Daniel Craig as 007 checks out London in "Skyfall."
By Rob Lowman Los Angeles Daily News
LOS ANGELES -- Ever since first seeing the bikini-clad Honey Ryder rise seductively from the sea and walk, as she sang, onto a Jamaican beach in the 1962 adventure "Dr. No," we have been used to breathtaking scenery in James Bond films.
That particular 007 (Sean Connery) was so taken with the beauty of the moment (Ursula Andress) that he even joined in, crooning "Underneath the mango tree, my honey and me."
The following year found Bond running around Turkey in "From Russia With Love." And Italy, too, including a visit to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice. (There were lots of sighs over Mr. Connery.)
It's no different of an experience in the latest Bond installment, "Skyfall," which includes more adventures from the globe-hopping spy.
Over the years, 007 has trekked the world to chase down villains -- usually in glamorous places where women wear slinky dresses, or in tropical locales where they wear next to nothing. For that reason, the Bahamas have been a particular favorite spot for Bond movies, and you have to wonder what the films have done for the tourist trade there.
There have been other warm-weather locales, of course, including Brazil and Miami. Most of Europe has been covered -- Switzerland, France including Paris, Greece, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway, Monaco, Iceland, Russia, Montenegro, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Throw in some trips to Japan, India, Morocco, Egypt, Thailand, Hong Kong and Bolivia and you have a very well-traveled secret agent.
Bond has even come to the United States -- Las Vegas, New York, New Orleans, San Francisco and Kentucky ("Goldfinger").
His only trip to Los Angeles was in the 1971 film "Diamonds Are Forever," with a brief stop at LAX and where the Universal Studios parking lot served as headquarters for the bad guy.
In "Skyfall," the spy returns to Istanbul, Turkey, for a spectacular chase through the city. Directed by Sam Mendes, the film's sense of the exotic is so palatable you might think about getting on a plane to see for yourself.
The scenery is also stunning among the high-rises of Shanghai, China. And there are extended sequences in the streets of London and the countryside of Scotland that are equally impressive.
Bond movies have always been something of a travelogue anyway: Ah, here's what you can do if you have the means and the looks (like Mr. Connery or the current 007, Daniel Craig).
But most of us know we are not the suave spy, that we are likely to come off more like the bungling American tourists used as comic relief in some of the films.
So, instead, we can sit back, take in a Bond film and afterward dream of tropical beaches and softly sing "Underneath the mango tree, my honey and me."