Continuing my look at the James Bond series, in this post I’m going to list my top seven favourite gadgets and my top five favourite henchmen. First off,
Top Seven James Bond Gadgets
*I’ll also be including vehicles in this list.
7. Remote Control BMW, Tomorrow Never Dies
People either find this gadget really dumb, or really awesome. Sure a remote control car is a silly idea, but it’s also a fun idea. It’s so simple I’m surprised it wasn’t used until the late 90’s. It also helps that it’s used for a great action scene.
6. Exploding Pen, Goldeneye
Simple idea, an exploding pen. It’s just toned down enough to be believable and just out there enough to be extraordinary. The pen also earns bonus points for being used very well during a tense scene near the film’s climax.
5. Jetpack, Thunderball
I don’t care if this thing looks dated by today’s standards, I love this thing. Jetpacks are cool, and James Bond is cool. So James Bond using a jetpack is pretty damn cool. In all seriousness though, the jetpack is a really extravagant gadget and one of the most memorable the series has ever seen.
4. Lotus, The Spy Who Loved Me
A lot of the James Bond cars sort of blur together for me since a lot of there features start to blur together. However the Lotus has one unique future that sets it apart from the rest; it’s a makeshift submarine. I don’t see this working with any Bond but Roger Moore. But it does work very well. This entry also has nostalgia going for it since I remember wanting an underwater car when I was a kid because of The Spy Who Loved Me.
3. Briefcase, From Russia With Love
What I love about this gadget is that it’s perfectly plausible. It contains fifty gold coins, a unique sniper rifle, a knife which pops out of the side, and unleashes tear gas if opened incorrectly. It’s an exciting gadget, but a practical one too. I also like how the case is used throughout the film instead of just being useful in one specific situation.
2. Cigarette Gun, You Only Live Twice
I’ll be honest, I don’t really have a good reason justifying this gadget being so high. I just find it very amusing. It’s extremely silly, yet completely acceptable.
1. Aston Martin, Goldfinger
I don’t think I really need to explain myself here. This is the first and most iconic Bond vehicle, it set the standard for the rest of the series. Featuring machine guns, a tracking system, a bullet proof shield, and the always awesome ejector seat, the Aston Martin is the ultimate Bond gadget.
Top Five James Bond Henchmen
5. Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), Goldeneye
Femme fatales weren’t exactly new to the Bond series when Goldeneye came out, but none of the others in the series can quite match up to Xenia. Most female villains in Bond films use their sexuality as a weapon, Xenia literally uses sex as a weapon. She crushes people with her thighs! Over the top? Yes. Entertaining as hell? Yes. She’s also the perfect woman to go against Bond; someone who can use his lust for women against him.
4. Baron Samedi (Geoffrey Holder), Live and Let Die
Baron Samedi is to James Bond what Boba Fett is to Star Wars; he doesn’t do anything very important, but he’s loved by fans anyway. I don’t remember Samedi doing too much in related to the plot in Live and Let Die, but I remember him having a spooky laugh, having the most memorable scenes in the film, and just being awesome. It’s interesting that Live and Let Die has other henchmen who interact with Bond a lot more, yet none of them are as memorable as Baron Samedi.
3. Dario (Benicio del Toro), License to Kill
License to Kill is a more down to earth Bond film, and this is reflected in the villains. Dario isn’t an unstoppable menace and he doesn’t have any grotesque features. He’s just an incredibly creepy dude who’s persistent and loyal to his boss. It also helps that he’s played by the excellent Benicio del Toro. In fact, had del Toro not played Dario I may not even remember him. But Benicio is so damn good I can’t forget this character.
2. Jaws (Richard Kiel), The Spy Who Loved Me
Despite his horrid treatment in Moonraker, Jaws is still awesome. Jaws is an indestructible force. He’s hit by a car, thrown out a train, and even attacked by a shark. Yet he comes out of all of it relatively unscathed. Plus the metal teeth he uses on his victims are classic. He’s cartoony in the best possible way. One of the most memorable characters of the series.
1. Oddjob (Harold Sakata), Goldfinger
This was the easiest number one choices of any of the Bond lists I’ve made. Oddjob is the ultimate henchman, and the prototype that ever subsequent henchman would follow. He’s indestructible, but not to the cartoony extent Jaws is. Oddjob feels more grounded, and that actually makes him scarier. The hat throwing gimmick is awesome and has a great pay off near the end. Speaking of which, Oddjob has one of the greatest deaths in the entire series.