Goldfinger (1964) – 3/5

 

Stupid James Bond action film with a dumb, illogical plot and some of the goofiest characters/villains I’ve ever seen in a Bond film, and that’s saying something. I mean, a guy who kills people by throwing his hat at them? What is this, a screwball comedy? Who in their right mind genuinely thought that that would make for a cool ability for a villain to have? Come on.

I get that it’s iconic now and all that, but it’s stupid and doesn’t make any sense, even within the context of the movie. How is throwing a hat at someone even the slightest bit threatening, let alone deadly? It just doesn’t make sense! This is supposed to be a James Bond film, full of explosions and gunfights and action based at least in part on the laws of reality. Where does hat throwing fit into all this, exactly?

Same with the Goldfinger character; what a ridiculous, poorly developed villain. So he’s obsessed with gold for some reason and, despite already being filthy rich, chooses to participate in petty con games to screw random people he meets at resorts out of money. Or so I gathered from the beginning. Okay, seems somewhat risky and needless, but maybe it’s a hobby of his, who knows? But the whole “kill via gold paint” thing is just ridiculous. It’s a cool visual, sure, but how does painting someone gold cause them to suffocate exactly? And why do it to the harmless woman and not, gee, I don’t know, James Bond, who you happened to have **SPOILERS** knocked out and placed in the perfect position to injury/kill at will? **END SPOILERS**

This happens a number of times, actually, where the villain has Bond in his grasp and can, and, logically, should, kill him, but doesn’t for whatever stupid reason. Yeah I get that it’s a staple of the series, but such scenes are so obviously contrived in Bond’s favor that they really stand out here. Just kill Bond and go on with your stupid plan already! And what a stupid plan it is. Goldfinger’s brilliant scheme is to **SPOILERS** detonate a dirty bomb in Fort Knox and render all US gold radioactive so his gold will increase in value? **END SPOILERS** Are you kidding me? That’s about the dumbest god damn plan I’ve ever….%#*^%#(#%! … *dies*

Overall, argh, stupid. Stupid, stupid film with some dumb, ridiculous villains and a plot thin enough to slice through butter. It’s not even particularly interesting or engaging or unique as far as action films go. Maybe it was at the time, but I don’t know. It’s pretty standard, run of the mill fare, only much dumber than it ought to have been. I don’t understand what all the praise for this thing is; this is supposedly the best Bond film of all time? Are you kidding me? I understand it caused quite the uproar at the time it was released, but man has this thing not aged well.

It has its moments here and there, though: I enjoyed the laser scene, the only real moment of tension in the film in my opinion, and some of the visuals were unique, and the women were pretty, though shallow and obviously just there to serve as eye candy. Everything else, though, is a stupid, illogical, uninteresting mess. Sean Connery isn’t even given all that much to do here. Best of Bond? Not by a long shot.

Definitely a product of hype, and ultimately extremely overrated.

 

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