BY LUKE WATHEN
“Bond. James Bond.” A line first uttered over 50 years ago by Sean Connery has firmly planted itself in the pop culture lexicon and with it the image of a suave, yet formidable British secret agent.
“Dr. No” was first released in 1962 and has since kicked off a franchise that has spanned 24 movies and six actors in the titular role as James Bond.
Daniel Craig will once again be James Bond in the newest Bond movie “Spectre” which will be released on Nov. 6, but among those six, one actor stands out as the best Bond.
The two most popular Bond actors are arguably Sean Connery and Daniel Craig. The two are acclaimed for good reason; Connery was the first to introduce the world to the debonair MI6 agent and Craig is credited for taking the series in a darker and more realistic direction, a change embraced by critics and fans alike.
Connery may have been responsible for first bringing the character of James Bond to the big screen, but his portrayal of the character has become somewhat dated over time. The one-liners, cheap effects and light-hearted portrayal of Bond certainly mesmerized audiences with their charm, but have now almost become a walking punch-line with their over the top nature.
Craig, who is credited for making the franchise much sinister and realistic, is almost too serious in his role as Bond. In stark contrast to Connery, Craig is almost completely devoid of the charm and humor that we have come to expect from the 007 films, causing his character to lack the charm and wit that made the franchise so captivating.
Despite both of their accomplishments, neither can be considered the best.
Between these two extremes exists a harmonious medium by way of Pierce Brosnan. Portraying Bond from 1995-2004, Brosnan was able to retain the whimsical elements of the Connery era while laying the foundation for a grimmer and reality-driven tone that Daniel Craig now thrives in.
George Lazenby, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton also served tenures as Bond, but unfortunately their portrayals are largely forgettable. Not to the discredit of any of the actors, but when stacked against the likes of Connery, Brosnan and Craig their performances do not stand out.
In a sea of martinis that are shaken, not stirred, Pierce Brosnan remains the pinnacle of what the character of James Bond should be: a suave, charismatic British agent that still maintains a penchant for action. Few are capable of capitalizing off the lessons from their predecessors while simultaneously changing the formula, but Brosnan did so perfectly and as such deserves the title of the best James Bond.