Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Roman J. Martel: Ranking the Bond (007) Films by Actor

The great Roman J. Martel of Roman's Reviews and Musings has taken up the challenge and ranked, according to his preferences, the 007 Films by actor.

Roman writes:

"Well John you do realize you asked for this right? I’m not one for short responses, so here you go.

Sean Connery:

When it comes to the Connery films I think director Terrance Young had the right idea and concept for the character and how the movies should work. Focus on thrills over action. I place all three of his films over the rest of the group. FRWL works the best all the way around, but I really love “Thunderball”. I agree it goes on too long, and trimmed down it would easily be one of the best Bond films ever. I know its blaspheme, but I found “Goldfinger” to have a really messy script that is fun, but never has that danger that Young’s films capture. And I’m not on board with “Never Say Never Again”. I love “Thunderball” and Fiona Volpe too much. But I will say that Von Sydow is an excellent Blofeld.

  1.      From Russia with Love
  2.      Thunderball
  3.      Dr. No
  4.      Goldfinger
  5.      You Only Live Twice
  6.      Never Say Never Again
  7.      Diamonds Are Forever

Roger Moore

When Roger was on, he was on. But it took them a bit to find that sweet spot with him. “Spy” is a ton of fun, maybe the most fun James Bond film of the series, and it just works on nearly every level for pure entertainment. But I like my Bond movies with a bit more danger, so FYEO gets my top spot. I love the location shooting in Greece and the focus on top-notch stunts and thrills makes it one I watch nearly every year. “Moonraker” has grown on me over the years. It is a fun Bond parody that straddles the line of spectacle over substance, but still keeps things fun. And yeah I’ve got a soft spot for the horribly bad AVTAK. Walken’s over the top performance, the Duran Duran song and the oh so 80s-ness of it just work for me. Well that and it was the first Bond film I ever saw in theaters.

  1.     For Your Eyes Only
  2.     The Spy Who Loved Me
  3.     Moonraker
  4.     A View to a Kill
  5.     The Man with the Golden Gun
  6.     Live and Let Die
  7.      Octopussy

Timothy Dalton

I’ve got to say that Dalton is probably my favorite actor in the role of James Bond. He just hits all the right points, and if he had been given one more great script I think his legacy would be assured. LTK is the better of the two films, but it feels more like a “Miami Vice” episode than a James Bond film. But Dalton brings the goods and he is a force of nature in this film. TLD has a lot of great moments, but the script is a mess. That opening scene in Gibraltar is one of my favorite pre-credit sequences of the franchise. What a great way to introduce the actor and his take on the character.

  1.      License to Kill
  2.      The Living Daylights

Pierce Brosnan

I’m with you, I think Brosnan could have been one of the best of the Bonds. He has the acting skills, he has the look, he has the ability to play serious and comedy and a mix of both perfectly. But time and again the scripts fail him. The four films are exercises in frustration, with great moments overpowered by horrible ones. “Goldeneye” is my favorite of the group, but a lot of that is nostalgia admittedly. Still, I think Sean Bean’s 006 is one of the best villains Bond ever faced. I like how TND starts, but it really falls apart halfway through the movie. TWINE has a great core story and so much potential. But I get the feeling the studio got cold feet with a deadly serious Bond script and injected a bunch of ridiculous moments (and characters and casting) to lighten it up. It is one of the most frustrating movies of the series, because you can see a really great film buried in there. I still feel bad that Brosnan never got a Craig script that would have ended his tenure with a bang.

1.     Goldeneye
2.     The World is Not Enough
3.     Tomorrow Never Dies
4.     Die Another Day

Daniel Craig

So yeah, if  Dalton is my favorite Bond, then you can guess that I really like Craig. His run has been the most consistent of all the Bonds. Even QOS has a very good story at its core, but is tripped up by poor execution – and still it is an entertaining movie (thanks to the crisp editing and short run time). “Casino Royale” may be the best Bond film yet made: great script, great cast, great build up and execution, and a killer ending. On top of that David Arnold’s score is amazing. Just a hell of a ride all the way through. “Skyfall” comes close, but is a little too close to “The Dark Knight” for comfort. “Casino Royale” proves that no one does it better than Bond.

1.     Casino Royale
2.     Skyfall
3.     Spectre
4.     Quantum of Solace

Stop by Roman J. Martel's movie review blog at http://romansreviews.blogspot.com

1 comment:

  1. That's about how I'd size them up. I always enjoyed Thunderball too. Watching Goldeneye now. You can hardly go wrong with just about any Bond film for escapism, a bit of elegance, exotic locales, and sexy women.