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Reality Ensues / James Bond

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  • The Magic Plastic Surgery that Ernst Stavro Blofeld, SPECTRE's head honcho and 007's biggest Arch-Enemy, frequently does to become Karma Houdini in all of his appearances in the books and films? Turns out it comes with the price of Sanity Slippage, having to constantly shuffle around different Supervillain Lairs in order to escape justice.
  • In Goldfinger, Tilly Masterson discovers that her sister, Jill, has been killed by Goldfinger. In a matter of a few weeks, the untrained woman rushes off to Switzerland with a rifle in hand in an attempt to assassinate Goldfinger. In the course of her attempt at a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, she ends up compromising Bond's position twice and fails to kill Goldfinger. The first attempt can be best summarized as an "Epic Fail". The second sees her tripping an alarm, which results in a lengthy chase that results in Bond getting captured and Tilly getting killed by Oddjob.
    • Bond does this to the plot of the original book in a speech to Goldfinger, pointing out his entire plan to rob Fort Knox is doomed. Using math and weights, Bond aptly states that it would take a bare minimum of 12 days to move the gold out of Fort Knox and Goldfinger has only two hours before every cop and federal agent in six states is on top of him. Ends up subverted, however, by Goldfinger's true plan to set off a dirty bomb and render all the gold unusable.
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  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The movies were filmed out of order with the books. OHMSS is the first time Bond and Blofeld meet in the books. That's why they don't know each other as well as they do in YOLT. This script was the most accurate to the book. These were the days before continuity nerds.
  • The Man with the Golden Gun: Hai Fat treats Francisco Scaramanga like a junior partner or subordinate with some disdain, but the assassin proves him spectacularly wrong and quickly pulls off a Klingon Promotion.
  • The Spy Who Loved Me: The traditional pre-credits action scene features the standard scene of Bond effortlessly disposing of a couple of enemy mook. Post credits... one of the mooks is given a name and a personal life, and later on Bond has to explain to his love interest why he had to kill her former lover.
  • In Octopussy, Bond is attempting to stop a train carrying a nuclear bomb. A fight on top of the train with one of the mooks ends with them both falling off. Bond survives and disposes of the mook... except he is now miles away from the bomb and alone without recourse to his usual gadgets and vehicles. He has great difficulty hitching a lift, has no way of contacting any authorities (no-one is going to break off their phone conversation to let the mad man raving about a bomb use the public phone) and attempting to jack a vehicle merely brings the entire West German police force down on him.
    • Orlov chases the train as it crosses the inner-German border. He apparently thought that as a Soviet general, the East German border guards would easily let him through, but they instead mistake him for a defector and kill him.
    • General Gogol criticizes Orlov for his plan to invade western Europe and weaken NATO, knowing that Orlov's plan would end up annihilating everyone on both sides and leaving no victors in the end. Gogol also holds Orlov in great contempt, feeling that his thirst for power is dangerous.
  • A View to a Kill: Turns out hiring an insane sociopath like Max Zorin is not a good idea. He's a product of Nazi eugenics experiments that the KGB raised, trained, and sent to the West as a deep cover agent. Once he becomes successful enough, he decides to screw them over and take a shot at global financial domination himself.
    • Zorin's death. Standing on a very narrow bridge cable while wildly swinging an axe around trying to kill 007 does not do wonders for one's physical or mental health.
  • Licence to Kill: Krest essentially ends up having to be the unfortunate mook who has to explain to his unimpressed boss exactly what happened when James Bond performed one of his awesome-but-completely-unbelievable stunts that completely fouls up the Big Bad's operations. Sanchez throws him inside his boat's decompression chamber and begins raising the pressure of the chamber. Once the pressure reaches a critical point, Sanchez, taking an axe, hacks through the air-pressure vent. The rapid decompression causes Krest's head to rapidly expand, then explode.
    • Fearful that this might attract the attention of his bosses, M revokes Bond's licence to kill after admonishing Bond for his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Franz Sanchez, who attacked Bond's CIA friend Felix Leiter in retaliation for having him arrested for narcotics smuggling.
  • In GoldenEye, 007's Cold War misogynistic personality only earns him derision from his female boss.
    • Bond frequently gets Reason You Suck Speeches from the Big Bad for clinging on to outdated ideals, his Failure Hero tendencies to lose allies on missions, Fatal Flaw for his status as The Casanova, and prioritizing his mission and loyalty to Queen and country over his friends.
    • On a major note, Goldeneye and any Bond film made afterwards frequently question the relevance of spies like 007 after the Cold War.
  • The World Is Not Enough: Bond is, first and foremost, an agent of MI-6 and will do anything for his country — the man is licensed to kill, after all. Elektra King thought she could get around this by playing on his affections. She was dead wrong.
  • Say what you will about the second half of the movie, the early parts of Die Another Day are surprisingly realistic. After getting made by Colonel Moon, Bond chases him down and off a cliff. He's then captured by the North Korean forces. Bond finds himself disavowed by MI-6 and proves utterly unable to break out on his own. He is only allowed to get back to his people when M trades him with a high-ranking terrorist, and even then M still refuses to send him back to the field, instead locking him up for a thorough screening program lest he be turned.
    • A side effect of the Magic Plastic Surgery that turned Colonel Moon into Gustav Graves is that he's now an insomniac, and thus must spend an hour each day in a REM machine to keep himself sane.
  • Casino Royale (2006): Bond storms into the embassy of a sovereign state to capture a terrorist. Not only does he get caught on camera, he also fails to capture the terrorist alive, which is what his original objective was, and it also results in a diplomatic snafu, to which he gets admonished for it.
