Top 10 craziest Bond stunts of all time
Lead image sourced from here.
Sean Connery’s a pussy.
Controversial, I know, but it’s the only conclusion to be reached after preparing this story. Here’s a graph plotting the quality of Bond films against the worthiness of their stunts (science):
As can be seen, the franchise’s respective degrees of classiness and daring crossed over around the time George Lazenby’s chin was asked to fill the role in 1969 (you might also note that Quantum of Solace is the worst film ever).
In the early days of Bond, Connery took off his shoes, crawled through a pipe and you had a stunt. But by the time Roger Moore was filling the role in the early 70s things had gotten considerably gnarlier. Indeed, it’s Moore – the Bruce Willis of Bond films – who’s most represented here. Which makes sense, because as the movies got worse, the stunts tended to get better. So rolls cocaine.
Unfortunately, such a phenomenon makes picking the greatest Bond stunts an infuriating experience – there’s some serious love-hate going on in this list. Nevertheless, TheVine poked around the DVD store, surfed YouTube and chatted to a bunch of people with hygiene problems, all in order to present this top ten of Bond stunts.
10. Bond bungee (GoldenEye – 1995)
I used to live in Queenstown, getting paid $10 an hour to tend bar and listen to loudmouth backpackers tell me how great bungee jumping is. Arseholes. Still – and despite AJ Hackett’s protestations to the contrary – nothing did as much for the extreme sport as this sequence at the start of GoldenEye. It worked wonders for the Bond franchise in general too, pressing the reset button on the start of the Brosnan era. You did wonder, though, why he didn’t just abseil…
9. Bond shoots dude, performs ski jump (The Spy Who Loved Me – 1977)
Champagne cinema can only come from a combination of great stunt work, 70s funk and woeful greenscreening. Such is the opening sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me. Still, if you could get past Moore’s shit-eating grin there was the pleasure of witnessing one of the most jawdropping
base ski jump stunts of all time, courtesy of aerial daredevil Rick Sylvester.
8. Bond + bike > helicopter (Tomorrow Never Dies – 1997)
The Brosnan Bond films were already running out of gas by the time Tomorrow Never Dies came off the production line. Still, stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong remained involved in the series and so when it came to thrills, Never Dies frequently delivers. Let’s be clear: the helicopter was on a stalk and its rotor blades were added in post production, but this remains one of the most epic motorcycle jumps in history.
7. Bond leaps on plane (Octopussy – 1983)
Scoping these Roger Moore stunts clip-by-clip might seem a little disjointed. But it does actually give you a feel for how they rolled within the films: “Roger’s on top of a plane. What’s he doing there? Did you get my Pepsi?” This wasn’t Moore, though – it was stuntman Jake Lombard, and he does a remarkable job of not crapping his pants while hanging onto the top of Kamal’s (yeah, that’s the bad guy’s name) private plane.
6. Bond tanker wheelie (Licence to Kill – 1989)
I love Timothy Dalton. There, I said it. The guy brought a refreshingly icy side to a role made silly by Moore. Unfortunately, though, the filmmakers didn’t get the memo, saddling Dalton with some abysmal flicks. Licence to Kill isn’t any different. It’s awful. Just awful. But the tanker scene at the end is an absolute classic.
5. Old Man Bond in half a car (A View to a Kill – 1985)
200-year-old attempts to apprehend movie weirdo and Dolph Lundgren’s girlfriend: that’s pretty much the plot for A View to a Kill. Still, there was a clutch of cracking stunts contained within an otherwise forgettable Bond film. This particular sequence makes no sense at all, but in the mid-80s that didn’t really matter. It’s totally outrageous. Indeed: the more you think about it, the more frightening it becomes. And I’m not talking about Grace Jones.
4. Swamp Bond (Live and Let Die – 1973)
Ha! This has to go down as the worst stunt ever. Roger Moore skips to safety over a bunch of animatronic crocodiles. Witness the shitness! Only they weren’t animatronic. Contrary to popular belief – or maybe just a general confusion of campy crapness that goes with everything Roger Moore ever did as Bond – the beasts were real, stuntman Ross Kananga performing the feat at his own crocodile farm. It was the greatest stunt in Live and Let Die, except for Jane Seymour learning to act.
Here’s Kananga screwing it up a bunch of times:
And here’s the final version. In Pitfall:
3. Bond in a tank (GoldenEye – 1995)
Lousy cars. Great tanks. St Petersberg. This was western shorthand for Russia in 1995. The Bond producers put that rubric to good use on GoldenEye, creating arguably the franchise’s greatest ever chase scene. The standard Bond getaway is flipped on its head, with 007 this time doing the chasing – in a tank. Perfect.
2. Bond enters construction site, forgets to wear hardhat (Casino Royale – 2006)
There was a lot of bitching and moaning about Daniel Craig when he first landed the role as 007, but everybody was well and truly onboard after this ridiculous opening sequence. Based on parkour – or free running – gun director-for-hire Martin Campbell was smart enough to simply amp up the idea to some staggering heights. As mesmerising for its cinematography as it is its audacity.
1. Bond lands spiral jump, plays slide whistle (The Man With the Golden Gun – 1974)
The Man With the Golden Gun is one of the worst Bond movies in history. So, of course it’s got one of the most breathtaking stunts ever put to film – one that’s never been repeated. Ever. And of course the filmmakers totally ruined it with a rubbish sound effect. Got nothing do at work today and want to know how the spiral jump actually works? Like, mathematically? Here’s the PDF.