Top 5 Bond films you want to rewatch this year

Dominic Greene?
:face_with_peeking_eye:

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Totally agree. Lyutsifer Safin is the bottom of the barrel. Actually, he’s below the sludge stuck to the bottom of the barrel. :-1: The only henchman/villain that can give him a run for his money is Elvis. :roll_eyes:

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Why?

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Greene is maybe the biggest “missed opportunity” villain in the series for me.
A villain passing as a philanthropic environmentalist, protected by public goodwill has so much potential, I’d like them to re-explore the idea in the future.
His plan to stockpile water and cause a drought was SPECTRE-worthy (though focusing on just Bolivia, rather than say, a whole continent, would have been a bit small scale for them).

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I’ve just decided that my next Bond re-watch is going to be revisiting my least favorite 4-5 Bond films but forcing myself to say nice things about each. Rest assured Die Another Day will be on the agenda.

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I will say that I’d like a more prominent villain next time. Not characters like Silva, Safin or even Waltz’s Blofeld that have delayed introductions and thus less screentime. Of those three Silva is an all time great, but nonetheless, the mysterious and creepy angle can rely a lot on the writing to give these characters importance - eg. hacking from the shadows. A public figure like Drax or Carver would be my preference now to change things up again.

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Adding to this, I felt a huge part of what was missing from the Craig era (other than Casino Royale basically) was a villain-centric scene where 007 isn’t present. Something like Scaramanga’s funhouse in TMWTGG or Stromberg’s introduction in TSWLM is desperately needed – a scene entirely focused on establishing the new villain and how diabolical they are.

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Lyutsifer Safin is the weakest villain in the series by a mile. There’s not much menace to him. He’s creepy, but not dangerous in any sort of physical way, nor does he seem overly diabolically clever. He’s got Primo, Ash, and a mad scientist behind him along with a bunch of no-names with guns, and an abandoned lair, but that’s it. On top of that, his original goal was to get back at Blofeld and SPECTRE for killing his family. But once he does that, he does a virtual about face and out of nowhere decides to eliminate half the world by selling off the nano virus. He makes other odd or even bad decisions such as simply letting Mathilde go for no reason whatsoever. He lets his best bargaining chip and manipulating tool go off on her own?! That’s just dumb. Plus, he’s basically a stalker with means. A young girl shoots him and he then saves her from drowning and nothing happens between them for approximately 30 years and then he suddenly becomes obsessed with Madeleine? His motives and character are all over the place. And he’s no threat to Bond at all and yet HE’S the one who gets to basically kill 007? He doesn’t deserve it. Every other villain is better than him.

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I consider all of that quite menacing.

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He’s also dull and bland with virtually no personality, and his voice is almost entirely spoken in a monotone. He’s just a guy trying to prove to someone, anyone, that he’s important when there isn’t really anything to him. And it all comes across as a very weak and underwhelming villain.

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You don’t like him, right?

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Not taking away from your criticism of Safin - it’s fair enough - but it’s ironic that you exactly described Dr. No…

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But Dr. No was done well. He’s shown to be a foreboding presence throughout the film, even without being seen. His menace and power permeates the film. Everyone is scared of him. Annabel Chung would rather have her arm broken than talk about him. Prof. Dent is completely uncomfortable just being on the same island as him. Adding to No’s fearsome “omnipotence” is that nothing fazes him and Bond can’t pull a fast one on him (i.e. trying to hide the dinner knife). He also has some great dialogue such as “East, West just points of the compass, each as stupid as the other” and “I see that you are nothing more than a stupid policeman…whose luck has run out.” Shoot, Dr. No even puts up a pretty good physical fight against Bond.

The superficial similarity may be there, but in the end there is no comparison. Dr. No is a MUCH better villain than Safin.

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Was it any different? Or just rose tinted glasses. Safin is positively active compared to Julius.

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Yes, it was different with Dr. No. There is no rose tinted glasses here. I like Dr. No, but he’s not in my top 10 Bond villains (#11 actually), but he is still MUCH better than Safin.

I didn’t go into No Time To Die wanting to hate Safin or the film. I wanted to like both of them, and I was very optimistic going in, but the movie and Safin were a complete let down and a big disappointment. Very little worked with him. Safin is the absolute worst Bond villain.

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1)skyfall
2)spectra
3)casino royale
4)no time to die
my top 4 rewatches this year

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Safin on his best day barely rises to the level of “meh,” but IMHO the competition for “worst villain of all time” is far from indisputable.

IMHO it’s his being the guy who gets to kill Bond that elevates him from being blandly disappointing to offensively awful, for some. He’s certainly not as worthy of taking Bond out as many of the past great villains who failed, but is that the same as being “the worst”? Killing Bond means he’ll be talked about forever, and often with vitriol, but if he hadn’t killed him, I doubt he’d top many “worst” lists; he’d just have been forgotten entirely by most people, as by far the least interesting element of a film with plenty of interesting things going on. Arguably that’s happened anyway: plenty of people know Bond died in NTTD but how many of those same people could name Safin, even if they saw the film?

And technically, Bond kind of kills himself, so…

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After being “kind of” forced to do so by Safin. If he leaves the island after being infected, the filmmakers are implying that our hero is OK with causing the death of a small child (that also happens to be his). That turns Bond into a monster in the eyes of the audience and is therefore a nonstarter for EON to go through with, so he’s forced to stay on the island and take the missile to the face. This whole thing I keep hearing defending Safin as not the one who killed Bond being that Bond has a choice, yeah, I guess he does to some degree, but there really is no choice because EON isn’t going to turn Bond into a child killing monster.

There’s also the gaping plot hole that isn’t all addressed by the film, and that’s the fact that Heracles is already out in the wild. Madeleine (and anyone that she has touched, and then anyone that they have touched, and so on, and so on…) is infected with it, as are any of the people who helped dispose of the SPECTRE bodies in Havana or Blofeld’s body in London. So, all that was really accomplished at the end of the film was that Bond died and M saved his ass by destroying some of the Heracles research that was on that island. The virus is still out in the wild and could be reverse engineered by someone with the technical know-how, but I guess since they destroyed the lab in London and then the island that M’s involvement in things had been sufficiently covered up, so the bad guy gets away in the end in this film and Bond dies in vain.

If the filmmakers had any courage in terms of the storytelling in the film, they’d have elevated M to the villain status that he rightly earns in this film and have Bond and company have to deal with that instead of the limp as a dish rag stand-in villain that Safin ultimately is, the film would be much better for it. There are far more interesting villains in this film than Safin, but of course the centerpiece of the film had to be this lame Dr. No wannabe.

Just rewatched it recently. The first 2/3s or more of the movie are fantastic. But whoever came up with the ending… zero stars.

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The villan being introduced first, instead of Bond, is a very interesting idea. I’m here for it.

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