Top 10 Badass James Bond Fights
Who doesn’t love James Bond? While there are probably a few who are not fans, Bond has thrilled millions for more than a generation. This list looks at ten of the Bond films, and, in particular, focuses on some of the great fight scenes. If you think the list is lacking a good fight, be sure to share it with us in the comments, and include youtube links if possible.
You may not remember the funny name, but you’re sure to remember the mechanical arm. Tee Hee is Mr. Big’s right-hand man. This film is notable for Mr. Big’s hilariously over-the-top fate at the hands of Bond and an exploding shark pellet. Tee Hee is out for revenge, the film being notable also for the primary villain dying before the end. Tee Hee sneaks onto Bond’s train and interrupts him while he’s making love with Solitaire, the psychic. How dare he?!
He and Bond go at it, and Tee Hee appears to get the upper hand with his pincer prosthesis, punching through walls, going for Bond’s eyes, throat and fingers. Then Bond cuts his arm’s hydraulic wires and it locks shut on the window. Bond pulls down the window and throws him right out. Then gets back to business with Solitaire. Ask yourself why we love Bond so much.
One you may not have been expecting, but a fun scene. Christopher Lee is still the most suave and devilish villain in the Bond franchise. Bond gets waylaid by some sumo wrestlers and taken to a dojo, where all the fighters are ordered to kill him. He beats the first one with a cheap shot (if you fight fair, your tactics suck), then has to go up against the best student, Chula. Quite a decent display of karate for the 1970s.
He puts Chula down fair and square, but then jumps out the window and is saved by a friend whose two young nieces know a karate move or two. If you’re in an action movie wearing a white karate gi, just go ahead and lie down.
Timothy Dalton is one of the less popular Bonds, but he isn’t bad at all. Near the end of this one, we find him in the hold of a cargo plane, trying to defuse a bomb. Necros is a gigantic Soviet agent who blindsides him, and they go at it with hands, feet and a knife. No Bond film with a plane is complete without someone falling out of it. The pilot is Kara Milovy, Bond’s squeeze, who is woefully inadequate at flying anything but a lawn mower. But then, maybe she meant to open the cargo bay and pull up, so both men spill out the back and hang on for dear life to a net full of heroin.
They trade a few more blows, and Bond manages to climb the net more nimbly. This is when it sucks to be gigantic in stature. Necros grabs his boot in despair, but Bond cuts the laces, and Necros actually begs for his life a few times! No sir, Geronimo.
Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make a fight scene fun. In this one, it’s just a lot of death-defying, pulse-pounding running. It’s called parkour running, or free-running, and Bond is no master of it. His target, a small-time bombmaker, is, but Bond manages to keep up with him every step, trading small-arms fire, small arms, and hand-to-hand combat, through a construction site, up to the top of the construction site, into downtown, to the Nambutu embassy, where all the guards in the world unleash fully automatic hell at both men.
Bond takes out the chief, and nearly escapes with the target alive, but is stopped at the last of many fences, and is forced to kill the target to get away, with his bomb bag of course. Daniel Craig made his first footprint in the franchise big, wide and deep with this one.
His name is Mitchell, and as a 00 agent, he has the same training as Bond, and this one doesn’t disappoint. He’s a double agent, really working for Quantum, a shady organization of worldwide terrorism and various other nefarious activities. He has long since successfully infiltrated the top levels of MI:6, and is M’s bodyguard. He springs his trap finally, in an abandoned building in Siena, Italy, attempting to assassinate Bond and M. Bond lunges at him, and he misses M, and the chase is on through the streets and over the rooftops of this quaint Italian village.
Bond tracks him through the sewers and up into a church belltower, where they wrestle and plummet through a skylight window into a building under construction. Bond gets his foot caught in a rope, and grapples with Mitchell as they both get slung all over the room by pulleys and counterweights, crashing into the ceiling and pummeling each other the whole time. Then they separate and Bond tries frantically to untie himself while Mitchell hops all over a painting scaffold for a gun that keeps evading him. Bond gives up with the rope and goes for a gun, and gets a shot off first.
One of the best film fights of the ’60s and ’70s finds Bond being tracked by a diamond smuggler named Peter Franks, who finally meets up with him in an elevator. You have to hand it to the old-time Bond productions. They were never afraid to stage a fight where it couldn’t be fought. This is as close-quarters as it gets, and Franks gives as well as he gets, pounding Bond in the face and gut, getting pounded right back, wrestling into the elevator windows and steel mesh (if you can find some glass, break it), pulling out a pistol and fighting over it. Then Franks goes down, comes up with a big shard of glass and goes for Bond again. This is how you impress a Bond girl, as Tiffany Case watches the end of the fight.
They break out of the elevator and Franks goes for a fire extinguisher. Bring on some more fists and knees, and then Bond sprays him in the face and throws him over the balcony.
