Now that NO TIME TO DIE has come out, we’re finally at the point where we can actually compare Craig’s last film with his predecessors. They’re not exactly the finest hours for all the Bonds, but they are their farewells, even if unintentional in some cases. I guess I’ll kick off my ranking:
1. NO TIME TO DIE - Craig
2. DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER - Connery
3. LICENCE TO KILL - Dalton
4. A VIEW TO A KILL - Moore
5. DIE ANOTHER DAY - Brosnan
Looking at this list I don’t think any could say these were the actors’ best films, though LTK does have a contingent of fans. I’ve said what I wanted about NTTD in its own thread, so I’ll leave it at that. I actually have DAF and LTK ranked super close, but in the end I picked DAF because I have more fun with that. LTK is just a dour film, it doesn’t even have a sequence as elevating as NTTD’s Cuba section. I do like the journey Dalton Bond goes through but I feel as beaten and battered as he looks after that truck chase. It’s no wonder GE felt like a shot in the arm six years later.
DAF gets a lot of flack, understandably. It’s campy. It’s not the OHMSS sequel fans wanted (and I think it’s unfair to slag this film for not being what it isn’t). Even though Connery is not the physical peak condition he was in the early part of his run, I absolutely adore his performance. He’s clearly having much more fun with the humor and still shows he has charisma to spare. The only real flaw as far as I can agree with is the Oil Rig climax. It sucks. And somehow Tiffany Case lost her brains when she put on that bikini. It’s too bad, because it had the potential of a big climax like the attack on Piz Gloria, but it looks cheap.
A VIEW TO A KILL is an odd one because I think it has a lot of GREAT separate elements. Great Duran Duran song. Walker is fun. Grace Jones is a great henchman, Bug the movie as a whole isn’t clicking, and at times is flat out embarrassing. Moore is still a pro despite his age, at least. Stacey Sutton has to be in the bottom of my Bond leading woman list. The actress is awful, and there’s no chemistry with Moore, who looks uncomfortable being paired with her.
And DIE ANOTHER DAY. To be clear I really dig the first half. It’s got Pierce Brosnan’s best performance as Bond by far. But once the invisible car is shown it’s like a descent to an icy hell with terrible dialogue, horrible CGI, questionable editing choices, Jinx is bad luck, etc. It’s too bad Brosnan ends on this note, because he really wanted and deserved better. But there we are.