The Very Best Bond
The Best Actor to play Bond, helps create the most well rounded characterization.
I know anyone besides Connery is sacrilege to Bond devotees. But I am not a Bond fan. I always thought the idea was much better than the execution. I have enjoyed various films along the way. Usually followed by many that proved hugely disappointing.
In just four films, Craig's Bond was part of two of the very best movies in the series. With some moments of depth Connery was rarely given the chance to try. (If only Connery had done On Her Majesty's Secret Service.) Craig is often credited as, "the best actor to ever play Bond." Despite Connery's Oscar and Dalton's theater credentials, I believe this to be true. He is in my opinion the best Bond. And the next one, while having big shoes to fill, will enter a better role because of his predecessor.
The Most Textured Characterization
A big reason Craig's Bond, is the best version of the character, is because you actually buy that his Bond is a tortured guy.
There might have been glimpses of this from others. But as soon as you would see character development from a different version of 007, it would quickly fall back into the shallow, cliched, albeit fun version of an invincible man, who has equal tolerance for fighting off hangovers and we assume, STDs.
The rarest of things in a Bond movie. A woman who is his equal.
Maybe the first actor that attempted to show Bond as fully human, was Timothy Dalton. And I have some regard for Dalton's portrayal.
The Living Daylights is a strong, underrated movie. Dalton decided with this film (and the weaker, License To Kill) to show the dark side of Bond. Or as much as the filmmakers would allow. Dalton was not a bad Bond at all. The issue was he was more comfortable being brooding, than acting like he was ever having any fun. Finding that balance would not come until later.
Dalton was actually offered the role, after Connery, at age 24. He turned it down because he thought he was too young. Plus he admits he did not want to follow Connery. It would prove hard enough just to follow Moore.
Pierce Brosnan was to be a sure thing. A guy who seemed to be born to play Bond. And the first film, Goldeneye was very well received. But then every film that came after, would range from weak to awful.
Like Moore's movies, Brosnan's films had turned into a caricature; practically self parody.
It Looked Good On Paper
Top 5 reviewed Bond Films via Rotten Tomaotes
- Dr. No (Connery)
- Casino Royale (Craig)
- Goldfinger (Connery)
- From Russia With Love (Connery)
- Skyfall (Craig)
Worst reviewed Bond Films via Rotten Tomaotes
25. A View To A Kill (Moore)
24. Octopussy (Moore)
23. The Man With The Golden Gun (Moore)
22. The World Is Not Enough (Brosnan)
21. Die Another Day (Brosnan)
20. Tomorrow Never Dies (Brosnan)
Bond is a movie series that has lasted since 1962, and is going stronger than ever. It is iconic in large part because of Connery's early portrayal, and memory of movie fans that forgive mediocrity. Honestly, the majority of the Bond films are mediocre.
Two of Daniel Craig's Bond films have been so. But two, (Casino Royale and Skyfall) are among the very best the series has ever offered. And Craig's Bond has been the richest, fullest, truest character of them all.
Connery got it all started, and for that he will probably always be considered by most to be the best.
But the man that jump-started it again, should get some credit too.
People were upset when Craig was cast. And now many wish he would stick around.
And for the first time since I began watching these films, I care where they go with the series next.