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Daniel Craig’s James Bond Is The Best James Bond

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James Bond has been a part of cinema for over 50 years. It is a series with many interpretations of its main character. Those who have portrayed James Bond injected their own style and substance to the British phenomenon that is an integral part of our cinematic history.

There is a question though that we all ask ourselves as we watch the movies and see the different incarnations of James Bond…

“Which James Bond…is the best James Bond?”

And no, I don’t mean as in a singular movie. No, I mean the legend himself. 007.

Every actor, from Sean Connery, to Roger Moore, to Pierce Brosnan, and now Daniel Craig, all have had memorable roles as the character. But which is best overall? When I think about “which is best?”, I think about the character itself. How he’s portrayed, how he handles situations, and what he reveals about himself in the process. Because of this, I’m forced to conclude that Daniel Craig’s version of James Bond is the best James Bond.

Why? Because he’s imperfect. What I mean by that is, when I think of Sean Connery and Roger Moore (who are considered the best two by many a Bond fan), I see them as the “perfect man”. That’s what James Bond is/was. He was the perfect man, perfect agent, always got the girl and got the job done. Then, as time went on, it almost became ridiculous that he was still that perfect man. With the movies of Daniel Craig though, we don’t necessarily get that. We got a raw James Bond, a very emotional James Bond, one who gets put through the ringer multiple times and still comes back for more. One who is forced to face his own mortality, his own loyalty, his own faults, and overcome them. He’s still suave, and smooth, and able to seduce the ladies, after all he is James Bond. But we got to see more layers to him.

We even see a heartless James Bond in parts, one who isn’t afraid to state cold hard facts or show brutality to prove his loyalty to MI6. Look at the scene in Casino Royale where the wife of his target was killed. He seduced her to get information, then left her when he got it, when she died, he barely gave her a second glance. He also showed just how easy it was for him to kill in that movie, multiple times over.

His relationships with characters also make him special. In other films, we rarely saw James snap at his superiors, here though with Craig, he fights constantly with M. And yet, when the chips are down, he’s still loyal to England. He “died” in Skyfall, and could’ve stayed away forever, but his compulsion to be loyal was brought to the forefront, and he came back. Though not without a few lashings out at M.

So is this all on Craig himself? I don’t think it is, it has to do with writing. For a while, Bond was stereotyped in his beats. Go to scenario, get information, meet Bond girl, meet Bond villain, kill the latter, sleep with the former, etc. With the Craig films, we got a more rounded character, one who isn’t as predictable, something (in my opinion) we never got with him before, and it looks to continue with Spectre, which has me very excited.

I know many won’t agree, but for me, the depth and character we get with the Daniel Craig James Bond proves that he is the best James Bond.