As a kid growing up one of the biggest topics of debate was: “Which James Bond was coolest… Sean Connery, George Lazenby, or Roger Moore?” Everybody, it seemed, had their own opinion about it. I chose Roger Moore because he always seemed to have a gadget he could use and I loved technology having tried, in vain, to master passing for Touchdown Football on my IBM PC Jr.
My father liked Sean Connery and he and I would often debate the merits of each man. And you’d always had one friend who wanted to be “different” and he’d choose George Lazenby.
“But he only made one movie!” you’d say.
“He was too good of an actor they couldn’t let him make another film” would be the reply.
This was before the Internet so nobody could instantly have the “facts” at their disposal to dispatch an errant point.
Then Timothy Dalton came on the scene and we had four actors from which to choose.
This month, one of the pay movie channels has been showing a James Bond movie each night, at 8pm, and I’ve been watching them.
I don’t have a DVR and my VCR (Super VHS!) was disconnected long ago so if I want to watch a show I… sit in front of the television at the appointed hour and… watch the film.
Having seen quite a few Bond movies this month (some – like Diamonds are Forever – for the first time) I can say that most of the Connery and Moore films are rubbish.
Goldfinger stands alone but the rest..?
Sean Connery shines as an actor but the films have poorly written scripts and many scenes are awkwardly shot. You half expect Roger Moore to wink à la Ferris Bueller and say something directly to the camera like: “That was a close one.”
And I’m not having this reaction because of too many Austin Powers movies, either (Dr. Evil is Blofeld).
These Bond films are just simply badly done.
The first decent film (aside from Goldfinger) which I came across was License to Kill.
Dalton had the poor luck to land the roll just as a lawsuit would delay by six years what would have been his third time in the role.
I think Dalton was one of the best actors for the Bond franchise save for being a touch too serious… but he could have lightened up had he stayed with it.
Pierce Brosnan looks the part, acts the part, and the scripts are quite good, particularly Goldeneye. Daniel Craig does nothing for me.
But getting back to that age old discussion as to which is the best James Bond?
When you’re young and infatuated with gadgets it’s got to be Roger Moore. When you get older and like the manly, bold way of taking what you want you move on to Connery. But because these films are just so far removed from today’s world (50 years at the most) one quickly becomes interested in Pierce Brosnan if only because Goldeneye is such a cool film (and was a great Nintendo 64 game).
Whether Daniel Craig turns into one of those legendary Bonds or not remains to be seen but with audiences flocking more and more towards high end, special effects driven movies with superheros and futuristic visions of society the job of being “James Bond” is getting more challenging every day.