James Bond villains always adhere to a certain formula. They possess a maniacal plan, seemingly endless resources, unnecessarily intricate schemes, henchmen in matching attire, grandiose delusions, and a knack for consistently failing to eliminate James Bond. However, there is one crucial element that distinguishes a truly great Bond villain plot – it must be absolutely bonkers. It should involve world domination, genocide, mind-boggling amounts of money, and be so outrageously extravagant that you can’t help but believe in it solely due to its sheer madness.
Each Bond villain has their own unique scheme, and they all possess their own brand of craziness. Nevertheless, some schemes are undeniably more outlandish than others. Let’s take SPECTRE, for instance, whose sole aspiration is to extort enormous sums of money from the world. Is that as wild as Drax from Moonraker, who aims to eradicate the entire population and create a new world order with a superhuman race? And we mustn’t overlook Goldfinger and his obsession with gold – does he possess the same fervor for random acts of violence as Max Zorin from A View to a Kill?
As we eagerly anticipate the release of the 25th official Bond film, No Time To Die, it presents the perfect opportunity to rank each Bond villain’s insane scheme based on its level of sheer insanity.
And lastly, we come to the most polarizing Bond villain of all: Dr. No from “Dr. No.”
1. Hugo Drax in “Moonraker”
From his giant space station orbiting high above the earth, industrial tycoon and eugenicist Hugo Drax aims to eliminate the entire human race. He plans to do this by using a deadly toxin derived from a rare orchid. Drax envisions a future where he and his so-called master race will return to repopulate the world once it is rid of what he deems as inferior beings.
How Crazy Is It?
Well, it’s definitely beyond crazy. The movie “Moonraker” is undeniably absurd, and it requires an equally absurd plot to drive it forward, otherwise it would just be a tedious experience. Drax’s genocidal plan, inspired by neo-Nazi ideals, certainly fits the bill. It lacks any logical coherence and is completely unrealistic. But let’s be honest, when has anything related to James Bond, especially the Bond movies of the 70s, ever needed plausibility to be enjoyable?
2. Max Zorin in “A View to a Kill”
The Plan: Zorin, a super-rich industrialist with a dark past involving the Nazis and the KGB, hatches a diabolical plan. He aims to detonate a massive bomb beneath a crucial junction in California’s fault lines, causing a devastating flood in Silicon Valley. This catastrophe would leave him as the sole manufacturer of microchips worldwide.
How Crazy Is It? Strip away the fancy details, and Zorin’s scheme boils down to the typical “rich guy gets richer” plot employed by other Bond villains. However, it is the outlandish elements that earn Zorin’s plan a spot in the Bond villain Hall of Fame for sheer lunacy.
Zorin is undeniably unhinged, mercilessly dispatching his henchmen and spouting off insane one-liners. His scheme isn’t just about destroying any fault line; it involves obliterating the largest one with a nuclear weapon. The plot includes an Amazonian hit-woman, a deranged Nazi scientist, rigged horse races, international assassins, and a climactic showdown above the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Evil plans don’t come much crazier than this.
In reality, Zorin’s scheme would have absolutely no chance of success. Microchips are not manufactured in Silicon Valley, but rather overseas, where cheap labor is utilized. Nevertheless, within the world of Bond, Zorin’s plan is downright bonkers.
3. Stromberg in “The Spy Who Loved Me”
The Plan: Anarchist shipping kingpin Karl Stromberg manages to steal two nuclear submarines, one from the UK and another from the Soviet Union. His grand idea is to utilize the missiles on these submarines to launch nuclear attacks on the superpowers. By doing so, he hopes to create a scenario where both countries believe the other is responsible, resulting in their mutual destruction. In preparation for this catastrophic event, Stromberg has built an enormous underwater city. This underwater city is intended to serve as a safe haven for the new society that will supposedly emerge from the ruins of the world destroyed by World War III.
How Crazy Is It?
Stromberg’s plan is essentially a recycled version of the “get the superpowers to nuke each other” concept previously seen in the movie You Only Live Twice. However, his genocidal scheme crumbles not solely due to the interference of James Bond (though that certainly plays a role), but due to a fundamental scientific fact: water is not impervious to fallout. The radiation resulting from thousands of nuclear detonations would undoubtedly contaminate the oceans, rendering his underwater city uninhabitable. Oops.
4. Unnamed Asian Country in “You Only Live Twice”
The plan is quite outlandish: an anonymous Asian empire, specifically China, aims to instigate World War III between the United States and Russia. To carry out this scheme, they enlist the help of SPECTRE to steal space capsules using a rocket base hidden in a volcano in Japan. The intention is to make the U.S. and Russia blame each other, leading to a nuclear war where China would emerge as the ultimate victor.
One might consider this plan utterly crazy, not to mention lacking in logic. It is unclear why China would assume that they would remain unaffected by the devastating consequences of a nuclear war. What kind of world, ravaged by nuclear fallout, would they be seeking to dominate? Additionally, it is puzzling what SPECTRE stands to gain from this elaborate scheme. Would it be money, power, or status? The answer seems to be absolutely nothing.
In the film “You Only Live Twice,” the filmmakers deviated significantly from the plot of the original book. The book focused on a Japanese suicide garden, which was deemed uninteresting and unfit for adaptation. This marked the beginning of a tradition in Bond films, where they would diverge greatly from their source material.
5. SPECTRE in “Diamonds Are Forever”
The Plan: Ernst Stavro Blofeld is back at it again, attempting a complicated scheme to smuggle diamonds from Amsterdam to a massive laboratory in Las Vegas. His ultimate goal? Building a satellite that will utilize these diamonds to focus a super laser capable of holding the world hostage. And to top it off, Blofeld resorts to using clones and undergoing plastic surgery to conceal his identity.
