Spectre the latest installment of the 007 franchise has been released. I saw it opening weekend and for the first time I got to take my boy to a James Bond movie which in America is something of a right of passage. It still befuddles me that Americans love Bond so much when he is in fact a British creation. He is about as un-American as a movie hero comes and yet we love him. Weird.
Where Spectre will fall in rank with the other James Bond movies is almost too much to measure. Personally I think it will fall in my top ten favorite Bond films, but it was not the best Daniel Craig 007 adventure. My favorite Craig film is and will always be Casino Royale. I know Skyfall made a lot of money…but it ranks dead last when I look at the four Daniel Craig Bond movies. The plot was convoluted, and I unlike most did not much care for Raoul ranked 9th on a list of Bond 9th Villains done by Esquire. I know I know Skyfall insane amount of money over 150 million in profit and given the big budgets of any singular Bond installment that is really saying something. However, like always this is an art versus commerce argument.
For me that leaves Spectre and Quantum of Solace vying for the second best spot behind Casino Royale. I am really split on these two movies. They are both kind of the same light on the action and heavy on plot. Most of the time that is a good thing, but I am not sure that is always true of a Bond movie. It’s a virtual dead heat. However, since Spectre so nicely buttoned up the story of the four Daniel Craig installments I have to give it the nod.
Ranking them from best to worst I would put them like this:
- Casino Royale
- Quantumof Solace
The next question is where does Daniel Craig ranks among the men who have portrayed Bond in its history. That is mostly a question of personal preference. With that being said I think the four Craig films are by and far superior to the four Pierce Brosnan movies. Pierce’s four movies feature one of the best Bond films (Goldeneye) and probably one of the worst (The World is not Enough). The four Craig movies are somewhere in the very meaty average of this great film franchise. Casino Royale for me ranks way up there among the very best of these films.
If we look at in terms of commerce Brosnan brought in 347 or so million dollars of profit…without Spectre and its insane cost of production and promotion Craig has racked up nearly 500 million dollars of profit. Granted there are a lot more movie goers now than when Goldeneye was in theaters.
Even though I loved both of Timothy Dalton’s Bond films, I still have to put Craig’s and Brosnan’s ahead of them. That about as far back as this argument goes. The Sean Connery and Roger Moore films came out so long ago that that argument is strictly one of personal choice. I will say both have a Bond film that would rank in my bottom five Connery (Diamonds are Forever) and Moore (Moonraker).
In my opinion here are the best and worst films by each actor to portray 007 on the big screen more than once:
- SeanConnery-Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever
- RogerMoore-The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker
- TimothyDalton-License to Kill, The Living Daylights
- PierceBrosnan-Goldeneye, The World is Not Enough
- DanielCraig-Casino Royale, Skyfall
Overall I think Daniel Craig is in the upper tier of men to portray Bond. I use to be a big fan of Brosnan but overall the four Craig movies are so much better than his four that I got to give the nod to Daniel. I also liked Connery’s movies more than Moore’s. However, Timothy Dalton was my Bond; he was the Bond for the first movie I saw in theaters so he always holds a special place for me. Who was the best? Who knows…each brought something different to the role.
Of course there are a million way to dissect this film franchise and maybe in the future we shall do exactly that. Always remember this is just what I think…if you disagree leave a comment and let me know what you think.