James Bond (Daniel Craig)

D: Martin Campbell
MGM/Columbia/Eon (Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli)
UK/USA/Germany/Czech Republic 🇬🇧🇺🇸🇩🇪🇨🇿 2006
144 mins


W: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & Paul Haggis [based on the novel by Ian Fleming]     
DP: Phil Meheux
Ed: Stuart Baird
Mus: David Arnold
PD: Peter Lamont

Daniel Craig (James Bond), Eva Green (Vesper Lynd), Mads Mikkelsen (Le Chiffre), Giancarlo Giannini (Rene Mathis), Judi Dench (M)

Bond for the 21st Century, starting afresh with Daniel Craig as a less-suave, more masculine 007 in his first assignment to investigate an arms dealer and prevent him from winning a high stakes poker game which will fund his entire operation.
Despite the movies best efforts to take the franchise in a different direction to it's predecessors, it still relies on references to them and needless product placement at every opportunity.
The action scenes maintain entertainment value, the production values can't be sniffed at and it's infinitely better than the 1967 film of the same name, but it's just trying so damn hard to not be a "Bond film" whilst constantly reminding us that it's a Bond film.

Daniel Craig in Casino Royale
Daniel Craig in Casino Royale

D: Marc Forster
MGM/Columbia/Eon (Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli)
UK/US 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 2008
106 mins


W: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade [based on characters created by Ian Fleming]
DP: Roberto Schaefer
Ed: Matt Chesse & Rick Pearson
Mus: David Arnold

Daniel Craig (James Bond), Olga Kurylenko (Camille Montes), Mathieu Amalric (Dominic Greene), Gemma Arterton (Strawberry Fields), Giancarlo Giannini (Rene Mathis), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter), Judi Dench (M)

It's not the worst Bond film, despite having the worst Bond film title, but if you've seen one Bond movie, you've seen them all, despite the biggest efforts to take the Daniel Craig movies in a completely different direction. All of them are quite formulaic, the only things that change are the locations, stunts, villains and Bond girls.
The plot is less a spy thriller and more a tale of revenge, as agent 007 seeks revenge for the death of his lover in the previous film (Casino Royale).
This doesn't really have much memorable about it, seemingly trying to ape the Bourne movies in the action stakes and some fine talent is wasted. I also think Daniel Craig is a douchebag. This movie was a big bag of average really.
There's a big reference to Goldfinger in this one, which I thought was a little cheeky. That's the seminal Bond movie that all others aspire to be.

Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace
Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace

D: Sam Mendes
Columbia/MGM/Eon (Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli)
UK/US 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 2012
143 mins


W: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & John Logan [based on characters created by Ian Fleming]
DP: Roger Deakins
Ed: Stuart Baird
Mus: Thomas Newman

Daniel Craig (James Bond), Javier Bardem (Raoul Silva), Judi Dench (M), Ralph Fiennes (Gareth Mallory), Naomie Harris (Eve Moneypenny), Berenice Marlohe (Severine), Albert Finney (Kincaid), Ben Whishaw (Q)

Like Casino Royale & Quantum of Solace, Skyfall takes the franchise in a completely different direction from the Connery, Moore & Brosnan movies of yesteryear, but still keep the staple of thrilling set pieces, impressive stunts and high-octane special effects, sometimes at the expense of a good story.
Bond meets his match with a new villain, a former agent who plans on assassinating high profile members of MI5. 
There's a fair share of clichés, goofs and shameless product placement, but there's also many stunning visuals, breathtaking action scenes and stunts, but it all goes on just that little bit too long.
Javier Bardem makes one of the series' very best villains but doesn't quite get enough screen time and comes into the film much too late.
Much was hyped when Skyfall hit cinemas in the Autumn of 2012, though much of this was due to the commemoration of 50 years since the first Bond movie (Dr. No) was released rather than the brilliance of this segment.

