I've decided that in preparation for the upcoming James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace (scheduled to be released November 7), it is the perfect time for me to provide the definitive ranking of the actors who have played the James Bond character in the several movies. And unlike the crazy lunatic hacks on the committee that compiles the rankings for the Chase for the PopoZao, I shall do these rankings the way they should be properly done: last to first. And so, without further hesitation, here are the rankings of the actors who have played James Bond on film.
6. Roger Moore - Of all the actors who have played the James Bond character, I have come to the conclusion that Roger Moore played the role far and away worse than any of the others. Truly, were any of the other actors less believable as a tough guy or secret agent or combination of the two? Though I found some of Moore's movies entertaining, I never got the sense that the guy could in any way be considered suave. And I certainly found it unrealistic any time he won any fight. He just seemed to be too much of a stiff weakling to me to beat anyone up. And yes, I actually believe that if I had no prior knowledge before watching The Man with the Golden Gun about anything related to James Bond, I would have put a huge sum of money on Tattoo to beat Moore in a fight.
5. George Lazenby - Admittedly, I have seen the entirety of not one of Lazenby's Bond movies, which is somewhat unfortunate since he only made one Bond movie, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. But one has to believe that he could not have been too spectacular if he only had a run of a single film. One can make the claim that maybe he wasn't so bad; maybe people just really thought that Sean Connery was so great that they were dying to have come back and resume the secret agent role. But since Lazenby is Australian, I tend to doubt that this is true. And so Lazenby comes in at number five. Though my exposure to Lazenby as the Bond character is very limited, I have seen enough to know that he could not possibly be as bad as Roger Moore.
4. Timothy Dalton - There was a time when I believed some of the reports about how bad Dalton was as Bond. I believed it when some claimed that Dalton was the worst Bond. However, after watching the Dalton movies, I realized that he wasn't all that bad. He certainly seemed to be a much tougher guy than Moore. In watching his movies, I honestly believed that he was the sort that might have been able to save the day, not the sort that should be serving as a waiter at a wine and cheese party (Moore).
3. Pierce Brosnan - I don't really have much bad to say about Brosnan. His very first scene in his very first Bond movie, Goldeneye, was actually pretty outstanding. He was very believable there and elsewhere. Also, Brosnan has great hair. This is something that I think that we should all ask for in James Bond, great hair. Brosnan doesn't go to a higher level than number three mostly because his James Bond would have lost badly in a fight to the two ranked above him. He certainly could have beaten Roger Moore's Bond in a fight, but that fact does not earn a person any points in these rankings. He also loses a few points because his last two Bond films were absolutely atrocious.
2. Sean Connery - You may be shocked that I have Connery ranked in a position other than first, but trust me, this is no accident. Connery was extremely good at the character. He was cool - nothing says cool better than the way Connery replied when asked his name at the gambling table in Dr. No. And very importantly, he was highly capable of beating people up. Yes, in case you have not noticed, I highly value the "beating people up" capability in judging the adequacy of an actor portraying James Bond. But also in truth, Connery did not seem to have any real weaknesses as the Bond character. Even when he came back for Diamonds are Forever, he seemed to be infinitely tougher than Moore ever appeared to be in the role.
1. Daniel Craig - Quite frankly, Daniel Craig proved in Casino Royale that he is a tough guy. The amount of people that he beat up in that movie alone was incredible. What places him ahead of Connery is that he actually ran through a wall in Casino Royale. Now I don't know if I necessarily agree with the decision he made to quit the secret service for the girl in the movie (and I don't agree with it) because this action would have likely severely reduced the amount of beatings he would be given the opportunity to dish out. However, luckily enough, his retirement from duty was rather short lived. Whereas Moore's Bond constantly tried to avoid Jaws in the movies in which Jaws appeared, Craig's Bond probably would have punched through Jaws's metal teeth. And as endings of Bond movies go, nothing surpasses the way Casino Royale finished up. For all of these reasons, Craig gets the top spot. Bring on Quantum of Solace!