Rating Bond

We couldn’t be bothered to re-review all the Bond films again. So, we’ve applied a bit of science – well, rudimentary maths – to work out which is best...

DR NO (1962)
Intro: The name's Connery - Sean Connery...
Plot: Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of a fellow agent and find out who has been "toppling" American space rockets. 6
Villain: Dr No, criminal mastermind and SPECTRE member. Sports pair of metal mitts ideal for crushing table ornaments. 7
Girl: Honey Ryder, bikini-clad bombshell with knife on hip and tragic back story. Point deducted for shonky dubbing. 7
Gadgets: Flame-throwing tank disguised as dragon. 3
Action: Two dull car chases and a big bang at the end. 3
Score: 26/50

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963)
Intro: 007 wins the Cold War singlehanded...
Plot: Bond is sent to Istanbul to woo a wannabe defector and obtain a top-secret decoder. 7
Villain: Psycho dyke Rosa Klebb and her murderous operative Donovan Grant. Blofeld puts in a cameo. 9
Girl: Tatiana Romanova, former ballet dancer turned SPECTRE pawn. 8
Gadgets: Connery gets a briefcase with exploding tear-gas canister and concealed knife, while Robert Shaw gets a garrotting wristwatch. 7
Action: Gypsy camp raid and Orient Express dust-up, plus explosive encounters with a marauding chopper and a flotilla of motor boats. 7
Score: 38/50

GOLDFINGER (1964)
Intro: The film that fingered the Bond blueprint...
Plot: Bond crosses swords with a bullion-loving madman who plans to blow up Fort Knox. 8
Villain: Chubby industrialist Auric Goldfinger, invariably accompanied by bowler-hatted henchman Oddjob. 9
Girl: Bisexual pilot and judo ace Pussy Galore; before she turns up, though, Bond gets it on with Golden Girl Shirley Eaton. 8
Gadgets: Aston Martin DB5 with modifications (machine guns, oil sprays, passenger ejector seat). Only the best Bond car ever! 9
Action: Not much besides Connery's third-act face-off with Harold Sakata. 6
Score: 40/50

THUNDERBALL (1965)
Intro: Bond goes underwater. Bring flippers...
Plot: Bond is sent to the Bahamas to recover a couple of stolen atomic warheads. 6
Villain: Emilio Largo, an eye-patched heavy who is upstaged by his own yacht. Fortunately he has a decent accomplice in slinky minx Fiona Volpe. 6
Girl: French beauty Domino, who looks good in a wetsuit and even better out of it. 7
Gadgets: Super-cool jet pack, handy underwater breathing device and a motorised aqualung that's the size of a washing machine. 7
Action: Fab pre-credits punch-up followed by too much underwater grappling. 5
Score: 31/50

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1967)
Intro: Far East? Far out! It's Tokyo-oh-seven...
Plot: Bond is sent to Japan to find out who's been stealing US and Russian rockets. 8
Villain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld, finally revealed as a cat-stroking midget with a face like a cracked egg. 8
Girl: Kissy Suzuki, the Oriental agent Bond "marries" in order to hide out in a Japanese fishing village. 5
Gadgets: Autogyro Little Nellie, the DB5's airborne cousin. Blofeld's futuristic monorail deserves a special mention. 8
Action: A cracking ninja attack on SPECTRE's volcano HQ. 7
Score: 36/50

ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE (1969)
Intro: The best Bond Connery never made...
Plot: Bond tracks Blofeld down to his Alpine hideout and foils his plan to sabotage world farming. 8
Villain: Ernst again, miraculously reincarnated as an urbane Telly Savalas. 6
Girl: Suicidal countess Tracy Di Vicenzo, the only Bond babe to walk him up the aisle. 8
Gadgets: Sod all, unless you count a safe-cracking device so unwieldy Bond needs a crane to transport it. 2
Action: Not much in the first half, made up for in the second by a veritable orgy of winter sports mayhem. 9
Score: 33/50

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971)
Intro: Sean's swansong. Until the next one...
Plot: Bond heads to Vegas to stop Blofeld blackmailing the world with a diamond-encrusted satellite. 6
Villain: A mincing Charles Gray, so gay he comes with his own pair of homo-henchmen. 5
Girl: Sassy smuggler Tiffany Case, although showgirl Plenty O'Toole ("Named after your father, no doubt!") comes a close second. 7
Gadgets: Moon buggy, piton pistol (just the thing for scaling
skyscrapers) and a sperm-shaped sub Blofeld never gets to use. 4
Action: Sean kicks ass in the claustrophobic elevator fight only to be bitch-slapped by Bambi and Thumper. Shame! 5
Score: 27/50

