I’ve been working my way through the four James Bond Box sets ever so slowly so as to review them. I have a rather conflicted attitude towards the Bond films, to say the least. But I will get more into that when I do the set reviews.
In anticipation, I am going to do some Bond related “favorite” lists.
First up is:
My Favorite Bonds
This one is a cheat, as I am addressing all the actors to play Bond within the official Franchise.
Yeah, I know. Heresy. It’s supposed to be Connery at the top. But Moore wins out for me because the first Bond film I ever saw was 1981’s For Your Eyes Only. I especially loved the underwater sequences (Bond and Melina dragged behind the boat, the fight in the sunken sub). Previously I thought Star Wars was the coolest thing ever. I didn’t realize you could make an exciting movie that took place on earth. I always liked Moore’s take on Bond, playing him with a smirk. His Bond was tough, but could be a softie when called for.
2. Sean Connery
While he certainly played up a sense of humor, Connery’s Bond was a bit rougher and more callous than Moore’s Bond. Connery played Bond as a hardass. He was more than willing to use a woman as a human shield, which is one of the more troubling aspects of early Bond, and that’s why I am less inclined to call him number one. It isn’t that I feel women are some sort of fragile creatures that can’t be part of a fight, but often it seemed Bond’s sacrificial women, or women he hit were not as tough as the main Bond girls.
An edgier Bond, more in the Connery vein, what stood out to me in his first outing is that he wasn’t the super agent yet. He was good, but he could stumble. I really liked that. Really, I felt like he encapsulated the best things each previous actor brought to Bond. Connery’s roughness, Moore’s soul, Lazenby’s gritty action, Dalton’s darker and haunted edge and Brosnan’s cockiness.
I remember Brosnan on Remington Steele, and I recall thinking, “He should be James Bond! And I thought he was great, really. He was adventurous, self assured (a bit cocky) and saved the day at the last minute. I find it interesting that Christopher Lee has said he probably embodied most what Fleming intended Bond to be. I think the main problem of his run was the scripts. Especially the world Is Not Enough.
I think he gets unfairly shafted in talks about Bond. Dalton brought a slightly darker edge to Bond, a bit meaner when dealing with his advesaries. If it wasn’t for Brosnan taking over, I think I would have liked to see him get another shot.
I avoided this one for years. And I think it was unfair. Lazenby did a pretty good job as Connery’s replacement. And he played it with a wink. He knew he had big shoes to follow. Sure, his delivery was slightly wooden at times, but it was his first film role, so I can overlook that. I would have liked to seen him get a second shot, to see if he could sustain. I totally understand why the studio took Connery back when he said he would do Diamonds are Forever, but I still think it was a bit unfair to fire Lazenby after only one outing.
Posted in: Movies