The World is Not Enough (1999)
This is not a good movie. It doesn’t hold up and it’s very boring. The best Bond moment in the film isn’t even really a Bond moment. Yeah, he’s there but it’s not his time to shine like the rest of the list. Desmond Llewelyn gave his final performance as Major Boothroyd (Q) in his 17th Bond film. Q introduces Bond to his successor and closes out his final scene with a great bit of dialogue: ‘I’ve always tried to teach you two things. First, never let them see you bleed.’ Bond asks him about the second. He says, ‘Always have an escape plan’ as he descends into a lift hidden into the floor.
Die Another Day (2002)
If you haven’t seen this movie, let me sum it up for you in one word: Stinker. But the initial setup is remarkably good, taking Bond to a place that we haven’t seen him before and handling it very well. To start, Bond is in North Korea to sabotage an arms deal. As you can imagine it goes south and Bond is captured. Except this time he doesn’t have a way out and spends fourteen months as a POW at this North Korean base. Though you have to listen to the atrocious theme by Madonna, as it plays you see clips of what Bond went through. Being beaten, water boarded, and stung with scorpions would be too much for any ordinary man, but James Bond handled it very well. After finally being rescued and staying on a hospital ship for maybe a day, Bond escaped and walked into a hotel looking like Tom Hanks from Cast Away and asked for his usual suite.
Casino Royale (2006)
This movie has the widest selection of potential best moments, but to me the very best one is the beginning of the film. Meeting the brand new James Bond is something that was handled very well, especially given that this movie is referred to as a prequel. You can tell in the first three minutes of this movie that this isn’t your daddy’s Bond, especially after he drowns a man in a bathroom sink. Sitting in the dark of a man’s office and shooting him in the head, thus earning his 00 status might be the most cool Bond moment in Bond history. The thing that I really have to give Casino Royale props for is the way they incorporate the opening gun barrel motif into the story. Yes it’s tradition at this point, but it always felt out of place and silly to me (the first entries especially). They really make it work here, however.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Even though this movie is a bit of a sophomore slump for Craig as Bond, it’s still better than the worst of the series. You’d think that after 50 years of Bond films it would be hard for the filmmakers to find something for Bond to try and escape from that he hadn’t already done a version of in another film, but they keep doing it. In the film, Bond is doing some aerial snooping from the air and in typical Bond fashion is not being subtle at all. Flying a vintage Douglas DC-3 is Bond’s way of keeping a low profile. There have been many Bond fights in the air but not where Bond was at the pilot’s seat of a drop ship and is being chased by a fighter jet. Things don’t turn out well for Bond’s plane, but he manages to outmaneuver the Jet and a helicopter. The thing that really takes the cake though is he and Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko) jump from the plane. They’re almost crushed when they land, but Bond manages to pull the cord on the parachute they’re sharing in the nick of time.
There you have it! Those are our picks for the best Bond moments from the first 22 films. Which ones did we forget? Tell us about your favorite Bond moments, including this week’s Skyfall in the comments below!