On a sidenote, Joe Robinson, who portrays Franks, was getting off a bus in Cape Town, South Africa in 1998 and was attacked by eight muggers. Robinson has a 6th degree black belt in judo, and used to be a professional weightlifter. They came at him with knives and baseball bats, but the 70-year-old Robinson took out two with leg kicks, karate-chopped another in the chest and broke the arm of a fourth. The rest turned and ran. When Sean Connery heard about this, he sent Robinson a Get Well card that said, “Give this to the muggers, if you can find them. Sean.”
This is not a fight or duel in the strictest sense, no, but it certainly makes the list for its display of Bond’s stamina and impudent guts (or another word that rhymes with guts). Le Chiffre is an excellent villain, because he’s not trying to blow up the moon, or use a satellite heat ray to clear a path through the demilitarized minefield between North and South Korea. All he wants is money that he owes to the Quantum organization. He tries to get it by improving his stock value in the airplane industry by blowing up a plane. Bond foils him.
Then he tries to win a high stakes poker game. Bond wins. Le Chiffre’s finally had enough of him, and kidnaps him and his girlfriend, Vesper. What follows next had grown men shying away from the screen. Le Chiffre needs the bank code and password for Bond’s newly won money. He has Bond tied up naked to a chair with no seat, and proceeds to wale on his testicles with a length of knotted rope. Not only does Bond not give in, he actually trades insults with Le Chiffre, and however much he screams, he refuses to surrender, finally laughing at how stupid Le Chiffre will look when he fails.
Le Chiffre finally threatens to castrate him, but Bond is rescued by a Quantum agent, who shoots Le Chiffre, after which all the men in the audience slowly relaxed in their seats. This lister remembers many women laughing and cheering, which is just a little creepy.
One of the finest Bond villains, courtesy of Sean Bean, is an ex-MI:6 agent, every bit as skilled and resourceful as Bond, and thus a frightening enemy. He and Bond finally meet up for the last time in the bowels of the Goldeneye antenna, and in the space of only about 1 minute and 10 seconds, they engage in a furious display of mixed martial arts, anything goes, whatever it takes, flinging heavy chains, crashing through steel rods and beating each other senseless. In this lister’s opinion, 006 actually does a little better, but no real fight is determined on points. He grabs the errant pistol, but 007 saves himself via a roll-down ladder just as 006 misses his shot. Then they fight some more in the most confined of spaces.
Perhaps the most indelible of the Bond villains is the indestructible Oddjob, played by Harold Sakata, Auric Goldfinger’s bodyguard. And what a bodyguard. Bond and he meet up in the Fort Knox vault where they go at it, and Bond doesn’t seem to have a chance. Oddjob just takes his best shots with a smile, then dishes them back out and knocks Bond all over the room. Bond starts flinging 25 pound gold bricks full into his chest, but he just keeps coming. He only gets scared when Bond tries using his razor hat (one of the coolest weapons in the whole franchise) against him. But he misses, and Oddjob goes for the hat, embedded in a steel gate, and Bond quickly shoves a live electrical cord to the gate, turning Oddjob into a Christmas tree.
This one must take the #1 spot for its sheer manly brutality. No over-the-top nonsense, just a villain to beat all: Robert Shaw as a big, tough, Irish SPECTRE agent, who tails Bond all over Europe, and finally catches up with him in a train in southeastern Europe. Grant has already killed several people throughout the film, one of them attempting to kill Bond. Grant wants Bond for himself. Bond dupes him into using his trick briefcase the wrong way, and lunges at him. Game on.
It’s close-quarters; it’s quite the mixed martial arts contest for the 1960s, incorporating grappling, ground-fighting, and striking, and the whole thing, as well as #5, is what boxers refer to as “fighting in a phone booth.” They beat each other bloody, Grant coming at him with both barrels, and Bond putting his guard up, punching back, wrestling through the whole dining car. Kicks, punches, headbutts and knees, no fancy karate stuff, then Grant goes for his wristwatch garrote, and Bond uses his briefcase one more time: a knife he stabs into Grant’s arm, after which he garrotes Grant with his own wire. This one is breathtakingly brutal, fast-paced, and decades ahead of its time.
Not really a duel of any kind, but it shows Bond at his absolute coldest, as he should be thought of. He does, after all, have a “license to kill” without provocation, but Fleming never once depicted him as doing so. The scene in the film was added because both the director and Connery felt that Bond should be seen exercising this license. Professor R. J. Dent attempts to assassinate Bond in his bedroom, and empties all 6 shots of his suppressed pistol into the bed.
But Bond has seen one move ahead and is waiting behind the door. After a brief conversation, Dent goes for his pistol again, but it clicks. Bond gives his best one-liner to date, “That’s a Smith and Wesson. And you’ve had your six.” Then he shoots him dead. Dent’s pistol is actually a Colt 1911 semiautomatic .45, which holds 7 rounds in the magazine and 1 in the chamber. Must not have been any weapon experts working for the production company.