So we’ve reached the final chapter of the Bond breakdown. In this section, I’ll rate the different actors who’ve portrayed Bond as well as include some of my favorite Bond Girls.
1. Sean Connery – This is almost a default rating, though not because he was the first Bond or anything like that. I always imagined Bond to be this suave ladies man who could kick some ass in between downing martinis (shaken, not stirred, of course), quipping double-entendre one-liners and beating everyone who played him at Baccarat. That man was Sean Connery. And while I strongly, strongly disliked Never Say Never Again, Sir Connery is the ultimate Bond.
2. Pierce Brosnan – Brosnan carries a certain smug, debonair badass-ness to his portrayal of Bond. He’s at his best in The World is Not Enough. Unlike the Roger Moore’s occassionally ridiculous chase sequences or Timothy Dalton’s scary-dark Bond, Brosnan walks the fine line between over-the-top action/comedian and straight-faced dramatic.
3. Roger Moore – I prefer Moore’s earlier work as opposed to his 80’s Bond films. With each new movie, it seemed like he was going through the motions and the stunts became increasingly ridiculous. But he definitely portrayed the role with more enthusiasm than any of the other Bond actors.
4. Timothy Dalton – Dalton’s ambition was to portray Bond closer to the original Ian Fleming model – a darker, more serious secret agent who didn’t have time for one-liners or loose women. And even the one-liners he zings are done with such reluctance. In essence, he is the anti-Roger Moore version of James Bond. Which misfired in his first attempt as Bond in The Living Daylights but excelled in the revenge-plot driven Licence to Kill.
5. Geroge Lazenby – It’s hard to judge a man on just one performance, so that’s the main reason Lazenby ends up down here. It’s also because whenever people talk about Bond, they either go with Connery or Moore… and skip right over George. However, he did display nice range as an actor in On Her Majesty’s Service and one can only wonder how good he could have been had they allowed him to continue.
6. Daniel Craig – I make no apologies when I say Daniel Craig is by far the worst James Bond yet. The fact of the matter is, he’s just not meant for this role. Sure he’s buff and handsome, but he looks like the Hollywood-fied version of Bond with the blonde hair and blue eyes and fully Nair-ed upper body. Granted, his scripts have been pretty bad as well so that does become of reflection unto Craig. I’d be interested to see what he could do with a decent script… that is if MGM ever gets out of bankruptcy.
There’s no ranking here for the Bond Girls, cuz, frankly, what’s the point. So here’s just a few of my favorite Bond Girls, in no particular order.
Ursula Andress – You’ve gotta admit, the first time you ever saw Honey Ryder emerge from the shores of the Caribbean in that white two-piece, you were hooked. From here on, Bond Girls were going to held to a certain standard and Andress set the bar high.
Beatrice Libert – She only did three movies in her entire career (Moonraker being her first professional gig) but if you were going to be trapped in space (and quite possibly killed), it wouldn’t be as bad going out with a lady as lovely as Beatrice.
Carol Bouquet – Ah yes, Ms. Bouquet. The European Live Tyler look-alike. She made an already good movie (For Your Eyes Only) that much better, especially when she seductively uttered the title of the movie to Roger Moore.
Jill St. John – I’m not gonna kid you. Having this lady run around in a bikini for almost half the movie is not a bad thing. Besides, it covered up her mediocre acting.
Claudine Auger – Easily the one and only good thing about Thunderball.
Halle Berry – Did an excellent job kicking butt next to Brosnan’s Bond in Die Another Day.