So I’m starting out this Bond week with the big one, the article that just has to be written when talking about 007, and the one that every fan inevitably has strong opinions about; who makes the best James Bond? This post marks the start of a week where my blog will become almost entirely concerned with James Bond, there will be a new article every day leading up to Skyfall’s UK release date, the 26th of October, and a variety of topics will be covered by articles, opinion based rankings and a guest review. For now though here is my order of the worst to best official James Bond’s:
6. George Lazenby - It won’t come as a surprise to many that I’m putting Lazenby last on my list; with only one Bond film to his name (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) he never really stood much of a chance. I give him credit for portraying an emotionally affected Bond quite well, but still he makes for a rather dull interpretation, and that one real strength that he had has now been undercut by both Dalton and Craig, who have both since handled emotional Bond storylines and have made much better jobs of it.
5. Roger Moore – I enjoy a lot of Moore’s films and do appreciate his angle on Bond, but he is coming in at 5th place because he never really presented a multilayered interpretation of the character. His gags and one-liners are great, but they come to define his portrayal and consequently I can never really buy him as a killer – he just doesn’t have many levels beyond the surface display of humour and so ranks lower down on this list. For Your Eyes Only makes for interesting viewing as he does play a darker and potentially more complex version of his character, however that alone cannot bring his Bond to measure up against the other four remaining interpretations. He’s still fun though, and contributed several great classic Bond films to the franchise.
4. Timothy Dalton – I’m a big fan of Dalton and it feels bad placing him in the lower half of this list, but his competition is just too great. Could be considered as the Bond who was in the wrong moment considering how well Craig’s similar interpretation has gone down recently. I’m more a fan of him than his films as it happens, and to an extent I wish that he could have played the part for a little longer, just to see him in a few more scripts and settings. Dalton’s a great Bond though, and one who is often unfairly brushed over or forgotten.
3. Daniel Craig - I love Craig’s work in both of his Bond films, despite Quantum of Solace being rather disappointing overall. I think that he plays the darker and more emotional Bond just a little better than Dalton did, but it’s a personal preference over the two interpretations really. Also I think that Craig looks at home with whatever lines he is saying or within whatever he’s wearing, whereas Dalton looked awkward in a tux and his delivery of the one-liners often feels just a little off to me. They are both great but I think Craig has the edge over Dalton – it also helps that he had the excellent Casino Royale with which to make his mark.
2. Sean Connery – He’s the one every other Bond is compared against and often tops people’s lists, and it’s easy to see why; he’s great at both the physical and charming sides to Bond, he’s incredibly cool and holds a special place as the first of the official Bond actors. His Bond’s treatment of women can be more than a little tough to swallow, but that really has to be attributed to a sign of the times as opposed to his character. It’s been hard choosing between these top two choices and Connery stars in some of my absolute favourite Bond films, objectively however I’m going to have to place him in second place.
1. Pierce Brosnan - The perfect mixture of all the other Bonds so far, Brosnan’s interpretation consistently feels fresh whilst also classic; he completely delivers as a charming, swarve secret agent who is physically strong and is completely at ease delivering a one-liner, looks great in a suit, and who also strongly convinces as a coldblooded killer. He may not have that rawness that Craig brings to the role but then again he shouldn’t, he is a polished and experienced 00 agent and fits in more with Connery’s style here. He also has an emotional undercurrent which unfortunately is barely exploited within his films, there’s enough signs that Brosnan’s Bond could have demonstrated this further if required, and that’s one of the many tricks that I think they missed when making Die another Day. Perhaps not placing Connery at the top of my list will seem controversial, but I think that Brosnan just manages to come across as a stronger, and more developed character than Connery ever did. There is very little between them however.
Potential future Bonds:
I also thought that it would be fun to suggest a couple of future Bond actors and hear your thoughts and suggestions below. So here are three actors who I think make interesting future candidates for the James Bond role:
3. Benedict Cumberbatch – I’m not entirely convinced but his name is already being thrown around a lot as both a future Bond, and Bond villain. He is a great actor, and would no doubt take the character in a new direction whilst still being able to handle both the quips and Bond’s colder side equally. The biggest problem that I see with Cumberbatch is that he’s already strongly tied to another iconic British character; Sherlock Holmes. Can we really have the same man playing both Sherlock and Bond?
2. Tom Hardy – Anyone who knows me won’t be surprised to see this man’s name on my list, an incredibly strong actor, he could easily play a no-nonsense but also humorous Bond, think of his Eames character in Inception. The worry is that he will be too similar to Craig’s portrayal of the character; physically dominating and emotionally driven. Then again he is such a capable actor that he could probably handle almost any kind of Bond that they wished to try out on him – a very strong contender in my eyes.
1. Michael Fassbender – My current top choice for playing Bond after Craig, his version of the character seems a little harder to determine but is almost guaranteed to be great. He has had a fantastic run of great roles recently and deserves all of the acclaim that he has been receiving. Fassbender is a wonderful actor, and one that I think could be relied upon to take 007 in multiple different directions.
So do you have any suggestions for future Bonds? How much do you agree/disagree with my opinion on who makes the best Bond so far? Leave a comment below, and remember to vote for the best Bond film in the sidebar on the right and also to look out for tomorrow’s Bond post!