James Bond has become a byword (words?) for the cool, suave, sophisticated secret agent we all kind of wish we were. The latest film in the Bond franchise, entitled Spectre, is out later this year and judging by its trailer it retains all the usual Bond trappings – beautiful women, fast cars, planes exploding, foreign-accented bad guys – with the Bourne-style grittiness that Daniel Craig has brought the role.
It’s likely that Bond will be a loose cannon, going against government orders to stop the as-yet-unnamed villain (rumored to be his arch nemesis Blofeld) unleash some as-yet-unknown evil plot. This being a modern Bond film it will probably have something to do with microchips, the Internet and the stock market.
Whatever the bad guy comes up with, you can be sure it won’t be as ludicrous as some of these schemes from Bond’s past. In no particular order:
Goldfinger is, in many ways, the classic Bond film, featuring an excellent theme song and one of the most memorable henchmen of all time in the bowler-hatted Oddjob. The titular villain (whose English dialogue was quite clearly dubbed in post production) just loves gold, you guys, and so his plan to break into Fort Knox makes a lot of sense. There’s a lot of gold in there, after all.
Except that he’s not breaking in to steal the gold. He’s breaking in to irradiate the gold with a nuclear weapon. With the gold reserves gone, Goldfinger’s own gold stash would become more valuable. Hey, Goldfinger, you know what else would make your gold more valuable? Having more of it! I’m just saying if you’re already hatching an elaborate plan involving flying private planes over Fort Knox to knock out all the guards and get into the vault, maybe add a few extra men and some trucks into that plan and make off with the gold, too.
2. Diamonds Are Forever
In this outing, longtime Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld is in the middle of a Las Vegas residency, and it’s fair to say the gaudy city has affected him. Blofeld constructs and launches a space laser made entirely of diamonds, presumably designed by Liberace, in order to hold the world to ransom. To facilitate this plan Blofeld first: creates a lab where perfect lookalikes of himself are made using pioneering plastic surgery techniques, obtains a horde of diamonds, builds both a space satellite (made entirely from diamonds!) and some kind of system to launch it, and also create a laser that can destroy targets on Earth from space.
It seems pretty clear that whatever ransom he was hoping for, he would be operating at a huge loss. Why not just become a plastic surgeon, sell the laser technology, or, I don’t know, sell the millions of diamonds you have you absolute lunatic?
3. The Spy Who Loved Me
Megalomaniac Karl Stromberg has such a hard-on for fish, even Troy McClure would find it distasteful. Stomberg wants to live under the sea, a plan so brilliant it would be revived decades later by noted genius Homer Simpson.
He's not content with just living under the sea in his weird, spider-shaped HQ (named Atlantis, because of course it is), stroking his...fish tanks, he wants everyone on dry land to suffer. His nefarious plan is to cause a nuclear apocalypse, and then rebuild civilisation anew under the sea.
Of course, this plan forgets the absolutely vital detail that a nuclear apocalypse would not just wipe out life on land, but under the sea as well. Still, it's not like Stromberg is a scientist or something. Oh wait no, he's totally a scientist.
After a hiatus, Bond was back, with a fresh new modern attitude, out to stop a villain who plans to use a satellite to…oh wait, this has been done before, hasn’t it?
Sean Bean manages to outdo himself by dying on screen twice as Alec Trevelian, 006, former agent gone rogue. Trevelian, who holds a grudge against the British government for his parents death in the Second World War (it’s not the same government by 1995, but whatever), plans to destroy the British economy using a stolen Goldeneye laser satellite, but not before making off with millions of pounds.
Quite was he plans to do with his now-worthless British pounds once he’s destroyed the entire economy was never explained.
Before we start this one, a quick quiz:
You are a former MI6 agent turned cyberterrorist with really bad hair who wants to kill the head of MI6. You know where she works and, in fact, know her entire work schedule. You can even hack into her laptop. You also have the ability to both make a bomb and plant it in her office. Knowing all this, do you…?
A: Plant and then detonate a bomb in her office when she’s at work, killing her.
B: Plant and then detonate a bomb in her office when she’s out, thus not killing her, and instead construct an elaborate plan that relies on blind luck and coincidence to work, just so you might get the chance to shoot her in the back of the head at some point.
If you answered B then congratulations, you are Skyfall villain Raoul Silva!
Javier Bardem brought Oscar-winning glamour and sexual ambiguousness to his role in Skyfall (and if there’s one thing Bond needs, it’s more camp), but his masterplan is muddled to say the least.
Silva is another former MI6 agent turned terrorist. His first move is to publicly release the names of MI6 field agents and then, somehow, plant a bomb in the presumably well-guarded office of M, the head of the agency. Through a convoluted series of total coincidences, Bond finds himself in Silva’s deserted island lair (which, of course, has internet access).
Silva then gets himself captured, on purpose, only to escape by (somehow) jamming MI6’s computer system with a virus and meeting up with some henchmen in a London Underground station, even though they could surely have no way of knowing when and where he would turn up. Then then proceed to a hearing that Silva couldn’t have possibly known about, where Silva attempts to shoot M.
Bond takes M to his family home in Scotland, Silva follows and tries to kill them both. Bond kills him, but not before he kills M.
So, wait. What was his plan again? To kill M? To kill an old lady? Jesus, Silva, just use Plan A!