LIVE AND LET DIE (1973)
Intro: No more Connery? Moore the merrier...
Plot: Bond heads for Harlem to confront a gangster intent on taking over the US drug trade. 5
Villain: Caribbean dictator Kananga and his tough-talking doppelganger Mr Big ("Names is for tombstones, baby!"). 5
Girl: Psychic virgin Solitaire, though Bond also gets his first black conquest in bumbling CIA agent Rosie. 7
Gadgets: Magnetic watch with secret buzzsaw, plus a shark gun that fires compressed air pellets. 3
Action: The set-piece speedboat chase doesn't leave much room for anything else. 6
Score: 26/50

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974)
Intro: He has a powerful weapon. And it's firing blanks...
Plot: Bond heads to the Far East to off a notorious hitman and recover a solar energy device. 4
Villain: Smiling assassin Scaramanga. Know him by his miniature assistant Nick Nack, mechanised funhouse and superfluous nipple. 7
Girl: Drippy ditz Mary Goodnight, so named to facilitate film's pathetically weak pay-off. 2
Gadgets: The titular golden gun, a neat piece of kit made up of a cigarette case, lighter, cufflink and pen. The bad guy also has a flying sedan. 3
Action: Boring boat chase and a flashy 360° car jump. 4
Score: 20/50

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977)
Intro: Roger finally gets his licence to Kiel...
Plot: Bond joins forces with a Russian agent to foil a mad billionaire intent on starting World War Three. 7
Villain: Fish-loving despot Karl Stromberg, though it's his steel-toothed heavy Jaws everyone remembers. 7
Girl: Major Anya Amasova, aka Triple X, aka Ringo Starr's missus. 6
Gadgets: It's hard to top the Lotus Esprit that turns into a submarine, though Q has a go with a gag-packed workshop sequence. 8
Action: Pretty much non-stop from the pre-credits parachute jump onwards. 8
Score: 36/50

MOONRAKER (1979)
Intro: In space, no one can hear you scream...
Plot: Bond heads into orbit to foil a mad billionaire intent on wiping out humanity. 4
Villain: Hugo Drax, a bonkers Frog with a neat line in menacing wordplay ("At least I shall have the pleasure of putting you out of my misery"). 6
Girl: Holly Goodhead, so named because she has a good head on her shoulders. As if! 4
Gadgets: Dart-firing wristwatch with in-built bomb, plus a Venetian gondola that doubles as a hovercraft. 5
Action: Slapstick fisticuffs building up to a downright stupid laser battle. 2
Score: 21/50

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981)
Intro: Less is definitely Moore...
Plot: Bond criss-crosses the Mediterranean to recover a missing missile launching system. 7
Villain: Aristotle Kristatos, a run-of-the-mill smuggler who outsources his thuggery to four-eyed henchman Locque. 5
Girl: Melina Havelock, a crossbolt-firing orphan determined to avenge her murdered parents. 6
Gadgets: A booby-trapped Lotus, various underwater vehicles and Q's primitive Identigraph. 4
Action: More credible than usual, though John Glen loses a point for putting Bond in a yellow Citroen 2CV. 7
Score: 29/50

OCTOPUSSY (1983)
Intro: Roger clowns around...
Plot: Bond heads to India to foil a Russian general intent on detonating a nuclear bomb in West Germany. 6
Villain: Sleek fence Kamal, though Steven Berkoff does the heavy lifting as crazed Commie Orlov. 7
Girl: Maud Adams, proving her wooden performance in /The Man With The Golden Gun/ was no fluke. 4
Gadgets: The mini-jet comes in handy, though the crocodile sub is a sight gag too far. 5
Action: Assorted dangers on a train and a violent scrap involving a chainsaw yo-yo. 6
Score: 28/50

 

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1983)
Intro: Sean takes the money and runs...
Plot: Bond heads to the Bahamas to recover two Cruise missiles stolen by SPECTRE. 5
Villain: Grinning loon Maximilian Largo, with a bonus point apiece for deranged colleague Fatima Blush and Max Von Sydow's avuncular Blofeld. 8
Girl: Kim Basinger, as bland as bland can be. 2
Gadgets: Bond gets to ride a rocket-powered motorbike and play his first computer game. 6
Action: Connery's Scrublands fight with the late Pat Roach is a doozy.
Everything else is a washout. 4
Score: 25/50

A VIEW TO A KILL (1985)
Intro: Roger calls it a day...
Plot: Bond goes Stateside to foil a businessman who dreams of flooding Silicon Valley. 4
Villain: Max Zorin, the psychotic result of Nazi experiments who spends his downtime kickboxing with Grace Jones. 7
Girl: Former Charlie's Angel Tanya Roberts. Enough said. 3
Gadgets: Bond leaves Siberia in a motorised iceberg, while Christopher Walken has an airship that probably cost a fortune. Well, that's inflation for you! 4
Action: A car chase through Paris, a fire engine race through San Francisco and a dull climax on the Golden Gate Bridge. 4
Score: 22/50

