007 needs no introduction. Whether he is a smug Scotsman, a mopey ozzie, a professional Leslie Phillips impersonator, a dimple-chinned welsh thespian, an Irishman who constantly looks like he wants to shag your mum, or a pouting blonde with sticky-out ears, Ian Fleming’s James Bond is without doubt the most enduring cinematic icon of the last 50 years, synonymous with beautiful women who have double-entendred names, exotic locales, deformed villains, witty puns, impossible gadgets, fast cars, guns and enough alcohol to finish off the combined livers of Indiana Jones, Batman and Sherlock Holmes.
Finally, Daniel Craig, who is in my opinion the best Bond so far, has returned in Skyfall- you’ll find out my opinion on the film later on. So Bond’s back, and Bond will return. With that in mind, I felt this was the perfect time to re-evaluate the franchise and rank each of the 23 films EON has produced- for your eyes only, of course.
Before I start, because I imagine many of my choices will cause unrest, please keep this in mind- this is purely my opinion. Everyone has their favourite bond, and their own expectations of what makes a great Bond film. For me, the Bond films I love the most hearken back to Fleming’s original character as he was written- but that is not to say I don’t love Bond when its just incredibly fun, silly and entertaining. In my eyes, though, Bond should be a cold-blooded killer, and not rely on gadgets, with as few elements that date the film as of its time, and the opportunity to deconstruct the legend and see at least some emotion, be it of mourning, defiance or revenge. So you may see a pattern develop as I go higher into my entries.
With that out the way, read on, Mr. Reader. I’ve been expecting you…
This article was first posted on November 5, 2012