What An Idiot / James Bond
As the Trope Namer
for Bond Villain Stupidity
, and a franchise that's been working for over 50 years, it is obvious that the James Bond
movies have this all the time. But even 007 himself can make such decisions that would make you
wonder if he did them after taking his martini stirred, not shaken.
- Tilly Masterson has learned that Auric Goldfinger has killed her sister Jill (Jill is the victim famously left sprawled dead on a bed, painted in gold) and decides she wants some revenge. To do this, she decides to take him out by stalking him in Switzerland, where he has his base of operations, and shooting him with a rifle.
You'd Expect: Tilly would do a little bit of research, the very least of which being learning how to shoot properly.
Instead: Tilly rushes off to Switzerland using an AR7 as her weapon of choice, a .22 caliber rifle with pitiful stopping power and range and is such a horrible shot that she nearly shoots James Bond, a man standing several hundred feet away and up from her target, causing him to think that she was targeting him instead.
It Gets Even Worse: She tries to do it again later, when Bond is trying to infiltrate Goldfinger's smuggling facility. In her idiocy, she stops just short of advertising her position on a neon sign and trips an alarm wire, compromising Bond's infiltration attempt and leading them both into a chase that ultimately leads to her death at the hands of Oddjob.
- At the climax of Live and Let Die, Dr. Kananga decides to dispose of Bond and Solitaire by feeding them to sharks, which come to feed in a pool in his lair.
You'd Expect: Kananga to shoot or drug the two, then throw them into the water and let the sharks dispose of their remains.
Instead: He has them tied to a rignote which is very slowly and gently lowered into the water. Kananga's mook Whisper actually proves somewhat more Genre Savvy than his boss and initially tries to lower them in quickly, presumably so that they'll drown before they can try to escape, but Kananga overrules him on the grounds that he wants them eaten alive. This gives Bond the chance to use the super-powered electromagnet in his watch to escape and foil Kananga once and for all.
- In The Man with the Golden Gun, Bond successfully retrieves the Solex agitator and gives it to his ally Hip, who gives it to fellow agent Mary Goodnight.
You'd Expect: For Goodnight to focus on bringing the Solex to M.
Instead: Goodnight decides to plant a bug on Scaramanga's car. She succeeds... only to have Scaramanga toss her into the trunk. Worse still, Goodnight still has the Solex with her.
- Moonraker: Bond is being all sneaky-like on the eponymous space station when he runs into the Giant Mook, Jaws, from the previous film. Jaws is known for toughness and his metal teeth.
You'd expect That Bond would try hitting a weak spot, evading him, or use his poison wrist dart gun to dispose of him.
Instead He punches Jaws in the teeth. Nice going, James. One connection and a "CLANG" sound, and Bond's hand is in agony.
- Octopussy: Big Bad Kamal Khan has an entire hunting group looking for Bond in the jungle right outside his home. Bond attempts to evade them by swinging on some vines....
You'd expect: ..and does this quietly.
Instead: ...while doing a Tarzan yell for no reason at all, alerting Khan's men.
- A View to a Kill: Max Zorin, the Big Bad of the film, has fallen to his death from the Golden Gate Bridge after a climactic fight with Bond. One of his Co-Dragons and Nazi Grandpa Dr. Mortner sees this, and fires his gun at Bond until it runs out of ammunition. Not to be stopped by that, he goes to the weapons stash...
You'd expect ...and pulls out one of the many submachine guns in two racks on the walls. Even if he misses with one, he can still use another set until he either kills Bond and the Girl of the Week or runs out of ammo.
Instead ...and pulls out a roll of dynamite. Which he then lights, and pauses halfway out of the blimp to pose maniacally for several seconds, giving Stacey enough time to warn Bond about it. Unsurprisingly, he gets blown to bits for his troubles.
- Licence to Kill
- Ed Killifer is dangling above the shark tank Leiter was lowered into earlier.
You'd expect him not making it worse for himself and surrender to Bond and turn himself to the authorities.
Instead he tries to bribe Bond with the Blood Money he was bribed to spring Sanches out of custody, which resulted having Bond's friend mauled by the shark and having his wife murdered and probably raped.
Results in a pissed Bond throwing the briefcase containing the Blood Money on him and making him shark food.
- Krest is shown the pile of Sanchez's money sitting in the decompression chamber that "he" stole (which Bond had planted there).
You'd Expect: That Krest would tell Sanchez that he didn't take it and was set up.
Instead: He says that it's "not (his) money", which earns the obvious response from Sanchez ("You're right, amigo. It is mine!"). While Krest was looking guilty as sin to begin with, his weak defense didn't exactly help his case (not helping is the fact that Krest had been drinking and was nervous being questioned by Sanchez to begin with).
