My history with the Bond men is simple: there was Sean Connery, and then it just didn’t matter (with a warm nod to George Lazenby). Roger Moore embodied the seventies in the worst way, Timothy Dalton just didn’t interest me, Pierce Brosnan always looked uncomfortable —-unlike his turn as Thomas Crown, which is a joy to watch.
I have finally caught up with the new era of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, and I’m a fan—-thumbs way up for me.
Daniel Craig is sleek, modern, and focused. The general consensus on CR is that it is the gritty, darker, more realistic Bond, and that is true. But it’s Craig’s aura of authenticity that clenches it for me. He’s not playing at being Bond, he is embodying it from the inside, which matches yet updates Connery’s approach. And while Sebastian Foucan was an overt signal to the aesthetics of free running and its cousin parkour, I found that Craig’s whole physicality as Bond had the efficiency and beauty of economy of these modern arts. Bond is always meant to be alpha male in that uber-skilled way, but Craig is effortlessly convincing at it.
I didn’t really care what the plot did or didn’t do. Eva Green was good as the Bond woman. I loved the main theme music coming up at the end. One of those blasts of the familiar that connects you back to your history with the series as only music can.
The anti-Craigs are still rabid: danielcraigisnotbond.com is still going strong, with new flashes like “Edward Fox: ‘Daniel Craig is wrong for the role.” You’ve got to admire the depth of feeling of these guys.
Real Bond fans need to go over to Ross Ruediger’s cool exploration of the whole series in his 007 in ‘007. Start with the PreRamble.
Bond 22 is slated for November 2008. Mark your calendars now and go to the MI6 website for updates.
The Casino Royale movie trailer offers a nice desktop visit to that fantasy world. Sigh.