Daniel Craig in Skyfall
Daniel Craig in Skyfall


D: Sam Mendes

MGM/Columbia (Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli)

UK/US 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 2015

148 mins


W: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & Jez Butterworth [based on characters created by Ian Fleming]

DP: Hoyte van Hoytema

Ed: Lee Smith

Mus: Thomas Newman

Daniel Craig (James Bond), Christoph Waltz (Ernst Stavro Blofeld), Lea Seydoux (Dr. Madeleine Swann), Ben Whishaw (Q), Naomie Harris (Eve Moneypenny), Dave Bautista (Mr. Hinx), Ralph Fiennes (M), Monica Bellucci (Lucia Sciarra)

Daniel Craig's fourth outing as James Bond, following on from the events in 2012's Skyfall. 007 receives a posthumous message from Judi Dench's M to carry out a mission in Mexico to prevent a terrorist attack, but Bond's methods land him in hot water with his authorities and he faces suspension from duty. He disobeys his orders and uncovers the terrorist organisation Spectre, headed by Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz). 

Though the Daniel Craig Bond movies attempt to take the franchise in a different direction, this movie seems to have many references to the older, classic films, especially Diamonds Are Forever with its Mexico City opening. The opening sequence is quite excellent, seemingly filmed in one shot (succeeding with clever edits), whic the rest of the set pieces don't quite trump. As always, the stunts and special effects are great (achieved by a budget which make this the most expensive Bond film to produce), but it really isn't up there with the best of Bond. Despite winning an Oscar for Best Original Song, Sam Smith's "Writing's On The Wall" doesn't really fit the mood of the film at all. 




D: Cary Joji Fukunaga

MGM / Eon (Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli)

UK/US 🇬🇧🇺🇸 2021

163 mins


W: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga & Phoebe Waller-Bridge [based on characters created by Ian Fleming]

DP: Linus Sandgren

Ed: Elliot Graham & Tom Cross

Mus: Hans Zimmer

Daniel Craig (James Bond), Lea Seydoux (Dr. Madeleine Swann), Rami Malek (Lyutsifer Safin), Lashana Lynch (Nomi), Ben Whishaw (Q), Naomie Harris (Miss Moneypenny), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter), Ana de Armas (Paloma)

Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as James Bond, as well as being marketed as the “Bond movie for the ‘me too’ generation” is a bit of mixed bag for me.  It has some great action set pieces that you’d expect from a 007 movie, but it’s also bogged down with some ridiculous exposition, padded out with forced diversity & inclusion natter to score brownie points with a bunch of nobodies on Twitter who probably had no interest in watching the film in the first place.

I’m not a massive James Bond fan, and always saw the films as a bit of escapism popcorn movies, not a guide for modern sensibilities or as a vehicle for representation enthusiasts to complain about, but I guess that’s just me.

It’s probably the right time for Daniel Craig to bow out of the series, as he’s looking a little old and tired here and has mentioned on several occasions that he’s fed up with the role and wants to take on other work, and this really does bring closure to his series in the lead role.

Gone are the days of James Bond’s “problematic womanising” as the film begins with him as a married man, travelling to Italy with his new bride Dr. Madeleine Swann, where he faces ghosts of his past and is ambushed by members of Spectre, who try to assassinate him and sow seeds of mistrust in his marriage.

Five years later, James Bond is drawn back into the spy game when it emerges that Spectre’s bad guys have gained function of a bio-weapon that can be targeted to specific person’s DNA. 

Upon his return, he’s introduced to new 007, Nomi (Lashana Lynch), who I found to be unnecessarily abrasive towards Bond and it felt like her character only existed to trigger the purists, particularly when Ana de Armas’ role as CIA agent Paloma provided us with far more fun and was totally underused aside from one brief action scene.

As previously mentioned, the action scenes on display here are excellent, with top notch stunts, choreography and special effects, but the film really is overwritten with pointless claptrap where the focus should have been on creating an interesting villain for Bond to have his final showdown with, but instead we’re given Rami Malek’s Safin, who looks menacing, but is so monotone he’s practically forgettable. A huge misfire considering Christoph Waltz’ was still in the movie as Blofeld, relegated to a cameo.

The film was originally intended to be released in 2020, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic it was postponed by a year, but this didn’t really damage its box office returns as it was amongst the biggest films when cinemas did reopen.  Personally, I didn’t love it, and I didn’t hate it, it just fell into the middle ground of Bond movies as a whole.  It has a lot of good stuff, but it’s also bloated, self-indulgent and quite vanilla, especially with the use of Billie Eilish’s title song which I thought was a complete dirge that really didn’t suit the tone of a James Bond movie at all.

The question that needs to be asked is what next for the series? Is there a place for a womanising male spy amongst modern culture? Personally, I couldn’t care less.


Daniel Craig in No Time To Die
Daniel Craig in No Time To Die