End Result: Krest is locked in the decompression tank and is left for his head to explode.
- In Casino Royale (2006), Le Chiffre not only works as a banker for several terrorist organisations, but he also runs a pretty shady criminal operation on the side. In the operation, he buys up company shares, short sells them to other people, and then orchestrates terrorist attacks on the companies' most valuable assets to drive their stocks into bankruptcy, while he earns a swift profit.
You'd Expect: Le Chiffre to only use a special private fund of some sort to deal with this venture, just in case something goes wrong, one of his schemes is discovered and foiled, and he loses money. Granted, he might not be able to invest as much as he could, but he would at least avoid pissing off his clients by losing their money.
Instead: He dips into his own clients' money. As a result, when Bond sabotages his scheme to blow up the Skyfleet corporation's prototype airliner, Le Chiffre loses $101.2 million of the terrorists' money, and is forced to set up a poker tournament at Casino Royale in Montenegro to recover it, and both MI-6 and the CIA send agents from their own forces to infiltrate the game with the intention of then bankrupting Le Chiffre to get him to seek asylum with one of them.
It Gets Worse: Le Chiffre himself ends up getting attacked by a pissed off client who has found himself out of pocket.
Even Worse: When he ultimately loses the tournament, he attempts to torture Bond for the password to the winnings, and then is personally shot dead by Mr. White because Quantum no longer can trust Le Chiffre with handling their money. You can take it one step further and assume that Quantum probably would have still had Le Chiffre killed no matter what the outcome of the tournament.
- In Skyfall:
- Bond and MI-6 have just apprehended Raoul Silva, and watch him act smarmy and at ease in the interrogation room he's been placed in. Bond goes to check up on Q, who has plugged in Silva's computer into the MI-6 network and is blithely trying to crack the code. Bond realizes that the password to the system is an easily-guessed name for a subway station.
You'd Expect: That either Q or Bond would realize something's up (and that a one-word password hidden in plain sight is suspicious), or that Q wouldn't have hooked the villain's computer up to an internal network before trying to open it.
Instead: They don't. Silva's computer releases a virus that takes down all of MI-6's internal security, and Bond is forced to go on a long foot chase after Silva.
- Later on, Bond and M head out to the Skyfall estate to lay an ambush for Silva. Q and Tanner are in on the plan, and lay out a trail of breadcrumbs for Silva to follow. Mallory comes in and realizes what they're doing.
You'd Expect: That, as far as they know, a single agent and a much older woman (who presumably doesn't have combat experience) are on their own against Silva and an entire force of his men), and would either tell some of the MI-6 agents in person to go to the estate to provide backup, or at least give them some support, like the military, or the local police in that region.
Instead: Mallory thinks it's a great plan, and seems more concerned with what will happen if the Members of Parliament discover that they've been forging input files. To be fair, this IS James Bond they're talking about, and he does manage to kill off Silva and all his men, but with that said, for most of the film Bond had been clearly showing signs of Badass Decay (e.g. not passing MI-6's physical exam), which is a major theme in the movie, and in any case, he's unable to prevent M from being killed.
- SPECTRE agents, lead by Obenhauser have kidnapped James Bond, and strapped him in a torture machine.
You'd expect: Since SPECTRE has knowledge of the 00 program, they search Bond for any possible gadgets, including his watch.
Instead: They don't do that. Bond uses his watch as a bomb, helping him to escape.
- Bond and Madeline have just attacked SPECTRE's base, and gone back to London.
You'd expect: Bond and Madeline to stay together or for Madeline to leave to a safe house. Just because the base is destroyed, doesn't mean that there aren't any agents left.
Instead: Madeline goes on her own, and Bond lets her without an objection. As a result, she gets kidnapped by Obenhauser, who survived the destruction of the base.
- When SPECTRE's mooks kidnap Bond again. . .
: Them to tie his hands behind him.
: They tie his hands in front of him. Sure enough, he's able to grab a gun off one of them and kill them both.
- In the film's climax, Blofeld hides Madeline in MI6's former headquarters, which was condemned after Silva badly damaged it with an explosion in the previous film, and activates the timer for the demolition charges scattered throughout the building. This gives Bond the Sadistic Choice of either escaping to ensure his own survival, or trying to find Madeline and most likely dying when the building is destroyed.
You'd expect: Blofeld to hide Madeline somewhere where Bond wouldn't think of looking. Or hell, keep her somewhere else and just lie to Bond about her being in the building, so that he'll have a few million tons of rubble brought down on him during a fruitless search.
Instead: He hides her in probably the most obvious place possible, namely M's former office. Bond naturally finds her, escapes the building before it's destroyed, and then takes down Blofeld for good measure.