Daniel Craig 007s Ranked
4. 007: Spectre (2015)
Suprise! The latest film is the worst Craig Bond film and sadly it ends the story of Craig Bond on a whimper.
Not to say this is a terrible movie but think Dark Knight Rises. And no I didn’t expect to see another Skyfall, I expected a well done movie. I’ll mention the good and why I liked the film. The first 2/3rds of the movie are great. Great action sequences, mysterious plot and Christoph Waltz’s introduction is brilliant. Just as good as Javier Bardem’s in the last movie. Now my problems with the movie, there was no reason to do a fake name for Waltz only to reveal he’s a classic villain. People had figured this out as soon as Spectre was announced. So many people have tried to replicate the brilliant twist of Batman Begins in their action movies. This was even worse than Khan being in Star Trek 2. What’s worse is, Waltz does a good job even though it’s just like his other villain characters but his characterization is bullshit. I l liked the crazy aspect of him but he’s in the movie for 2 minutes until the last 40 minutes but I loved the mystery building up. We could have done more of him in the beginning but then his motive is revealed and how this movie connects to all the previous Bonds. The connections make no absolute sense. The Quantum connection made sense a little bit but the Skyfall connection made absolutely no damn sense. It’s not even explained properly. That’s the huge problem with Spectre. Nothing is explained, it’s all forced bullshit connections and Waltz’s motive for hating Bond was the dumbest thing I ever heard. I was like here we go, we’re back to the cheesy shitty Bond age that I hated and then how Bond defeats him, give me a freaken break. This sucks because we’re coming off from threatening bad guy like Silva. A weak villain could be forgiven, like for example in the first 2 movies as long as it’s handled well but this stings a little bit because this man child was the force behind all 4 movies? Oh did I mention what Waltz’s superpower is? HE’S A MONOLOGUER, I couldn’t believe my eyes that this was happening for such a great series. How could Sam Mendes let this happen when he reinvigorated the franchise? The other huge issue was the stupid love story. It’s poorly done and I don’t feel the impact of it at all. I loved Bond’s story with Vesper because there was development but this is so rushed, forced and poorly developed that audiences are expected to go with it because the writers want you too. It’s just as bad as Catwoman & Batman in Dark Knight Rises. There’s a part where Swann goes I love you and I was like what? Jeeze. So literally what destroys a good movie is the crappy third act with its plotholes, terrible dialogue, poor villain, crappy climax, and shitty love story. I’ll admit one thing, I was entertained but I can't help but feel let down. This isn't the right conclusion to the series. There is some greatness to Spectre. The action sequences are top notch, it has an awesome opening (OH YEAH SOME OF THE WORST CGI EVER, YOU WON’T MISS IT), the humor, Batista, the gorgeous cinematography, more Ralph Fiennes and it’s idea on how to end Bond’s story. It’s poorly written towards the end that it doesn’t quite pack a punch. I appreciate the ideas they had but the pain of this is, that Spectre is mishandled. It’s like getting a very nice car and then destroying the hell out of it with time. I liked the ending they gave Bond but I did not want to see the story close with a whimper. I understand the film makers had a hard time with the third act but give me a break, it wasn’t that hard to fix the conclusion. The series needs to find new screenwriters because Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been always the weak points of the movies and it ticks me off that they got to write this send off because they proved how inept they really are. Overall Spectre is an entertaining movie but it’s really disappointing because it harms the other movies with its faults. It’s a terrible written movie and sadly they put themselves in a hole where another Bond movie would not make sense. The only reason to make another Bond movie would to be give Daniel Craig a proper send off. Here’s to hoping Ethan Hunt & Jason Bourne will get proper send offs. Also Sam Smith can't sing for shit, worst Bond opening credits ever.
3. 007: Quantum of Solace (2008)
Quantum of Solace gets a lot of hate and yet it has a special place in my heart. It’s not a bad movie by any means. I think people were thrown off at how gritty it was and how it distanced itself from some Bond tropes. The film does have its flaws, the pacing tends to get a little weird in the middle, and the main story with the bad guy is kind of a stretch & silly. Dominic Greene is a typical Bond villain but I like how they made his character threatening & not cheesy like previous villains. The one thing I can’t get over but love is how he has a fight scene with Bond at the end. I haven’t ever seen Bond have a climatic fight and then this scrawny businessman ends up being the first. I think they should have switched Dominic with Le Chiffre and that would have worked better but Mathieu Amalric, hot off The Diving Bell & Butterfly did a good job with the role. Also, Quantum of Solace is the movie that got me to give Craig Bond another chance. I wasn’t too fond of Casino Royale at first but I saw it in a transitional phase in my life. It took me a couple of years to appreciate it but I was down with Quantum from the beginning. I loved how action packed it was, I absolutely loved the story of Bond finding the hero in himself. Even though Bond didn’t have a dynamic array of emotions like he did in Casino Royale, Daniel Craig is so good at exemplifying that he’s in pain and has no idea what to do. In Casino Royale his biggest problem is he’s arrogant, selfish & reckless but towards the end, we find out how human Bond really is & Quantum picks up from that. I really applaud the film makers for not forcing in a love story (though Miss Fields was stupid, good payoff though) and giving us the best Bond Girl, someone we could root for and who was a strong person at the same time. To summarize, Quantum of Solace is action packed (a little too cgi heavy), has some awesome character moments from Bond, and a great Bond girl. The main plot sucks but the story of James finding his inner hero is what makes this a good movie for me. I absolutely love the epilogue at the end. It’s the strongest scene in the movie for me. Quantum’s weakness is that it can’t stand on its own and plays off like an extended climax to Casino Royale but I like the fact we’re getting continuity with Bonds and it’s a wonderful progression to the character arc started in Casino Royale. I have to put this on the same level as Casino because it feels like its the second half. And also because of my soft spot for it being the movie that made me a fan of Craig Bond, & it’s dark tone & it’s beautiful end shot. If one were to watch it with back to back with Casino, they might end up loving it.
