Ranking Spectre

I previously ranked some of the James Bond movies here. Last night my son and I saw the latest movie, Spectre, in the movie theater. so I thought I would add it to our list. This is an interesting Bond movie as in retrospect, the four movies starring Daniel Craig create a self-enclosed tetralogy, separate from the other previous Bond movies. This is the concluding chapter and provides an actual resolution to the tetralogy.

Since the Bond movies are formulaic and their quality is based on how well they fulfill the formula, I created a little rubric to rank the Bond movies, with several categories a movie can get points in. Most of the categories award 2 points if the movie is one of the top 3 Bond movies, and 1 point if it’s in the top 6. Here are the criteria, with a maximum of 14 points available:

Story/Plot–2 points–Is the plot coherent and logical? Are the stakes high?  (2 points, top 3; 1 point, top 6)

Action–2 points–Are the stunts exciting? The car chases thrilling?  (2 points, top 3; 1 point, top 6)

Villain–2 points–What’s a Bond movie without dastardly villains and their henchmen? (2 points, top 3; 1 point, top 6)

Setting–2 points–The Bond movies are all about exotic locations. (2 points, top 3; 1 point, top 6)

Gadgets, Vehicles, Lairs–2 points–What’s the cool stuff?  (2 points, top 3; 1 point, top 6)

Bond girls–2 points–The ladies, oh yes, the ladies. (2 points, top 3; 1 point, top 6)

Sean Connery or Daniel Craig?–1 point–These are the best Bonds (no need to debate) and get an automatic extra point if appearing in the film.

Musical theme–1 point if in the top 5

Story/Plot–A little incoherent, but providing a meaningful resolution to the Daniel Craig Bond tetralogy puts it in the top 6, and pushes Thunderball out of the top 6.  (1 points)
Action–Overall only so-so, but a great, breathtaking opening scene in Mexico City puts it in the top 6, and pushes Goldfinger out of the top 6. (1 point)
Villain–Blofeld, as played by Christoph Waltz, is not quite top 3 but definitely top 6, and pushed Live and Let Die out of the top 6. (1 point)
Setting–I don’t know, much of it is in typical London, the Rome scenes are okay but the Tangier scenes are basically just desert. Doesn’t rank. (0 points)
Gadgets, Vehicles, Lairs–Not so heavy on the gadgets, a nice car but not too special, lairs are pretty generic. (0 points)
Bond Girls–I think Bond’s main love interest in this one, Madeleine Swann, ranks as one of the better Bond girls of all time. Plus earlier in the movie, Monica Bellucci plays the widow of an assassin who Bond seduces (the widow, not the assassin). Top 6, and knocks Skyfall out of the Top 6. (1 point)
SC or DC? Craig, +1
Music–Forgettable (0 points)
Total: 5 points

Rejiggered points for other movies:
Goldfinger (-1) 9 points
Live and Let Die (-1) 5 points
Thunderball (-1) 5 points
Skyfall (-1) 6 points

And, here are the updated results:
1) The Spy Who Loved Me, 12 points
2, 3, 4) Goldfinger, Casino Royale, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, tied with 9 points
5) Skyfall, 6 points
6, 7, 8) Thunderball, Live and Let Die, Spectre tied with 5 points

One Comment on “Ranking Spectre

  1. Pingback: Ranking From Russia With Love – Nicholas Bruner

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