It was announced yesterday that actor David Oyelowo will be taking over the role of James Bond from Daniel Craig in the next installment of the Bond Franchise. How do you think he'll do as Bond? Certainly, every actor that has brought Bond to life on the big screen has brought their own unique sense of the character along with their style, but how do you think Oyelowo will fare against the past actors who have brought Bond to our local theaters? And do you think that the first Oyelowo Bond film will be able to knock off any of the below Top Five Bond films? Certainly, no one thought that Daniel Craig's Bond would be able to knock off anything Connery ever brought to the role, yet many would confer that he did exactly that with Skyfall. Will Oyelowo's Bond be able to unseat any of the iconic Bond films that have come before?
While many Bond fans have their favorite Connery Bond film, it's easy to say that the franchise never really found it's footing until Goldfinger. It set the pace and introduced us to every single trope that we need for a James Bond to be successful at the box office. It has sex, gadgets, misogyny, a silly villain and a big climax. Why do you think Mike Myers was so compelled to make fun of it in his Austin Powers series? In many ways, it's almost like a comic book with its approach.
004: LICENSE TO KILL
While the late period Roger Moore Bond films were arguably the least enjoyable of the franchise--Moonraker comes to mind--the Timothy Dalton era is perhaps the Bond era which most James Bond fans seem to argue about the most. Where they good films? Was Timothy Dalton a good James Bond? Whether you like or dislike the Dalton era of Bond, one thing that many Bond enthusiasts have pointed out about films like The Living Daylights and License To Kill is just how dark and violent they are. Certainly, they come in a period in the 1980s when there was a particular nostalgia for the violence of the Vietnam era. The Rambo films were huge blockbusters. Chuck Norris was churning them out. The Mid '80s was a violent age for moviegoers who wanted to be entertained via Stallone and Schwarzenegger. The misery of the Dalton era pertains to just how unlikeable he is as Bond. There is something about his face that you just can't trust.
003: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
While many James Bond fans consider From Russia With Love to be the best Bond film in the history of the franchise, if not to include too, the best James Bond thus far--Sean Connery, From Russia With Love is sort of the James Bond that doesn't quite fit in wit all the others. And for that reason, we've selected as one of the five best in the franchise. It doesn't have the high-tech of the other Bond Films, nor does it have as much twisting or turning than some of the others as well. From Russia With Love feels like a Bond film that doesn't quite fit in with the formula that we audience of the '60s had become used to with previous Bond Films like Goldfinger or Dr. No. It doesn't have that Austin Powers cheekiness swirling around in it like some of the others do, which, in effect, allowed for the apt parody as see in the Mike Myers Austin Powers films themselves.
Out with the old and in with the new. When Pierce Brosnan came on board for GoldenEye, Bond fans were skeptical as to whether or not he had the chops to pull off Bond. After all, many had only seen him in a handful of films, none of which, by the way, did much at the box office. Remember Nomads (1986)? It's okay, no-one does. There had been something inherently unlikeable about Timothy Dalton in the role of Bond in the previous films. And as mentioned already, those films were darker Bond films. Audiences didn't want an existential experience they wanted to be entertained. That's why Dalton will go down in history, perhaps, as being the worst James Bond. Was he worse than Roger Moore? Yep. GoldenEye reconfigured what had become a tired franchise. One only need to look at the time gap between the last Dalton Bond film and GoldenEye. GoldenEye took the franchise out of that dark existentialism and put it back into the cheekiness of the Connery era. GoldenEye is the Connery era Bond film on steroids.
What makes Skyfall the best Bond film in the franchise to date? Easy, because it re-set the franchise for future films and generations of audiences. Casino Royale set the wheels in motion, but it was Skyfall that brought the franchise home. The Bond films had almost begun to parody themselves in respect in the Pierce Brosnan era of James Bond. While GoldenEye proved to be a major reconfiguration of the franchise itself in the time in which it was made, in the end, the Brosnan era saw films like Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough--which were particularly unintentionally lampooning the cheekiness of the franchise pre-Austin Powers. Or are we the only ones to remember the name of Denise Richard's character in The World Is Not Enough? What was it, again? Oh yeah...."Christmas Jones"--who just so happened to be a nuclear physicist! Skyfall ushered in Daniel Craig into the Bond role, taking away the aristocracy of Bond and giving him a harder-edge persona. For the times, indeed. Without Skyfall, David Oyelowo could never transcend into Bond for the next era.