ending of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service made the studio very nervous so they asked the filmmakers to tone done the seriousness of the film. I think this film has probably the worst Bond girl ever, Jill St. John’s character was badly-written and she didn’t really do much in the film besides showing off her body. But what I do I know; the film was a huge success.

Ruth: I think I must’ve dozed off when I saw this one with my brothers but there was hardly anything memorable in this film. I think the only worthy thing about this one is the theme song sang by the inimitable Shirley Bassey.

4. You Only Live Twice

Ted: This film does have some cool action scenes but when Connery put on fake slant eyes so he could he disguise himself as a Japanese man, it was the low point in the Bond franchise. But this was back in the late 60s so I guess I can forgive the filmmakers for coming up with such an offensive idea.

The concept for the film was decent, but the execution just wasn’t there. The directing was sloppy and the editing was even worse. Another thing that surprised me was how bad the film looked, I mean this was a big-budgeted film for its time and it looked pretty ugly. The other Bond films in that same decade looked spectacular, maybe the director and cinematographer wanted to give the film a new look but in my opinion they failed.

Ruth: I don’t think I have anything else to add. Having a 6’2″, ultra-tanned, hairy Scot pretending to be an Oriental man is more than enough reason to include this on the worst list. I mean, seriously, it doesn’t get any more absurd than this, I don’t care what era it’s set in, there’s just no excuse for it. Oh and the villain Spectre was basically laughable, no doubt this is where Austin Powers got most of its inspiration from for Dr. Evil.

5. The World Is Not Enough

Ted: Denise Richards played a scientist. Again, Denise Richards played a scientist in this movie. The very same Denise Richards who was married to Charlie Sheen and she played a scientist! I guess I made my point, but Denise was not the only problem in this movie. The plot was lame and Brosnan look bored in the entire film. Michael Apted was not known for doing action films and it showed because most of the set pieces were so boring. The only best action scene in the whole film was the boat chase in the beginning. One critic said it best when she reviewed the movie, “The spy who bored me.” I totally agree.

Ruth: If casting could kill. Never in the history of a Bond film has there been a casting decision as ludicrous as this one. Not only did this one boast the most idiotic Bond girl name ever conceived — Dr. Christmas Jones (as if adding Doctor in front of it would make it better??) — there are lines like this, “I thought Christmas only comes once a year.” I rest my case.

Honorable mentions:

  • The Man with the Golden Gun
    Ted: The film almost destroyed the franchise because it tanked at the box office so bad that United Artists considered pulling the plug any future Bond projects. But when they looked at the world wide box office numbers, they decided to keep going with it. The film only earned around $20mil here in the states.
  • Die Another Day
    Ted: The film that ended Pierce Brosnan’s run as Bond. I actually enjoyed the first half of this one but wow, the rest of the film was awful. Bond surfing in the beginning then later he surfed again? It was bad.
  • Moonraker
    Ted: I believe the tagline for this film was, ‘James Bond in space.’ I guess most of the big budgeted films around this time were trying to cash in on the Star Wars craze and so why not send Bond into space right? I think out of all of Roger Moore’s Bond films, this one ranks as the most ridiculous one in my opinion. I didn’t include it on my top 5 worst list is because I enjoyed most of the film, while I hated everything about A View to a Kill.

  • Live and Let Die
    Ted: Roger Moore’s first outing as Bond was a pretty weird movie, the film hardly had any action in it and the villain again was quite weak. The reason I didn’t include it on my top 5 list was because Jane Seymour was so gorgeous in this one, she’s one of my favorite Bond girls.
  • Quantum of Solace
    Ruth: Now this is my pick as Ted quite like this one. I really, really want to like this film and yes I did have a high expectations considering how fantastic Casino Royale was. But really there was just too much fighting in this film and the action sequences were too choppy and too brutal for what I expect a Bond film to be. Dominic Greene may be a good actor but he just makes a dull and lackluster villain. Add the overly-serious Olga Kurylenko who’s all business and no fun, it is the audience who is in need of a bit of solace as we’re ripped off some good escapist fun at the movies.

So what do you think of our list? Share your thoughts and name your own picks of worst Bond flicks in the comments!