What are James Bond’s coldest kills? To me, a “cold kill” is when Bond has his enemy dead to rights and they both know it. The bad guy is either in a helpless situation and/or given up the fight–and Bond kills him anyway.
So here is a list of Bond’s coldest kills:
- R.J. Dent (DN)
- Blofeld’s Double #1 – sinks into molten mud in PTS (DAF)
- SPECTRE Scientist – shot after throwing bottle of acid (OHMSS)
- Adam (LALD)
- Tee-Hee Johnson (LALD)
- Shandor (TSWLM)
- Karl Stromberg (TSWLM)
- Emile Leopold Locque (FYEO)
- Necros (TLD)
- Ed Killifer (LTK)
- Clive – harpooned on Wavekrest (LTK)
- Alec Trevelyan (G/E)
- Kaufman (TND)
- Elliot Carver (TND)
- Elektra King (TWINE)
- Tan Ling Zao (DAD)
- Tan-Sun Moon aka Gustav Graves (DAD)
- Dryden (CR)
- Mollaka Danso (CR)
- Carlos (QOS)
- Logan Ash (NTTD)
- Lyutsifer Safin (NTTD)
FYI: I do not include Dominic Greene from Quantum Of Solace as a cold kill since he was actually shot and killed by Quantum members.
So, what is Bond’s coldest kill?
My choices for Bond’s coldest kills are:
SEAN CONNERY – R.J. Dent (DN) The kill that started it all and set the tone for the series. Bond didn’t need to kill him, but did it anyway.
GEORGE LAZENBY – SPECTRE Scientist (OHMSS) Lazenby’s only kill cold enough to qualify.
ROGER MOORE – Karl Stromberg (TSWLM) Shooting him so many times–and where he shot him–was very cold.
TIMOTHY DALTON – Ed Killifer (LTK) It doesn’t get much colder than being fed to a shark.
PIERCE BROSNAN – Elektra King (TWINE) Killing the woman he once loved–and Bond doesn’t hesitate.
DANIEL CRAIG – Dryden (CR) Bond has the situation all calculated out, lets Dryden reveal himself as a villain, and calmly executes him.
But if I had to pick just one for the coldest kill, I’ll go with Stromberg. It doesn’t get any colder–or more personal–than multiple shots to the groin followed by a couple more to the chest.
However, that is not my favorite cold kill. That would be between Shandor and Locque, but I’ll go with Locque. That’s just a cool sequence.
Coldest, I think, when the advantage is already on Bond‘s side and the victim is „just“ a bystander.
Brosnan: Paris (not by himself but because of him)
Dalton: Kilifer. I’d go with Koskov, but that was Pushkin who order his death. (Sanchez is a close second)
Brosnan: Elektra (Bond’s most emotional kill in the whole series)
Surely Bond killing Zao in the middle of the melting ice palace by having him impaled with a chandelier made of ice would have to qualify as his coldest kill.
One of my absolute favorites has always been Dalton in LTK with the “compliments of Sharky!” kill. It’s so blunt and angry.
What about Drax being ejected into space? I hear it’s pretty cold there, too.
Surely, Bond luring enemies into a frozen lake in Siberia would be some his coldest kills.
That would be the killing of Clive. That is a cold kill, particularly when you realize that Bond exposes himself to Krest’s henchmen by doing it. He could have waited to get Clive alone and done the deed before slipping quietly away. Instead, he’s so pissed he just goes and does it right out in the open, almost insuring that he will be tracked down and killed–but at least he would have gotten revenge for Sharky, if not for Felix and Della.
But fortunately, Bond, being the resourceful guy he is, manages to get his two-fer–killing Clive AND getting away–all while doing it in the MOST Bondian way possible.
I think a cold kill is one that is done with no emotion and purely out of business like expedience. Therefore, I’m going to go for:
SC calmly shooting a helpless Professor Dent: he could have had him arrested like Ms Taro, but his solution was so much… neater.
RM kicking Locque off the cliff: he undoubtedly took satisfaction, but it never showed. Locque was a problem and it was just easier to take him out
All very… cold!
Dent, Locque, Killifer and Ash are the coldest in my opinion. There’s a greater degree of satisfaction in these executions given the rivalries and no regret whatsoever like the aftermath of killing Electra. For Brosnan I’m going with Kaufman. “I’m just a professional doing a job” - “me too” says it all. Plus, it’s a nice update of the attaché case sequence against Red Grant.
