Licence to Kill (1989)
Both of Timothy Dalton’s films are clearly products of the Miami Vice-influenced ’80s, but they’re still good flicks. Pretty early on in the film, Bond is tracking a drug deliver that’s happening off the coast. He finds the underwater pod housing the drugs and begins to rip into the bricks of cocaine (side note: this could effectively be called ‘That time James Bond got fish high.’). Bond is found out of course and uses the drug lord’s water plane to escape, but in order to catch it he water skis with a harpoon gun as a handle. When he boards the plane, Bond pushes both the pilot and co-pilot out, along with a brick of money to float down into the water below.
BONUS MOMENT: The opening to this movie is clearly ripped off in the opening to The Dark Knight Rises as they use one aircraft to board and level another aircraft. Don’t believe me?
I think a lot of us have fond memories of the film GoldenEye because we were such big fans of the video game for the Nintendo 64. That being said, the film is still a very watchable and sexy action movie, but parts of it still drag on and on. The one spot of the film where it doesn’t take its time and keeps you on the edge of your seat is the very beginning. It stacks the action up at a reasonable pace and doesn’t get bogged down in what is going on. Brosnan’s bungee jump is a great start but it’s totally forgotten by the time Bond jumps off a cliff diving after a plane, that he also manages to catch up to. While not the most plausible, the first ten minutes of GoldenEye are the crowning achievement of Brosnan’s tenure with the character and perhaps one of the best in the entire series.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
On the whole it’s, one of the weaker Bond films. The plot is convoluted and sometimes it’s just plain boring. Having said that it’s no contest what the best moment of the movie is. As I mentioned in my Best Bond Gadgets article, Bond has a new BMW 750iL that can be controlled remotely by a touch pad hidden in his cell phone. While some thugs are trying to break into Bond’s impenetrable car, he starts the engine from across the parking garage. He drives the car over to him and dives in the open backseat window. The chase here goes on for quite some time which is really impressive for a four-story parking structure. Bond deflates tires, fires missiles, crashes other cars, the villains are tripping over themselves like cartoon characters on banana peels, etc. The most impressive moment of the scene though is when the thugs break out the big guns and get the rocket launcher ready. When he fires it at Bond’s car it goes right through the perfectly circular holes in the front and back windshields, blowing up another thug vehicle in pursuit.
I should also point out that this is one of the most blatant moments of product placement in the entire James Bond franchise. Not only is Bond maneuvering his brand new BMW, but he’s doing it from an Ericsson cell phone. The greatest instance of this product placement though comes when Bond’s vehicle says ‘Reminder: Unsafe driving will void warranty.’ The car isn’t talking to Bond, it’s talking to the audience who might think of buying a BMW after seeing the movie.