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Should Daniel Craig finish as 007?

Should Daniel Craig finish as 007?

When Daniel Craig burst onto the scene as part of her majesty’s secret service in Casino Royale (2006), few thought he was going to make the high impact on the traditional iconic role of James Bond he did. From height, to blonde hair grievances, fans tormented the choice of Craig in online forums and open letters to many a movie magazine.

Timothy Dalton (Living Daylights 1987; Licence to Kill 1989) is my all time favourite James Bond (apologies to Connery, Lazenby, Moore and Brosnan admirers). Dalton went rogue, he was the predecessor to the no-nonsense, hardcore tough attitude Daniel Craig has portrayed in his four outings as the globetrotting secret agent. Another movie would have done Dalton justice in the realms of coveted Bond recognition but was not to be when Pierce Brosnan acquired the Aston Martin keys in Goldeneye (1995).

Back in the day while promoting Diamonds are Forever, most popular of all Bond incarnations, Sean Connery told the BBC that his sixth stint as James Bond made him feel like a pawn. He of course did return in an unofficial, non-sanctioned outing as an ageing Bond in the purposely ironically titled, Never Say Never Again (1983).

Former male model, Australian George Lazenby was dismissed as fluff for his one-off portrayal of an eloquent Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). Over time re-evaluation made it one of the most revered films, unique for Bond getting married and the best portrayal of villain Spectre to date by Telly Savalas. The Roger Moore years were well loved but varied, For Your Eyes Only (1981) showed glimpses of sincerity that Dalton and Craig later became, closer to vision of author Ian Fleming.

However, installments like Moonraker (1979) unsuccessfully cashing in on the early Star Wars craze and A View to a Kill (1985) which had a craggy 58 year old Moore using blatantly obvious body doubles in every scene requiring movement.

Daniel Craig routinely described as the best Bond since Connery for very good reason. Skyfall (2012) set the bar so high it was always going to be difficult to keep up the high standard of super spy momentum. He has also expressed disinterest, hinting he is done with the character although contracted for one more by MGM.

His brashness was conditioned to high octane adventure that both the Bourne and Mission Impossible set of films also brought to modern cinema spy stories. Spectre, although a cinematic money-spinner has been rubbished by fans and critics alike for being messy.

Nine writers were credited for Spectre, still incomprehensible and a third act which should set the finale on fire, leaves a bad taste on the whole ordeal which came before it. Under appreciated Quantum of Solace (2008) plays like one of the greats in light of the Spectre disappointment.

A link to all previous Bond installments with Craig is apparent but inevitably deemed ridiculous to plot strands including a family history revelation, lack of gadgets and practically unseen Bond girls did not help. There was a touch more humour than the usual Craig outing.

So should Daniel Craig give up on Bond with the well rounded number of four adventures? No, Spectre was not entirely his fault even if at times he unmistakably looked uninterested. Film selection outside of Bond doesn’t quite match the success, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remake was about the most prominent but films like Golden Compass and Dream House vanished.

As suggested in every closing credit roll, James Bond will return, one more for the road please Mr. Craig. If not, let the global recasting search begin once again.

Shane A. Bassett

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