Ash isn’t cold. It’s a weirdly satisfying kill.
I label all my chosen kills as both satisfying and cold. Craig is completely detached when he rolls the car and doesn’t even bother to look back.
I would argue that all of these cold kills are backed by emotion. Dent’s killing was in retaliation for killing Strangways and trying to kill Bond. Locque was revenge for killing Ferrara. Killifer was revenge for betraying Felix. Elektra was revenge for all of her betrayals, especially of Bond who clearly fell in love with her. Kaufman was revenge for Paris. Ash was revenge for Killing Felix. They all have some emotion behind them. The only true emotionless kill, I would argue, is Dryden. He was a traitor, but Bond was sent on a mission with no personal connections, and executed it without thought. So, by that regard, I might say Dryden is the coldest kill.
Where do we stand on Felicca in TSWLM being a cold kill?
Are we saying “cold” means “not committed out of anger or vengeance”? In which case there should be a lot more of them than there are. One downside of making everything “personal” for the last 30 years is that James Bond is supposed to be a guy who kills for a living, not because someone’s personally wronged him.
I don’t even know which kills would qualify on that score. Dryden most likely, because we’re being introduced to a Bond who’s supposed to be more of an emotionless bastard (even if he ends up being the most emotionally-motivated version in the history of the series). Also I do think Dent qualifies for top spot. Yes he played a role in killing Strangways but there’s little indication Bond felt deeply for that victim and anyway his whole assignment was to find and deal with Strangway’s killer. And yes, Dent has just tried to kill Bond, but Bond was never in any real danger and the whole thing has been coldly calculated to get Dent into his crosshairs.
Another candidate would have to be Vargas in TB. Domino says “Vargas behind you” (not “…with a gun” or “…and he’s going to kill you”…for all Bond knows, he’s come to deliver a pizza) and Bond impales him on a tree with a spear gun – a pretty gruesome way to go – before making a joke about it and going back to the original conversation. If “cold” measures the ability to take a human life without caring one damned bit one way or the other, that’s got to be right up there.
If “cold” means way overdoing it for no particular reason, then some kind of award has to go to Bond shooting a seated and disarmed Stromberg no less than four times.
If “cold” means hard-heartedly meting out vengeance in utterly pitiless fashion, it’d have to go to Bond dumping Killifer in with the shark in LTK. It’s shot so we can’t see the carnage, but whatever’s happening to Killifer is enough to make Sharkey turn away in revulsion, while Bond’s face betrays no emotion at all. He could just as easily be watching a fly climb up the wall.
I’d argue there is a lot of emotion in Bond’s face when he watches Killifer get mutilated by the shark. Dalton is trying to hide behind a mask, but his posture is rigid, he’s unblinking, you can see him seething as Killifer flails about and dies a very gruesome death. I agree it’s a very cold kill, but one that is very emotionally charged (at least in my opinion).
I hadn’t meant to imply Dalton came up short in his delivery there; I get that he’s emotionally invested but that he’s purposely putting on the “you’ll get no mercy from me” face. That makes it colder in my view; it’s not that he feels nothing – otherwise why bother telling the story – it’s that Killifer is looking up at him in terror (we’re seeing all this from his POV) and the look Dalton’s purposely sending says, “Don’t look to me for pity; this is exactly what you’ve earned.”
But that’s the thing with with the “flat affect” approach to acting, though; a lot depends on scripting, music, lighting, direction. When you have to get across “I’m pushing away my emotions” versus “I have no emotions” it could go either way. As a case in point, I often feel like I’m watching different films from the rest of the world when people praise Craig as having more “emotional depth” than other Bonds. They see that stony visage and think “Boy, he’s mad…or heartbroken…or haunted…” and all I think is, “So does this model android also come with an emotion chip?” The Leonard Nimoy school of acting, if you will, relies a lot on audience participation: we need to meet the actor halfway and project what he’s holding back. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. With Dalton in this scene it does; with a lot of Craig’s stuff – at least for me – not so much.
Disagree only on this: Stromberg has just tried to wipe out most of humanity and to shoot Bond. Who knows whether he does not have another trick up his sleeve or desk? Every policeman would try to shoot now.
Yes, it’s satisfying, but not as much as it could have been. I would have preferred Bond just staying where he was and watching the results as he makes the car fall on Ash and, for lack of a better word, “savor” the moment or even mutter to Felix that he paid Ash back for what he did to him rather than Bond immediately dash up the hill as if he had to catch a train.