Pierce Brosnan at 65: His James Bond movies ranked – Which of his 007 outings is the best?
He played James Bond before Daniel Craig in four outings, roughly marking the period between the end of the Cold War and 9/11 (1995-2002).
The 65-year-old, the fifth official actor star as 007, is known for having balanced the modern edge introduced by Timothy Dalton with the tongue-in-cheek humour of Sir Roger Moore.
Before handing on his License to Kill to the incumbent Brosnan starred in Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day.
Here’s how we think they rank from the worst to the very best.
4. Die Another Day (2002)
What else could it be? It’s not just Brosnan’s worst Bond movie, it is THE worst Bond movie.
From Madonna’s jittering theme song over North Korean torture scene’
s to tacky visual effects, Die Another Day was even too silly for Sir Roger Moore of all people.
The late 007 star said: “I thought it just went too far – and that’s from me, the first Bond in space! Invisible cars and dodgy CGI footage? Please!”
Incredibly it still managed to become the most successful Bond movie ever at the time with $431 million worldwide.
3. The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Again, one of the weaker Bond outings, but also the first script by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade who penned all four of Craig’s movies to date.
Having Bond girl Electra King turn out to be a surprise baddie was a decent twist, but the main problem was the movie’s plot.
Something about petroleum prices triggering a nuclear meltdown in Istanbul tied to a villain who can’t feel pain and Denise Richards being a nuclear scientist?
Even Brosnan is rumoured to have said he found The World Is Not Enough all a bit confusing.
2. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Now this is more like it, not to mention much more relevant in the era of Fake News.
If anything Tomorrow Never Dies is defined by its scene stealing villain and leading lady.
Jonathan Pryce starred as Bond villain Elliot Carver, a media tycoon who tries to start World War III to boost his news outlet’s ratings.
Meanwhile Michelle Yeoh’s Wai Lin so impressed fans and producers that she almost had her own spin-off movie.
1. Goldeneye (1995)
The one where it all started for Brosnan is an absolute gem. Arriving six years after Dalton’s License To Kill and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bond looked out of date and ready for retirement.
However this post-Cold War reboot, complete with Judi Dench’s M and Sean Bean’s double-crossing 006 is probably the greatest Bond movie.
And let’s not forget those class supporting characters including the thigh-strangling Xenia Onatopp, “I am invincible” Boris and Valentin the dodgy Russian gangster with Minnie Driver cameoing as his country singing girlfriend.
Martin Campbell, who directed Goldeneye went on to reboot Bond again with Craig’s Casino Royale. Perhaps he should do the same with the incumbent’s replacement and go for a hat trick?
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