The Defining Elements Of A Bond Movie

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Bond, James Bond: All The Movies, Ranked - Part 1

By Ellen Royce.

The Bond movie franchise started before most of us were born. Since the first movie, Dr No came out in 1962 based on Ian Fleming’s novels about the Secret Service 007 agent, 26 movies have been made. Some of them were more successful, while some were called an outright disaster. However, in any case, the directors and screenplay writers have always shown consistency in what makes a good Bond movie. 

There are some key ingredients to the recipe of a trademark Bond film.

The Two Essential Elements Of A Bond Movie

1 – The Bond girl. The sexy agent 007 is always accompanied by a main female character that often ends up forming a romantic relationship with him of some sort. The tradition was initiated by the very first movie, Dr No, with the iconic scene of Ursula Andress stepping out of the ocean (this scene was then relieved by Halle Berry in Die Another Day). It became such a staple of the series, that it even turned into a term of its own. Some of the women were more significant than others to Bond himself, some were just passers-by. And the most recent James Bond movie Spectre features what was called “the Bond girls” since there were two women involved with the agent in this movie. 

2 – An iconic villain. Nothing helps make a movie intriguing and engaging as much as a good villain. Sometimes it is hard not to make him goofy, looking almost like the Austin Power’s Dr Evil, which some of the Bond films did (Ernst Stavro Blofeld, for example). And sometimes, the villain is just an ordinary bandit. However, most of the recent Bond movies, like Casino Royale and Skyfall managed to create strong and eye-catching villain characters that keep you loving them and hating them throughout the entire movie, while Spectre fell a little bit short in that department. 

What else makes a good Bond movie?

Here are some other elements instituted by the Bond franchise: 

3 – The rifle barrel. Every Bond movie traditionally opens with a rifle barrel scene, where the agent is seen through the barrel pointing a gun or making other cool moves. You know a Bond movie is starting just by seeing this iconic image. 

4 – Alcohol. Bond drinks alcohol in every film; it is almost part of his personality. His world-famous Vesper cocktail recipe (“Shake, not stir”) is now a real thing served in many real-life bars. His other sins include visiting top-notch establishments and possibly destroying them in some action scene. 
5 – An opening action scene. Before the titles, there is always a traditional action scene. It does not usually introduce the villain, however, it always lights the audience up. 
6 – A hit song that comes with the titles. Some of the songs, like Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” or Adele’s “Skyfall”, have become all-time favourites. There were some that were not so successful, like Madonna’s “Die Another Day”. However, a good James Bond movie opening implies good music. 
7 – Cool gadgets. Starting from “From Russia with Love”, James Bond is regularly supplied by high-tech gadgets and fancy multifunctional cars by his colleagues from MI6. Technology always plays a vital part in making the movie full of action and shaping Bond’s favourable image. 

Even if some of the elements are not present in every James Bond movie, most of the directors stick to them as the key elements of the movie’s success. They make us look forward to every next Bond movie. 

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