Top 10 Best James Bond Action Scenes

Top 10 Best James Bond Action Scenes

These Bond scenes will have you on the edge of your seat! For this list, we're looking at the most thrilling, elaborate, original and satisfying action sequences from Bond films over the decades. Our countdown includes “The Man with the Golden Gun”, “GoldenEye”, “Casino Royale”, and more!

Top 10 Action Scenes in James Bond Films

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Action Scenes in James Bond Films.

For this list, we’re looking at the most thrilling, elaborate, original and satisfying action sequences from Bond films over the decades. We will be excluding one on one fights however, as well as action scenes in which Bond plays a minor role.

This secret agent sure has a knack for overcoming the odds. Let us know your fave in the comments below!

#10: The Corkscrew Jump

“The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974)
We’ll admit it… this scene has a lot working against it. The slide whistle, the comic relief character, the clunky editing - it’s all pretty painful. But we ask that you overlook all the bad elements dragging this scene down and focus on what really matters here… THAT JUMP. Remember, this came out back in 1974, long before Fast and the Furious took car chases into overdrive. This barrel roll was a true feat of cinematic stunt work, the likes of which we’d never seen on-screen before. Computer-modeled in advance and shot in one take, it’s not only a crucial piece of Bond history, but a scene that impresses to this day.

#9: The Ski Chase

“On Her Majesty's Secret Service” (1969)
George Lazenby might not be the most memorable actor to have donned the mantle of 007, playing the character in just this one film, but he certainly forced people to pay attention in this scene. Okay… it was probably his stunt double, but still. The scene is downright exhilarating - a fast-paced nighttime chase scene that sees Bond tearing down a steep mountain slope pursued by an armed mob of trigger-happy henchmen. The quick editing and shaky camera, coupled with some impressive slaloming and ski jumps, make this one of the most unique chase scenes in the franchise.

#8: The Tanker Explosion Party

“Licence to Kill” (1989)
Driving a big rig seems like it would get boring really fast, but not when you’re sharing the road with Bond. When 007 takes the wheel, road hazards include rocket launchers, roadside assistance takes the form of a plane dropping sand on baddies, and tankers full of cocaine and gasoline explode left, right, and centre. It’s a manic sequence that feels perfectly suited to the cocaine-fueled 80s, and one that, to this day, makes us wonder… how much of that $32 million budget did they spend on this one scene?

#7: The Aston Martin DB5 Chase

“Goldfinger” (1964)
James Bond doesn’t need a whole bunch of gadgets to make a car chase interesting… but they sure add to the fun! In this particular scene, Sean Connery’s unflappable 007 calmly navigates a dark winding road at night. Even with carloads of gunmen hot on his trail, he’s able to crack a coy smile at Tilly Masterson as he shows off his car’s various gimmicks. Though the fun is soon brought to a sobering halt, a fan favorite gadget once again gives James the upper hand, leading to a thrilling second chase that sees him dodging bullets and taking turns at high speeds. This scene might not end in a win for Bond, but it made for one helluva ride. It's an early moment that set the bar high.

#6: The Lotus Esprit Chase

“The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977)
Another beautiful car, another thrilling chase. This time around however, it’s one of the villains who shows off some rather interesting equipment... Though the motorcycle-riding henchmen’s time on-screen was brief, at least his exit was made memorable with a little bit of humor courtesy of Roger Moore’s smooth as silk Agent 007. When the motorcycle is replaced by a car full of gunmen, it becomes Bond’s turn to show off his toys. Quickly dispatching them, Bond then faces a helicopter before… (wait for it) taking the fight underwater because the Esprit is also a submarine. Seriously… this one is almost TOO good.

#5: A Snowy Showdown

“The Living Daylights" (1987)
Speaking of cars that are more than meets the eye, how about this winter-ready Aston Martin? In Timothy Dalton’s debut outing as James Bond, he handled a snowy confrontation with slightly more elaborate style than a Lazenby on skis. A high powered laser in the hubcap, a pair of high-powered mini rockets - this car packs more than a few surprises. With the villains bringing out some impressive machinery of their own, Bond briefly disguises his car as a cabin before revealing some ski attachments for his car. Wonderfully elaborate and unabashedly over-the-top, it’s the sort of scene you can watch on repeat.

#4: Tank Chase

“GoldenEye” (1995)
Like Dalton, Pierce Brosnan made his Bond debut in style. Car chases with glamorous rides are always an attention grabber, but there’s just something so satisfying about Brosnan rolling through everything in his path in a tank, dressed in a suit no less. Drifting in a tank isn’t a thing, or at least it wasn’t until James Bond got behind the steering wheel. As General Arkady Grigorovich Ourumov instructs his driver to take one sharp turn after another, 007 simply demolishes the corners and alleyways in his herculean war machine. It’s truly a Bond action scene unlike any other.

#3: The Opening Chase Scene

"Quantum of Solace” (2008)
“Casino Royale” may have been better received, but there’s no denying the fact that “Quantum of Solace” started off on the right track. A good action movie should always begin in the heat of things, and right from the very opening shot, Bond’s predicament is red hot. The quick close ups make for a thrilling and deeply visceral experience. You can almost feel the impact of vehicles smashing against one another. While most Bond chase scenes take place on picturesque winding roads, there are rarely so many other cars to contend with, which makes this action sequence particularly nail-biting.

#2: Backseat Driving

“Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997)
Brosnan’s Bond was big on the gadgets, and for “Tomorrow Never Dies” in particular, he clearly had Q working overtime. Tearing through a parking garage jam-packed with gun-toting henchmen, Brosnan chauffeurs himself from the backseat of his ride using a phone / remote control. The car is tricked out like a 1960s Batman utility belt, and Bond is clearly having the time of his life playing with all his toys. As exhilarating as it is fun, this action sequence reminds us that even 00 agents can have a sense of humor.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

The Boat Chase
“Live and Let Die” (1973)

The Citroën 2CV Chase
“For Your Eyes Only” (1981)

Opening with a Fight on a Moving Train
“Skyfall” (2012)

Another Boat Chase
“The World Is Not Enough” (1999)

Building Collapse in Venice
“Casino Royale” (2006)

#1: The Parkour Chase

“Casino Royale” (2006)
It’s no secret that many of Bond’s best action sequences are car chases. However, when Bond got a soft reboot in 2006, he shook things up by delivering one of the most memorable on-foot pursuits seen in years. In a refreshing twist, Bond is clearly outmatched in terms of dexterity, but what he lacks in parkour skills he more than makes up for his with creativity and sheer grittiness. Everything about the scene feels new and exciting, from the way it embraces a more modern action aesthetic to its willingness to let Bond get dirty. Even against decades-worth of steep competition, it truly stands out.