Next to Sean Connery, Daniel Craig is my favourite Bond. In fact I’m going to rate them all in order here and now:
- Sean Connery
- Daniel Craig
- George Lazenby
- Roger Moore
- Pierce Brosnan
- Timothy Dalton
A strange choice? Well, I’ve never seen the Dalton Bonds so I’m having to put him last. Brosnan I never liked, and I think Die Another Day is by far the worst in the series. There’s too many Moore Bond films in my opinion, and I’m a big fan of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service hence my kindness to Lazenby. Connery is Bond, as we all know, but I think, given the chance, Craig could also be Bond.
Casino Royale has all the best elements of a Connery Bond. Following people around, checking in and out of hotels, some dirty fighting and most notably a long and drawn out card game with the baddy. I think somebody should publish a James Bond Guide to Card Games because beyond Knockout Whist I’m lost. The card game in Casino Royale is so long that there are several breaks in play, where Bond can go off to fight and kill a couple of other baddies and have a quick shower, flirt with the Bond Girl and get himself poisoned. He fights well, flirts okay and saves his life (just). He also beats the baddy at cards and bags a fortune but don’t ask me how.
I’d rate Casino Royale up there with my favourite Bond films (that’s another list for another day). Craig is best as a hard man Bond as opposed to a smoochy Bond, and next to Dustin Hoffman he does the best dramatic running in cinema. He gets the arrogance just right, with just a little bit of danger with it. There is also one of the most exciting opening scenes I’ve seen in a Bond film, with a lot of jumping and climbing on a huge building site, which didn’t do much for my vertigo. This film has been ctiticised for its lack of gadgets, but with scenes as good as this you don’t need them. What did annoy me slightly was the product placement, from Omega to Richard Branson himself. And I hope Bond hasn’t had as much trouble with a Sony Vaio laptop as I did.
The theme song is instantly forgettable, although there is a lot of John Barryish incidental music that works very well. No Moneypenny, no Q, but Judi Dench remains to shine as M, although with a much harder edge, and I liked Eva Green as the nicely named Vesper Lynd. There’s also the already infamous torture scene, which even made the ladies in the audience wince.
Best joke in the film:
Bond: A vodka martini.
Barman: would you like that shaken or stirred?
Bond: Do I look like I give a damn?