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Mistakes That'll Change The Way You See James Bond Movies

There will probably never be another movie character as cool as James Bond, or a movie series as thrilling and crowd-pleasing as the one about the almost superheroic British super-spy commonly known by his designation "007." Over the course of more than two dozen movies dating back more than 50 years, actors Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig have imbued the character with skills like grace under pressure, weapons handling, and infallible charm. Thanks to Bond, and Bond movie must-haves like explosions, calculating bad guys, martinis, sweeping theme songs, and awesome gadgets, the 007 movies always hit big with audiences around the world.

But hey, James Bond is human, so are the people who make the movies about him, and humans slip up every now and again. These films are massive, expensive productions, and something is bound to go wrong once in a while. Here are some Bond movie mistakes that wound up in the final cut of the films.

Spectre quietly bombed

If James Bond is anything, he is forever calm and collected, allowing him to remain goal-oriented in finding the bad guy and defusing a bad situation even while something dreadful is in the midst of happening. Apparently that attitude can permeate his surroundings and spread to others, because that's exactly what happens in the opening scenes of Spectre. A massive explosion goes off in the middle of a densely populated part of Mexico City, sending smoke and debris flying into the air, and a building tumbling to the ground. This would be a horrible situation for a city at any time, but this happens during a parade. Yes, parades are loud and busy, but not so loud that nobody would see, hear, or feel the effects of a huge explosion. This all seems to have slipped the filmmakers' minds — not even the local police can be torn away from their parade-protecting (and watching) duties to realize that there's been some kind of bombing a couple of blocks over.

Bond… in… spaaaaace

Just how popular — and influential — was Star Wars in the late 1970s? George Lucas' story set a long time ago in a galaxy far away permanently took space-oriented science fiction to the top of the commercial mainstream, and it forced every studio in Hollywood to get on board. Even James Bond, arguably the biggest movie franchise in the world up until Star Wars, had to play the game and make a space project. That movie was the 1979 hit Moonraker, which found 007 (Roger Moore) outside of Earth for the first time. 

Moonraker went the 2001: A Space Odyssey route, framing its story in the technical realities of astronauts and space programs. But filmmakers still didn't get the details right. In a scene when two spacecrafts glide toward one another and dock, audiences hear the very satisfying and reassuring sound of the ships connecting. That sound was added in by editors, because they had to — a close look at the film shows that they totally miss each other.

A leap of viewers' observational skills in GoldenEye

The James Bond film series returned to the big screen for the first time in six years with 1995's GoldenEye (a pretty good spy movie before it became a classic N64 game). The franchise endured a necessary facelift, including the hiring of debonair Remington Steele star Pierce Brosnan as Bond, and the filmmakers tried a little something new with the franchise's traditional opening action sequence. Because it was released in 1995, when extreme sports were a charming and highly marketable novelty, James Bond bungee jumps his way down a dam. It's exciting and fun to watch, and Brosnan (or rather his stuntman) cascading through the air is a sight indeed. But a sequence this elaborate takes a long time to film, and apparently the production put it together over several months. For while the big jump takes place in the spring, after 007 lands and completes his mission, he escapes on top of a mountain... in the middle of winter. (Also, the dam is nowhere in sight.)

James Bond, master ventriloquist

Overall, there were some audio problems in both the planning and execution of The Living Daylights, the James Bond outing from 1987 which finds 007 (Timothy Dalton) running from and after some especially cutthroat KGB operatives. The mood is set via "The Living Daylights," the requisite Bond movie theme courtesy of... a-ha, the Norwegian band that scored its most memorable hit with "Take On Me" two years before the release of this movie. (It's a serviceable song, but a non-worthy follow-up to the previous Bond song, the classic "A View to a Kill" by Duran Duran, from the movie of the same name.)

But the real problem from the 007 sound booth: syncing problems like the one seen at the start of this clip, in which Bond is heard quipping that an adversary "got the boot" out of his plane... although you never see Dalton's lips move. He's no dummy, but he'd clearly make a heck of a ventriloquist.

James Bond is all wet (except when he isn't)

Along with a mysterious and alluring "Bond Girl" or two, an epic theme song, and 007 smirkily ordering his martini "shaken, not stirred," there are certain elements that filmmakers have to include in a James Bond movie or fans will riot. One element high on the list of Bond must-dos: a thrilling chase scene. Generally placed at the beginning of a film, a high-speed pursuit sets the tone of the high-stakes spy drama to come, while also showing off how cool and adept James Bond really is, because he can keep up with the villains on whatever method of conveyance he has at his immediately disposal.

