Bond Week: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

OHMSS

Lauren’s Take:

Poor George Lazenby. This Australian model thought he could become an actor and easily step into a role made iconic by the great Sean Connery. While Lazenby looked the part, tall dark and handsome, Bond is more than a good looking martini drinker who winks at married woman. He’s an assassin for the British government who needs an air of confidence and a cruelty in his eyes that Lazenby unfortunately lacks. While his one Bond film wasn’t the worst in the series (stay tuned for Moonraker review), the script was nonsensical and the acting was sadly average.

The writers tried to accommodate for Connery’s absence by creating a script packed with too much action, gadgets, chases, and well, everything. They thought they could slap a bunch of stuff on the screen, label it JAMES BOND, and people would come running. This movie proved that you need more than just a good character to make a good movie.

The film begins with Bond doing his best impression of a creeper, and then continues with him nearly tackling a woman who apparently read The Awakening too many times. And then it gets weird, with some blatant pandering to the crowd.

“This never happened to the other fellow.”

What never happened? Two random guys attacked him? A suicidal woman ran away from him? Someone stole his car, drove it 40 feet, and got out? Maybe that last one.

Meanwhile, in the writers’ room:

Writer 1: Okay, this isn’t working. How can we convince everyone this guy can play Bond?

Writer 2: Stick him in a tux and make him play cards. Oh, and throw an attractive woman in there.

Writer 1: Why is he playing cards?

Writer 2: … I don’t know? Does he need a reason?

Writer 1: Nah. We’ll just throw him in a casino. No one will care.

The movie gets worse and worse. The conversation between Tracy’s father Draco and Bond is the more awkward than Leslie Knope’s first dates. I cringed for 80% of this movie. My face still hurts.

The best part about this movie was during the ski chase scene when Bond loses one of his skis and continues to slalom nonchalantly down the mountain. We get a glimpse there of some true Bond action. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to redeem the movie. Given the choice, I prefer the ski chase scene in The World Is Not Enough.

Rating: 4/10

I’ve got a lot more questions about this film, but I’ll let Detective Damien fill you in on the rest. Overall I’d give this film a 4/10 for 2 main reasons: mediocre acting and the writers forcing me to listen to Lazenby drone on about genealogy. I felt like I was back in class listening to Ben Stein.


OHMSS skiDamien’s thoughts:

Before prepping for Bond Week I’d never seen this movie and had never even heard of George Lazenby, let alone that he once played James Bond. After watching it I don’t even feel a little bad for not knowing about Georgie. With all honesty, watching this felt like a chore. The first five minutes of Goldfinger are more interesting than this entire movie (with the exception of the skiing scenes here). And the reason behind George only playing Bond once is insane. Ask Wikipedia. It’s almost as insane as this movie. The plot is unfathomable and I’ve seen better editing in high school skateboarding videos. With that in mind, I have a few nagging questions:

  • Why did Bond frantically drive onto a beach because a woman in a mermaid costume waded into the water?
  • Why did Dr. Evil lock Bond up in a place with a potential escape route? I mean your whole facility is supposedly monitored and sectioned off (unless you have a nail filer or the plot requires you to move about unnoticed). Why not lock him up somewhere with, I don’t know, not an escape route? Like a room with a lockable door and no windows? Do you not have those? I’m seriously asking because your lair seems very poorly designed.
  • How did Tracy end up ice skating at the exact time and in the exact place where Bond needed rescuing? Because she recently took up Winter sports? What…here? Were the earlier Tracy scenes anywhere close to this place? This is one of the strongest deus ex machina moments I’ve ever seen.
  • In the above scene, was I supposed to remember Tracy’s face? I honestly forgot who she was?
How is this in the movie?

How is this in the movie? That’s a Playboy magazine. Not that I’m against adult magazines but why would James Bond be looking at one in the middle of a scene?

  • Am I supposed to believe that Tracy, who we just learned recently took up winter sports, can ski like an Olympian the next day? She jumps from huge heights while fleeing from Dr. Evil despite being a newcomer to this whole skiing thing. The only thing that seems to stop her is an avalance. An avalanche. A small hill should’ve stopped her because she is a brand new skier.
  • Why did Dr. Evil send those henchmen after Bond and Tracy when he was just going to start an avalance anyway? Are your henchmen that disposable that you send them off to die for no like no reason?
  • Am I supposed to believe Tracy and Bond survived that avalanche? Because, I’m sorry but I don’t think I can. We’re talking about an avalanche. That thing was taking everything out. Bond and Tracy end up covered with barely any snow. They should have been buried under 40 feet of snow and ice.
  • Why would Dr. Evil see Tracy totally alive and barely covered in snow and then assume Bond is dead and buried? They were right next to each other the whole time right? Why would he be 40 feet below her?
  • Dr. Evil has demonstrated lackluster ability as a evil madman. Because of that, his convoluted plot sounds not inspired but idiotic. If you told me Walter White was pulling off the same plan, I might freak out. But with Dr. Evil arranging it I’m less concerned than if those high school skateboarders were behind the plan.
  • What happened to all the girls with the poison???

Damien’s Rating: 3/10

Thanks for reading!

OHMSS LAz

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One thought on “Bond Week: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

  1. I don’t know if you saw a recent documentary about the Bond films, but it had a few interesting stories about George Lazenby. It is said that he managed to convince Broccoli and Saltzman that he had had other acting experience. George later told a stage hand or someone like that, that he had never acted before, with the stage hand replying he was a good enough actor to fool the two producers. It was also said that George was taken under the wing of an anti-establishment gentleman who told him he would because their puppet if you will if he stayed with the role. George assumed that by taking some time off the producers would immediately want him back. This didn’t work though, and Sean was hired again for the next movie.

    Like

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