How Crazy Is it?
This plan is undoubtedly insane, but strangely mundane at the same time. Blofeld and his organization, SPECTRE, have already held the world ransom countless times, rendering such acts almost meaningless. Moreover, let’s not forget the exorbitant costs involved in Blofeld’s scheme. A colossal laser, diamonds, clones, armies of henchmen, and a satellite – all of this doesn’t come cheap. Will Blofeld even be able to recover his expenses with this plan? Wouldn’t it be more practical to hoard the stolen diamonds and manipulate the global market? Or perhaps capitalize on the cloning technology for financial gain?
6. Colonel Moon in “Die Another Day”
The plan in “Die Another Day” is quite outrageous. Moon, presumed dead by Bond, undergoes a “DNA transplant” and adopts the persona of a British playboy. While in plain sight, he devises a scheme to construct and launch a massive satellite armed with a laser. The purpose? To create a path through the dangerous Demilitarized Zone in Korea, filled with mines, enabling North Korea to invade and conquer the South.
It may sound wild, but the plan is even crazier than it initially appears. It involves conflict diamonds, assumed identities, double agents, and even a flying headquarters. And let’s not forget about the giant laser.
The plot of “Die Another Day” borrows elements from numerous Bond films that came before it. However, what makes it all the more absurd is that it serves a rather mundane purpose – clearing a minefield.
7. SPECTRE in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”
The Plan: SPECTRE leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld has come up with a wild scheme. He wants to send out 12 brainwashed women from his secret hideout in the mountains to spread germ warfare and sterilize all grains and livestock. On top of that, he’s hoping to get amnesty for his past crimes and be recognized as a count.
How Crazy Is It?
Well, it’s pretty out there. Blofeld has gone to great lengths for this plan. He’s built an entire mountain lair, trained a private army, undergone plastic surgery to change his appearance, and brainwashed a dozen women. And all this just to make cows and wheat infertile, in the hopes that the world will forgive him. It’s a complex and imaginative plan, but is it really worth all the effort for such a small reward?
8. Raoul Silva in “Skyfall”
The Plan: Former MI6 agent Silva comes up with a complex scheme to steal a confidential list and manipulate James Bond. He wants Bond to become involved with his sex worker girlfriend, leading to Bond capturing him. Silva’s ultimate goal is to break free, have Bond chase him through London, disguise himself as a cop, and kill Bond’s boss M for betraying him in the past.
How Crazy Is It?
The revenge aspect of the scheme seems reasonable, but Silva’s plan relies heavily on sheer coincidence and characters behaving exactly as he needs them to. This takes the plan beyond crazy and into the realm of absurdity. Perhaps the craziest part is that the plan is essentially unnecessary. Silva could have easily killed M with the gas explosion he caused at MI6 earlier in the film. Instead, he chooses to add unnecessary complexity, expense, and risk to achieve what he could have done more simply and safely.
9. Auric Goldfinger in “Goldfinger”
The plan concocted by gold magnate and notorious golf cheat Auric Goldfinger is called “Operation Grand Slam.” Its aim is to detonate a nuclear bomb within Fort Knox, thereby radiating the gold reserves held within and skyrocketing Goldfinger’s own supply to an unbeatable value. Shockingly, both the Chinese government and the American Mafia are involved in this audacious scheme.
One might think that such a plan is completely insane, but it is actually less far-fetched than the original novel on which it is based. In the book, Goldfinger intends to steal the gold from Fort Knox, a task that would require weeks of meticulous execution in real life. Comparatively, Goldfinger’s plan to gas the garrison at Fort Knox, utilize his private army to breach the vault, and plant the bomb seems more practical, albeit still quite mad. Interestingly, this revised scheme is more grounded than the one imagined by Ian Fleming.
It is worth noting that Goldfinger’s plan may have had a greater chance of success if he had refrained from dragging James Bond around and revealing his entire scheme to him. Bond overhears the plan in its entirety as Goldfinger explains it to a group of Mafiosos, whom he subsequently gasses for no apparent reason other than to give Bond an opportunity to eavesdrop. Perhaps, avoiding such unnecessary risks would have been beneficial for Goldfinger.
10. Kamal Khan/General Orlov in “Octopussy”
The plan is quite outlandish and difficult to grasp. Even those who are familiar with James Bond movies cannot make sense of the plot in
. It is filled with numerous plot holes, inconsistencies, unanswered questions, and illogical gaps. The movie features smuggling operations, a deranged villain, a group of women criminals, and wild chase scenes. The plan itself is just another element of madness in this chaotic story.
11. Trevelyan in “GoldenEye”
The plan is quite elaborate. Alec Trevelyan, a disgruntled former MI6 agent, gets captured by the KGB while on a mission in the Soviet Union. From there, he devises a plot involving multiple steps. First, he aims to steal an EMP-proof Tiger Helicopter. Then, he plans to acquire the EMP-firing GoldenEye satellite. With these in his possession, he intends to hack into the Bank of England and steal its money. Finally, he would use the GoldenEye to destroy the Bank, thereby wiping out England’s economy. This whole scheme is motivated by his desire to avenge his Lienz Cossack parents, who were betrayed by England after World War II. Complicated, right?
Now, let’s talk about how crazy this plan actually is. It’s completely bonkers! It’s a chaotic mix of theft, destruction, revenge, and murder. Not to mention, it doesn’t make a lick of sense. After destroying England’s economy, what does Trevelyan plan to do with its money? And who even came up with this plan in the first place? Was it the KGB or Trevelyan himself? How did they even find out about the GoldenEye satellite?
While this plan may be entertaining to watch in a movie, it’s pretty headache-inducing when you try to make sense of it.