Last week, we began the mighty list of who is the greatest Bond villain. We covered the weaker of the Bond bad guys, even surprisingly losing Jaws and Blofield along the way, arguably the two most memorable bad guys. However, here is where things are hotting up. Some of these bad guys are reason alone to watch these films.
I also will remind the reader that I have worked out a complicated points system to determine who is the best villain here, so, in a way, things are out of my hands. Hopefully, the system will be truthful and give us the best of the best when it comes to Bond bad guys.
10 – BARON SAMEDI
Character: Last week I said that I disliked Jaws, because he is more mythical than the standard Bond villain. Well, here I am going to eat my own words, because of the amazing Baron Samedi. He is the mysterious voodoo henchman working for Dr. Kanaga and is rarely given anything other than the job of standing in the background, looking tall and menacing. Then why was he so freaking terrifying and memorable. Nearly everyone knows who this guy is and associate him with one of the creepier things to come out of a Bond movie.
Movie: As I said last week, ‘Live and Let Die’ is one of the better Roger Moore movies, maybe even the best. Part of that was to do with the wide array of villains (Tee Hee, Dr. Kanaga, Whisper). Baron Samedi might have played a side role to these other bad guys, but, again, there was just something about him that made him so awesome.
Death: That’s the thing he didn’t die. We saw him and Moore have a brief wrestle (far too short if you ask me), which saw him get thrown into a coffin full of snakes. We assumed he had been killed, but for the last shot of the film, we see him cackling in the shadows, instantly throwing the audience. I am glad the writers didn’t try and bring him back, because he deserves to keep this mystery, rather than having the character dragged back up and ruined (see Blofield last week).
9 – XENIA ONATOPP
Character: Who doesn’t like Onatopp? It is the best thing Famke Janssen has ever done (now that she seems content playing the boring role of Liam Neeson’s wife in ‘Taken’). Sure, her character does come across as cheesy and is basically Bond taking the mick out of itself for womanising woman in such a blatant way (including the euphemism hidden in the character’s name). Somehow Onatopp makes me look past of all of these flaws. Her character is great, fun and definitely earns a place on the list for those reasons.
Movie: Goldeneye is my favourite Bond. It is a fantastic piece of cinema, never letting the action stop for a moment. It sometimes forgets to take itself seriously, but, like Die Hard 4.0, you can look past this and find a lot of enjoyment from the film.
Death: Awful. Seriously, the final fight in this film really ruined the whole thing for me. It just seemed like a rough add-on to the film, as though the script wasn’t edited together properly. I would have much rather Onatopp stayed till the end, teaming up with Trevelyan, as they both stalked Bond around the base. Sure, she may have been side-lined, but it would have been better than the tacky, short fight between her and 007 just dropped, roughly into the film.
8 – LE CHIFFRE
Character: Le Chiffre is everything we want from a Bond villain in charge with rebooting the franchise. Last week, we talked about how Blofield was an out-dated image for the megalomaniac villain; I believe that Le Chiffre is the modern equivalent. Tall, foreign, wears a dark suit. Formidable and heartless. A pretty woman at his arm. The weeping eye was also a nice touch. A sinister, yet realistic distinguishing feature for a bad guy to have.
Movie: Casino Royale could very well be the best Bond out there. In short, it saved the franchise and Le Chiffre could be a major player in that. If we were treated to a sub-par villain, like Gustav Graves or General Koslov, the comeback could have turned out underwhelming.
Death: OK. It didn’t involve a cool fight sequence and it wasn’t even Bond who took the kill, but some other, mysterious villain. We did get a brilliant tense scene where Bond is being tortured. It was definitely a more mature ending.
7 – GOLDFINGER
Character: Goldfinger is one of the first things you think of when you think of the Bond rogue gallery. He is obsessed with gold, heartless and has some of the best lines in the entire Bond franchise. He could very well be the highlight of the Sean Connery era.
Movie: Goldfinger is one of the fan favourites. It is paced perfectly and Goldfinger is such a memorable villain. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the second half of the film, before the final fight. Bond spent it all get captured several times and it started to get ridiculous that Goldfinger hadn’t just shot him yet.
Death: Great. Getting sucked out of a plane was a decent end to the crazed villain. It might have been better to kill him at the Fort Knox fight, but it really gave a sense of how obsessed the character was: to risk his life to wreak vengeance on the secret agent that foiled his schemes.
6 – RENARD
Character: Renard is caught in a debate among the fans. Some think his inability to feel pain is a bit superhero villain territory and others have said Robert Caryle was a terrible choice of actor for the part of Bond villain. However, I like Renard. He was a formidable foe for Bond to fight off against and held his own in the long list of villains before him.
Movie: World is not Enough is your typical Pierce Brosnan era film. Big and fun. There was no ambition behind this movie other than coming up with a great action flick. It succeeded in that front.
Death: I loved the final fight. The whole idea of an upside down submarine is so awesome to me. Also, the final moment where Bond fires a nuclear rod into his heart… how can anyone hate that?!