Top 5 Most Believable Schemes
1. From Russia With Love: The idea of getting your hands on a decoder device from a defector from the enemy camp is classic spying. Adding the bit about using this as a trap to kill Bond and collect the device is the larger-than-life cherry on top. This is perhaps the most fitting scheme ever for a Bond film.
2. For Your Eyes Only: Again, the idea of spies going after important enemy technology is classic spying. Here they’ve added the idea of salvage, which is again very realistic. This is something you can imagine happening all the time, with the balance of power shifting with the outcomes.
3. Live and Let Die: First one’s free kid. Kananga’s plan is actually brilliant. He’s going to dump heroin on the market for free. All it will cost him is lost profit and a heavy fertilizer bill. But the benefits... oh, the benefits! This will drive out his competitors, solidifying his power as the drug dealer of choice in the US. Meanwhile, with heroin being free, he will hook tens of millions of newly-minted addicts. In effect, he will spur a junkie epidemic and then profit immensely from it. This is actually Google’s sales strategy for Android.
4. Thunderball: Although this plot has been copied repeatedly and greatly mocked by people who want to poke fun at the series, the reality is that if you could steal two nuclear bombs, you could hold the US hostage for a BUTTLOAD OF MONEY!!! The key is getting your hands on the bombs, which isn’t all that easy. But the method they use here is pretty ingenuous by substituting a visiting military observer who hijacks the flight.
5. Quantum of Solace: Controlling natural resources has always been a colonial game and to have a group of villains using their financial muscle, combined with threats of violence, to corner those markets and thereby control countries is actually highly credible. It’s also pretty dangerous if they start controlling enough things around the planet. This is basically the Soviet “client state” model privatized and done on the quiet.
Top 5 Least Believable
5. The Spy Who Loved Me: A nutjob billionaire wants to blow up the world so that the survivors will turn to him to rebuild the planet. Uh, yeah. Forget that he will have no ability to reach the survivors or to do any rebuilding. The problems here start with his plan to have a Russian submarine blow up New York and an American submarine blow up Moscow... and a British submarine hanging around so Bond can stage an escape. If two submarines each fire one missile, does it seem likely that the Russians and Americans will just start shooting wildly or is it more likely they have already discussed what to do when their missing subs suddenly turn up?
4. Diamonds Are Forever: Rather than just launching his own satellite into space, Blofeld engages in a Rube Goldberg scheme just to get NASA to launch his satellite for him: “Nah nah! Fooooled you!” That satellite then uses a “laser” which doesn’t exist to blow up targets he could never find to blackmail the world. It’s a good thing the CIA can’t find him hidden away in the hotel in which they know he’s hiding.
3. You Only Live Twice: I love the idea of stealing spaceships, but this just wasn’t possible. You can’t launch a space mission without the world knowing where you came from. Meeting something in orbit is a lot harder than it looks. And nothing in the 1960s was capable of landing again in a reusable shape.
2. Moonraker: So we build a secret space launch facility that we use to build a space station the size of an NFL stadium in space, which we somehow hide so no one can see either the launches or the station. And why do this? So we can drop five snow globes into the atmosphere to poison everyone on Earth. Uh huh. Never mind that 6,000 nuclear missiles fired at once wouldn’t wipe out humanity. Never mind that falling snow globes is not a delivery system for poison gas or that gas is notoriously impossible to use even at ground level, much less from high altitude. The logistics are just laughable... might as well be wishing humanity into the cornfield.
1. Die Another Day: Let’s see, the North Koreans, who struggle to build mud huts, build a satellite that emits more power than the Starship Enterprise, allowing them to send down a wall of flames a mile wide. Any why do this? So they can blow up some landmines they could blow up just as easily with a small artillery barrage. Whoever came up with this idea should be savagely beaten with the script.