  • In Skyfall, the elderly M is grazed by a bullet, and by not receiving proper medical attention, she bleeds out and dies soon after.
    • The operation in Istanbul to recover an encrypted hard drive containing the identities of every active undercover NATO agent ends in disaster, and Bond goes missing. With a top agent presumed dead and the information he sought to save sitting in the wrong hands, M is Hauled Before A Senate Sub Committee for her handling of the situation.
    • Kincaid is a Cool Old Guy, but he is still not psychologically up to being shot at with automatic weapons and is seen fumbling his shotgun reload badly while under fire.
    • Both Kincaid and Bond have trouble trying to navigate the Scottish moor when it is dark outside with little light.
    • In the beginning of the film, Bond finds an injured agent with a stomach wound, but is forced to leave him behind to continue the mission. Without immediate first aid, the agent is later revealed to have died.
  • Spectre has a bucketload of many:
    • 007's unauthorized mission in Mexico City to capture a Spectre thug causes another diplomatic snafu and he gets sacked for it.
    • The inquiry about the 00 program in Skyfall? Turns out M's speech and Silva's interruption didn't actually derail it. Heck, Spectre was behind it in the first place.
    • The bad guys get a vote, too. They can go to town with armored cars just like Bond does. Bond learns this the hard way when he does a fly-past at the kidnappers' motorcade in Austria and finds Mr. Hinx's Range Rover is able to No-Sell several 9mm rounds that Bond fires at it, but the Cool Gun Hinx uses does damage to the plane's fuselage.
    • While Bond goes after Spectre, Max Denbigh/C brings the launch of his Nine Eyes program to the vote before the delegates of the participating countries, but it doesn't go through because South Africa voted against the project. After the meeting, M bluntly tells Denbigh that the world is better off without Nine Eyes, claiming that field agents are better because they can make better judgments. However, Denbigh opens his computer, playing a recorded message from Bond telling Moneypenny to get more information about two key members of Spectre: Mr. White and Franz Oberhauser. After playing the message, C states that M seems not to be able to control his own men. When M is shocked that Denbigh would monitor his own agents, C replies that they are monitoring everyone.
    • Spectre secretly managed to build a NSA-style surveillance empire without everyone, including Bond, knowing about it.
    • The South Africans not voting for Nine Eyes causes Spectre to stage a terrorist attack in Cape Town so they could be secretly forced to join the Nine Eyes program. It's highly likely that Blofeld strong-armed them into joining his project under pain of creating more terrorist attacks and wrecking havoc if they kept refusing.
    • When Bond is searching Mr. White's house, he sees a security camera, and he doesn't deactivate it or delete the file. That is a really stupid mistake for a supposedly great spy. Blofeld later tries to use this against Bond in his Breaking Speech.
    • As Bond learns the hard way, the Girl of the Week doesn't immediately fall into his arms after being rescued, and the viewer can even see her terrified Reaction Shot. Nearly killing her by ramming his plane into the trunk of the Range Rover made her justifiably angry with 007. Speaking of Austria, although Bond obviously meant well in venturing there to protect Madeline, she is 100% right in pointing out that he led the bad guys to her in the first place.
    • The car Bond stole from the MI6 garage isn't massively locked and loaded with ammo like a typical Bond car, but of course it isn't. Safety protocol dictates that weapons be disarmed when not in use.
    • Blofeld seems to have full knowledge of how MI-6 works, yet he fails to take Bond's watch when preparing him for his torture session.
    • As 007 and the Bond Girl storm out of Blofeld's Supervillain Lair in Morocco while mowing down mooks left and right, Bond shoots at a gas valve. It's probably the most fragile Bond villain lair ever, as the entire base blows up in smithereens. Bond casually looks at the base exploding, as he's been used to trashing and destroying villain bases.
    • Played for Laughs when Bond finds out Moneypenny has a boyfriend. Other people have lives, too. Even Moneypenny says as much: "It's called a life. You should try it sometime."
    • In the film's climax, Madeleine parts ways with Bond, telling him that they cannot be together as long as Bond is still living the dangerous secret agent life, and Bond just let her go on her way despite just telling her earlier to remain at the safe house for her own safety until they finished the job. This leads to her capture by Blofeld, who straps her to a bomb inside the Vauxhall Cross building to taunt Bond and distract him long enough to make his escape. Yes, Bond has a good reason to believe that Blofeld has perished in his Morocco Base, but that doesn't mean SPECTRE is finished, and even if their leader had died, there are still hundreds of loyal agents at large who are ready to strike from anywhere and anytime, so Bond should at least be more concerned about her safety, especially after witnessing firsthand what they are capable of (don't forget, they were responsible for the deaths of M in Skyfall and Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, the two most important women in his life). It's like her relevance to the plot stopped after the 2nd act ended and the writers just hastily find a way to keep her in the story until it ends.
    • Don't forget Madeleine's decision to leave. She grew up under SPECTRE'S shadow and has just escaped several attempts on her life... and she still decides to walk away on a dark street while they were out there. Granted, she thought she was able to care for herself but still...
    • Bond sparing Blofeld at the end. Okay, they do have a Cain and Abel relationship, there were several people present, and it would've undermined M's message of "knowing when to take a life but when to spare one." The problem? Arresting someone who's a dangerous and walking threat to world security, smart enough to create chaos, was behind many of Bond's miseries since their teens, and has moles everywhere is really a dumb idea. IN FACT, he managed to create an NSA-style surveillance network under everyone's noses, and he is also somebody not to be trifled with. The Death Glare he gives to Bond and M shows that he will get his revenge.