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (1987)
Intro: Dalton makes his debut...
Plot: Bond heads to Afghanistan to stop diamonds being traded for drugs. 3
Villain: Take your pick between defecting Ruskie Jeroen Krabbe, bullish arms dealer Joe Don Baker and killer milkman Andreas Wisniewski. 5
Girl: Simpering cellist Maryam d'Abo. 3
Gadgets: Bond's Aston Martin Volante comes with some juicy "optional extras" that make it his coolest car since the Lotus. Q also gives him an exploding key ring. 7
Action: The car chase is fun, though the biggest bangs are saved for the spectacular mid-air finale. 8
Score: 26/50

LICENCE TO KILL (1989)
Intro: Time up for Timothy...
Plot: Bond swears revenge on the South American drug lord who fed his friend to a shark. 4
Villain: Coke baron Franz Sanchez, a Scarface wannabe as slimy as his pet iguana. 3
Girl: Pam Bouvier, a pilot for hire with a gun in her garter. 5
Gadgets: Explosive toothpaste, an X-ray camera and a sniper rifle with a personalised palm reader. 4
Action: Brutal enough to fall foul of the BBFC and leave Dalton with a permanent scar on his hand, courtesy of Benicio Del Toro. 7
Score: 23/50

GOLDENEYE (1995)
Intro: New Bond, new beginning...
Plot: Bond finds an old associate is behind the theft of a hi-tech helicopter and a plot to bring about a global financial crisis. 7
Villain: Alec Trevelyan, aka Janus, aka 006. Sean Bean to you. 8
Girl: Computer programmer Natalya Simonova. We'd have been happier, though, if Pierce had ended up with Xenia Onatopp. 8
Gadgets: Not many, with both the returning DB5 and a device-packed Beamer curiously underused. 3
Action: The best bungee jump ever and a tank chase to die for. 9
Score: 35/50

TOMORROW NEVER DIES (1997)
Intro: Brosnan gets into his stride...
Plot: Bond teams up with a Chinese agent to foil a media mogul out to bring their respective countries to the brink of war. 6
Villain: Rupert Murdoch clone Elliot Carver, the series' silliest bad guy by a country mile. 1
Girl: Wai-Lin, the first Bond girl to match him punch for punch. He still gets to rescue her at the end, though. 8
Gadgets: A remote-controlled saloon with missiles in its sunroof? Suits you, sir! 8
Action: Respectable, though not up to GoldenEye standards. 7
Score: 30/50

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999)
Intro: Desmond Llewelyn's last hurrah...
Plot: Bond woos an oil magnate's daughter in the hope it will flush out a terrorist with a bullet in his brain. 7
Villain: Robert Carlyle does a Begbie as slaphead bad guy Reynard. Shame he's half Brosnan's size. 5
Girl: Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist? No, they're not joking. 4
Gadgets: Projectile-launching BMW notwithstanding, there's nothing to top the speedboat Pierce bombs up the Thames in during the pre-credits sequence. 7
Action: The boat chase kicks ass. The rest, alas, feels perfunctory. 6
Score: 29/50

DIE ANOTHER DAY (2002)
Intro: The one with Madonna...
Plot: After doing hard time in a North Korean jail, Bond sets out to find the traitor who put him there. 5
Villain: A gleeful Toby Stephens, going so over the top as Branson-esque entrepreneur Gustav Graves he's practically Dr Evil. 8
Girl: Halle Berry, going down the female Bond route as CIA bird Jinx. 7
Gadgets: Two words - invisible car. 1
Action: Great hovercraft chase. Fab swordfight. Fucking awful CGI. 3
Score: 24/50

CASINO ROYALE (2006)
Intro: Bond, rebooted and rejuvenated...
Plot: Having just earned his licence to kill, Bond is sent to Montenegro to beat a terrorist banker at cards. 8
Villain: Le Chiffre, a poker ace who sucks on an inhaler, cries blood and beats Daniel Craig's gonads with a knotted rope. 8
Girl: Eva Green, classy and exotic as the mysterious Vesper Lynd. 8
Gadgets: Refreshingly low-key for the most part, though that DIY defibrillator certainly earns its keep. 5
Action: Vigorous set-pieces involving Parkour, Miami airport and a sinking Venetian palazzo. 9
Score: 38/50

And the winner is...

GOLDFINGER!

Looks like he really does have the Midas touch...