The question of who is the greatest Bond and what is the greatest Bond movie of all time is one that is hotly disputed amongst film fans everywhere. Sean Connery seems to be the obvious choice, he created the Bond character as we know it, the way he walks, the way he talks, the classic lines, the beautiful women, the fantastic vehicles. But is the original always the best?
Up until Daniel Craig no-one for me had been able to compete with Connery. Moore’s Bond became far too camped up and made a series of dreadful films throughout the 80’s. Dalton and his movies were forgettable, Brosnan was a decent Bond but was let down by distinctly average scripts to work with (other than Goldeneye) There’s always George Lazenby, like a rockstar who dies after releasing their one fantastic album Lazenby only ever released one Bond film and On her Majesty’s secret service is one of my favourites of the whole series but unfortunately one film can not knock Connery off his perch.
So then there’s Daniel Craig. Craig was unveiled to the world as Mr Bond back in 2006 to a questionable response. Craig was Blonde, how could he play James Bond? The purists were not too happy with the appointment and Craig really needed to go out and prove himself to the world.
Then Casino Royale came out in 2006, set before the original Bond movies, the story set about reinventing Bond and showing us all how he became the person we know and love. The movie was certainly different, we saw a more gritty darker Bond but audiences loved it, the film was met with mass critical response and Craig looked to have answered his doubters.
Two years later came Quantum of Solace, the dreaded second album. Quantum of Solace was awful, there is no other way to describe that movie, rushed, poorly scripted, it was soulless, less of a Bond film and more of a poor Bourne replica. Fans began to worry that there was no place for Bond in modern cinema.
Then Sam Mendes came along, the American Beauty director set out to restore a bit of dignity to Bond and well he certainly achieved that with Skyfall. Memorable villains, some fantastic sequences and a nod to the Bond’s of old, Skyfall was everything us Bond fans could have wished for and has truly established Craig as one of the greats.
Is he greater than Connery? Not quite yet but if he can emulate the form shown in Casino Royale and Skyfall then we could well see ourselves questioning the views we held for so long. Craig has brought Bond into the 21st century, hopefully Sam Mendes sticks around and the two continue to show the world that Bond is not only still relevant but that he is still fantastic.