In your opinion which bond film do you consider the most realistic?
Realism is a sort of flexible conceit. Emotional realism? The love and then loss in OHMSS feels very real, though Blofeld’s plot is suitably bonkers. QoS is a different kind of real in that life can be incredibly boring and QoS nailed that (purely IMHO, natch). For realism… I think FYEO is pretty pared back, has a very real murder/execution by Bond (kicking the car off a cliff) and has a very real and quite low-key ending, which I happen to like. LtK scores pretty high here as well, with an unusual amount of blood. I’d have added FRWL but for the poison shoe and the terrorist training camp. So yeah, FYEO or LtK.
Live and Let Die (heroin smuggling & voodoo superstition), The Living Daylights (Iran / Contra scandal, anyone?) Casino Royale '06 (terrorism funding).
'Strewth, there were wild, bonkers chases in LALD and a few excesses in the other two, but basically they were more possible than a lot of others (certainly more so than in ANY American or made-for-TV knockoff).
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER:
The film captures the cultural/sexual/racial/political anxieties of the time–the early 1970’s.
Its depiction of Las Vegas is documentary-like–no exoticizing of the settings (and even a wee bit of contempt for the American scene and its excesses. Hamilton even includes a shot from inside a casino during the car chase showing Americans glued to their gambling–oblivious to what is going on just a few feet from them).
From Russia with love, all the others have sciencefiction stuff (even the end of Dr. No is for 1962 not realistic) or crazy actionscene’s (TLD, CR, FYEO).
Casino Royale - shares the books questionable logic but is it unrealistic given how actual people governing have acted?
Die Another Day
Totally! I para-surfed like that not but 2 days ago!!
I saw you. You didn’t see me.
I was in my car.
Moonraker. Science fact.
Not for another fifteen minutes…
I’d say Licence to Kill. At the end of that year, American CIA was chasing after Escobar in South America. None of the film’s chase scenes are that crazy, though there is some spectacular stunt work. Most of it isn’t witnessed by a lot of public extras, so they could have happened for real and not been reported, unlike say the ski chases in FYEO. The drug orders and price setting over TV aren’t that different from social media today–witness the recent “We Build the Wall” related indictment. But the gasoline-cocaine solution is over the top.
After that, I’d go with QoS, FYEO, TLD and FRWL. However, as a kid I loved the villain plots of TSWLM, MR and Goldfinger. Speaking of which, I’ll add Goldfinger and Thunderball to my list.
Eh…hijacking Sanchez’s plane in mid-air… skiing behind a seaplane without skis… doing a wheely with a heavy truck…
Seems to me crazy enough.
…not to mention destroying a drug cartel so thoroughly that it’s out of business for good, with no subsequent reprisals.
…and with the help of just one small fire the whole building was destroyed.
If you told me that one of them was based on something that happened in real life but was kept secret from the public, I would guess THUNDERBALL or FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. Maybe THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS.
Remember that bit in THUNDERBALL where you hear on the radio the official explanation for Big Ben chiming seven times at six pm? Fun idea, that behind one of those little oddity news items you hear everyday was secretly the fate of the world hanging in the balance.
I reckon the QOS plot that so many found meh and underwhelming pretty much nailed a realistic and contemporary scheme: the rich and powerful targeting the poor and vulnerable to increase their own wealth. God, the world is f**ked up isn’t it!
I agree. That type of corruption is very much the standard operating procedure, and no less evil. Similar to what Silva says about rigging elections in Uganda to the highest bidder, or manipulating stock.
For realism in the way public perception shapes the world, my vote goes to TND. Very relevant.
For realism of overall tone, I’m inclined to go with FRWL.
Yes, but all those stunts were done for real. It’s not that outlandish. Barefoot skiing was a thing at the time. Not probable, but not impossible either. Sanchez’ drug cartel was based on loyalty, but Bond subverts that and turns it on his head. The complex burning up, well, okay, there’s not a lot of safety fire suppression in villain lairs (SPECTRE?) But given their operation is to make a cocaine solution with gasoline, there’s flammable material everywhere. And it’s not like you can build a villain lair and get it approved to code. Mike Meyers said that in an Austin Powers outtake–“What’s this camera for? Why all the bombs located throughout? What do all these people do here?”
As for why I still think LTK is more realistic than FRWL, in the latter you have a criminal organization putting all their resources into a non-profitable venture–killing James Bond as vengeance for eliminating Doctor No. I just don’t see a large organisation, even a criminal one, devoting that many resources ro revenge. That’s a personal thing, not an institutional motive.
SPECTRE’s plan, after killing Bond, was to sell the decoder back to the Russians, so it was still a money-making venture, the revenge on Bond just icing on the cake. It’s the business that they’re in.