P.S. I was really bummed when I found out the rumor of Shirley Bassey & David Arnold’s original song being rejected in favor of Jack White & Alicia Key’s theme. It’s a beautiful theme which you can listen to here and fits the tone of Quantum a lot better. (It’s about a broken heart) But instead we get these crappy pop songs as the lead songs. It’s ridiculous, Jack White & Alicia Keys are talented but this weird experiment is just meh. The guitar riffs are good but the vocals are atrocious and one point Alicia Keys just starts yelling. Like what the **** is this ****, why the **** is she yelling?! We couldn’t just get to listen to some beautiful music by Shirley Bassey? Jeeze. At least they corrected the melody in Skyfall but then got the awful Adele to sing on it and don’t get me started on Sam Smith’s awful singing on Spectre. Truly one of the things I hate about Craig Bonds.
2. 007: Casino Royale (2006)
I hadn’t watched Casino Royale since it came out and that’s partially due to having a disdain for it. I had found it boring, the plot to madee no sense and I didn’t have the most pleasant viewing experience either but with all the love this movie gets, I figured it was worth a revisitation. What’s funny is I didn’t like Mission Impossible 3 at first either which also came out at the same time but after a rewatch this year, I really enjoyed it. And the same goes for Casino Royale. It’s a lot better than I remembered. I remember it being boring, slowly paced and hardly any action but there’s a fair amount of action and it’s really good. Also the humanization of Bond makes more sense now and it’s the driving force of the film. My favorite parts aren’t the action scenes but the scenes that give me insight to Bond. At the time of release, I was used to James Bond being a rich dick but Craig’s Bond is a whole new character. He’s fleshed out, flawed & sympathetic. The plot is still a bit complicated and there are some pacing issues (the film could lose half hour or more) but it leads to bigger things (sadly the series didn’t capitalize on that) I do want to say, people have a fascination with Le Chiffre but I feel he’s an eh villain. He’s not a cheesy villain like every other Bond movie has had before but I credit that to Mads Mikkelsen’s performance. He makes Le Chiffre an entertaining villain but I wish they had switched his character with QoS’s Dominic Greene who turns out to be a business man that has a fun fight with Bond towards the end. I always thought Mads looked like an evil Craig so it would have been interesting. Overall to say, Casino Royale is great. It’s a film that requires a lot of focus but it’s full of fun action sequences (the first fight is one of the greatest Bond scenes ever), the production scale beautiful and Craig really shines in the role. I feel he was the right choice for Bond though I’d be curious to see how Idris would have done it. It has its pacing issues but it’s a fun well written movie and a strong story of James Bond growing up. Which is exactly what we needed from the lifeless misogynistic portrayals of Bond.
1. 007: Skyfall (2012)
So Skyfall is my number one James Bond movie of all time and sadly it sucks to see people criticize the film these days. And honestly I believe it’s become the cool opinion to hate Skyfall. Yes Skyfall has its flaws, Javier Bardem’s Silva’s plan is too perfectly planned and some of the plot is contrived for entertainment purposes. It also steals the massive trope set by Dark Knight of villain getting capture but you know what I can forgive it for its flaws. At the end it’s an action movie but it’s directed like an oscar film. There’s so many great memorable sequences in the movie (that Shanghai sequence). It’s paced perfectly and it’s beautifully shot. Beautiful is an understatement. I loved the element that Roger Deakins & Sam Mendes brought to the movie. The climax is tense and exciting and Javier Bardem kills it as Silva. He’s absolutely terrific and it was great to see him create another classic villain. This has the best plot out of all the Bonds. The villain has a motive, the story makes sense and it’s pure excitement. Originally I didn’t like how Bond defeated Silva, but with repeated viewings I believe it was a proper ending to 2 evenly matched characters. We even get a little insight on Bond’s backstory and how much M means to him. The other complaint I do have is that it wasn’t as character focused on Bond as the previous 2 films but the family insight was cool. And how can I forget, giving Bond a supporting cast was a fun idea. Q is awesome, Miss Moneypenny is cool, Mallory is great and M being the main “Bond Girl” of the movie was cool. I wish Skyfall didn’t have Adele singing because I think her wretched vocals really kill the vibe but that’s like my huge complaint. Yeah Skyfall has it problems, but don’t tell me Casino Royale didn’t have flaws or any other acclaimed Bond. Skyfall is a perfect blend of humor, action, great performances, great directing, and stunning cinematography.