In Quantum of Solace, the vehicle of choice for the centerpiece chase sequence is boats. It does not disappoint, with lots of crazy stunts, jumps, and property damage. It also goes on for quite a while, and maybe even longer than audiences think. That's the only way to explain how James Bond (Daniel Craig) can have hair that rapidly cycles from dry to wet and back again. (Or, you know, it's a continuity error.)

What a Turkey

And then sometimes, those classic James Bond movie vehicular pursuits don't seem to take enough time at all. The audience came to see an entree of action with a couple of side dishes of revving motors and stone-faced, tuxedo-wearing spies acting like the whole thing is no big deal, and Bond films best deliver. But if such a sequence from Skyfall had been presented in real time, it would've made for a movie that was several hours long.

One of the most exciting moments in Skyfall comes via a precarious motorcycle chase. As Bond (Daniel Craig) and an enemy pursuant race through the streets of Turkey (and use any buildings or structures that happen to be conveniently near the road as ramps), they travel between Istanbul and Adana over about 15 seconds of screen time. Forgetting your Turkish geography? Those two cities are about 450 miles apart. So either those are rocket-powered and/or teleporting motorcycles... or Skyfall just had a really great locations scout and a crackerjack film editor.

They couldn't call it Arithmetic Royale

James Bond movies have always been the action thriller for the thinking person, loaded as they are with intricate layers of spy intrigue and character motivations rooted in esoteric history and geopolitics. But that doesn't mean there are on-set fact-checkers to make sure that every little detail is right. For while 007 movies usually get a lot of stuff correct, filmmakers made a pretty remarkable math error in Casino Royale.

In the climactic casino scene, players go "all in" in a high-stakes poker game. Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini) remarks that there's a total of $115 million on the table. The first two players throw down a total of $11 million, while James Bond (Daniel Craig) places a $41.5 million bet. Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), ostensibly some kind of math wiz, needed to put down just $51.5 million to cover the other players' bets. And yet, despite his so-called numbers genius status, he put down $12 million more than he has to. Hey, math is hard.

The bewitching Léa Seydoux

As anyone who has ever seen the acclaimed Blue is the Warmest Color, or who votes for her films at the Cannes Film Festival or the César Awards (the French equivalent of the Academy Awards), it's clear that actress Léa Seydoux has magical powers (at least in terms of her acting). After a slew of well-received roles in arthouse movies and appearances in blockbusters like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Beauty and the Beast, Seydoux landed her highest-profile role yet: Madeleine Swann, the "Bond Girl" in Spectre. From Pussy Galore to Strawberry Fields, Bond Girls have always been enchanting, but Seydoux is probably the first who can bend time and space. During one scene, she dramatically enters a well populated train car. Then, in the next shot, everybody is just plain gone. In another scene, Seydoux begins the sequence wearing one outfit, and in the blink of an eye, she's wearing totally different clothes for no discernible reason.

When James Bond was totally hover it

The James Bond franchise seemed to be running out of steam in 2002, when Pierce Brosnan plodded his way through his fourth film as 007, Die Another Day. At least filmmakers were trying to stay hip and relevant by including an action sequence that found the super-spy engaged in a death-defying chase with the use of a hovercraft — you know, those cool, super-loud boat-like things that are most effective when used above water. But James Bond is a rebel and doesn't play by the rules, because he uses that hovercraft on dry land. He really doesn't have a choice (if he doesn't want to die), and it's also the most effective tool for the job — if he traveled over that road with a conventional, wheels-to-the-ground-type vehicle, like, say, a car or motorcycle, the mines buried in it would blow up and kill or at least dismember him. Or maybe he didn't need to use a hovercraft whatsoever, because some trucks roll right over those same landmine-laden roads with no problem.

Making a splash

James Bond knows his way around anything with a steering wheel better than those Top Gear guys and Jay Leno put together. (British spy school must have a pretty big garage.) So far, we've learned that he's adept with boats, motorcycles, hovercrafts, as well as the usual assortment of sports cars. The legendary spy is so skilled with things that go that he can even navigate the scenery with personalized warcraft. For example, in The World Is Not Enough, Bond (Pierce Brosnan) needs to nail those bad guys, and in a hurry, so he hops into a little speedboat outfitted with a double torpedo cannon. Not only does he negotiate the water with ease and swiftness, he also figures out how to fire a hugely destructive torpedo out of his new toy. That doesn't do the trick, and to show that he means business, Bond fires a second water missile. A closer inspection of the film, however, reveals that 007 fired from the same torpedo chamber twice, rather than once from each. So that means he either personally reloaded that torpedo holder somehow... or the filmmakers goofed.