No Mr. Bond … I expect you never to die

In the little spat over best Bond which we can’t seem to ever put to sleep, this seemed a thoughtful comment by one antonsimplon:

Roger Moore may not have been a great actor, at least in so far as he had a limited range, but he had huge charisma and charm and elegance.  Like so many so-called stars today Daniel Craig is essentially a character actor who plays leading roles. Roger Moore was a star in the old Hollywood sense.

To compare him with Connery is pointless as Connery was first, the Connery films are largely better leaving aside Connery himself, they play the role so differently, and both the Connery and Moore films are very much of their time.  None of the other actors in the role will ever BE Bond in quite the way that Connery and Moore were though, however good their acting. They are wannabes, pretenders.

The Connery and Moore films also essentially form a single series. All of the films which follow A View To A Kill are something else, not quite the real McCoy.

Yes, that might be so about the real McCoy but it’s hardly the fault of the writers or Bond himself.  Sure it’s a franchise well past its sell-by date, having exhausted the novels, not all of which were wonderful in all places but there’s a very strong feeling across the world and across cultures that the whole Bond thing is something we love and almost take ownership of.  If there’s one thing in Bond arguments, it’s the passion, even down to people like Roger Ebert.

Like many of you, I adore the Bond series though as a Christian, I probably shouldn’t.   There is this je ne sais quoi though, isn’t there?   And yet, every movie was flawed to some extent – the ridiculous spectacle of Sean singing in the twee Dr. No and its unexciting finale, the wrong curly-haired girl as the star bimbo in OHMSS when any of the others were far better, even Joanna Lumley, the over the top Soviet commander and Roger doing his tarzan act in Octopussy, Timothy Dalton trying way too hard plus Maryam d’Abo just a bit too airhead and man-worshipping [don’t stop, don’t stop] in TLD … and so on.

Those pyjamas!

And it gets up the nose the way these days it always has to be a kick-butt woman who is equal if not better than Bond and don’t oppress me because we’re as good as you and can do anything and women rule, OK?   Yes you might, ladies but do we have to have it shoved down our throats every few minutes in a film?   For goodness, sake, one of the reasons Casino Royale was so good was firstly that it was a Fleming and second – the developing romance after a bad beginning.

And yes Craig is Mr Brutal Bond but he handled that romance quite well I thought – as one of us would attempt to, not as a superhero but a bit awkward, not really knowing our feelings etc.  It was quite realistic that way and at the same time put quite strongly the notion that you can’t fight that chemistry between a man and a woman.

It’s this lack of chemistry today in the films which is so dispiriting, with the woman almost incapable of love in her desperate desire, ad nauseam, to be seen as equal or better.  Why the hell can’t she just let herself go for once and let the romance carry her along?   This, to me, is the single gravest charge against the more recent, post-Roger Bond films.

As for best Bond?

Sean was the definer of the role, the quiet menace and supposedly the ladies saw charisma in there.  Yet I don’t think he was quite as good as people make out – he was a bit wooden in many places but OK – he was right up there near or at the top.

George was up himself and that awful brown cardigan!   He did the fights and the romance excellently though, possibly better than any other Bond but Diana Rigg had much to do with that.  The film itself was first rate, even as a stand-alone film, except for some of the girls on the mountaintop.

Roger was Roger, as the commenter said at the top of this post.   He was what he was and enormous fun.  Pity FYEO was one of the best of his films because he was past it by then.  And it was quite magnanimous of him to say those things about Daniel.

It was said that Timothy was too much the Shakespearean actor and he did try too hard.   The dark, gritty thing was understandable but it could have done with at least a bit of light relief.

Pierce was a good actor in my book, a suave ladies man but a bit too pretty boy for the men.   Goldeneye though was one hell of a film and the two baddies were first rate.

Daniel.   Sorry but a man who ditches his woman in RL the way he did, that gay kiss in America and his one and only expression, plus how he hates guns and so on, the intrusive leftism – it diminishes him as a Bond.  Interesting that the real him is the opposite of the brutal Bond him.

If you rate a Bond on sheer physical presence and the ability to get the job done, you’d have to say Sean and Daniel.  As ladies men, all except Timothy.  As fun – Roger by a country mile.


20 bloopers

4 comments for “No Mr. Bond … I expect you never to die

  1. Rossa
    August 27, 2012 at 15:53

    For the ladies I guess it’s a case of do you go for the suave, sophisticated Bond like Roger or Pierce or the rough diamond that is Sean or Daniel. The others are also rans. It’s Sean and Daniel for me, though Pierce is definitely great eye candy. Roger always seemed to be very tongue in cheek and trying hard not to laugh at what he was doing. Maybe that’s why he came across as too lightweight for me.

    I wasn’t sure I’d like Daniel as a lot of the initial publicity shots of him made him look like more of a bruiser/thug but then that suited the character as unformed and brutal, not afraid to kill. Sort of untrained until that time when the character becomes more world weary, seen it all before.

    Glad they went back to using Astons again, though JB drove a Bentley in the books didn’t he? I didn’t read them. JB in anything other than a classic English car just doesn’t quite ring true.

  2. August 27, 2012 at 16:24

    I still like Connery the best; he set the bar for everyone else.

  3. August 27, 2012 at 18:52

    I’ve never thought Daniel Craig good-looking enough to play Bond. Connery had the looks, but his acting wasn’t up to scratch, Moore was too flip, Pierce seems like a sweetie, possibly too much so to play Bond, but he’d be my choice from those available.

    I don’t think they’ve yet found the definitive James Bond – one everybody would agree on as being exactly right in every way .

  4. August 27, 2012 at 20:10

    That’s so, Twilight – perceptive. They always seem to miss the mark in certain ways in the Bonds, in the films themselves and yet the momentum of the whole continues.

    Perhaps they haven’t found the perfect Bond because such a human cannot exist.

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