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Ranking the men with the license to kill

Posted on May 21, 2020 by Vauxhall Advance

By Cole Parkinson
Vauxhall Advance

This April was supposed to see a new James Bond film titled No Time To Die come to theatres across the world but much like everything else this spring, was delayed.

With a new release date set for November 25, I for one cannot wait to get back into a theatre especially for the new James Bond. My dad and I have a tradition of going every weekend for the new Bond film so we were both disappointed by the delay but that doesn’t mean we won’t be there opening weekend in November.

With that in mind, I figured now would be a good time to go through and rank the six actors who have portrayed James Bond as Daniel Craig is stepping down after No Time To Die.

6. Timothy Dalton (1987-1989)

The late 80s saw a dip in Bond films and I never really cared for Timothy Dalton’s performance as Bond all that much. He only got a chance at two movies but taking over from the long-serving Roger Moore, it was always going to be a challenge to find someone that could successfully grab the mantle and run.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Dalton did it.

The Living Daylights and License to Kill are fine movies but are nowhere near the top of my favourite Bond films and when I think of James Bond, Timothy Dalton is always at the bottom of my list.

Favourite Dalton Bond film: License to Kill

5. George Lazenby (1969)

Much like Dalton, George Lazenby was brought on to take over after a long-serving Bond in Sean Connery.

While I don’t necessarily think Dalton looked like Ian Fleming’s prototypical Bond, Lazenby sure did.

The problem with Lazenby is he wasn’t a particularly good actor and that subtracts from his only showing in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which I think is a really good Bond film as a whole. The frame of a great James Bond is showing in his only film but unfortunately, as an inexperienced actor, Lazenby really couldn’t draw deeper into it.

If he would have continued as Bond he certainly could have come in higher on this list but with only one film to draw from, I think five is a fair spot.

4. Roger Moore (1973-1985)

The second-longest-serving Bond, Roger Moore, comes in at number four. I know a lot of people have Moore as their top spot but he was never really my favourite Bond.

His first three-run of films in Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun and The Spy Who Loved Me are great but after that, it starts to go downhill, in my opinion. Even with that in mind, I do like how Moore’s Bond is more playful and less dreary compared to the others even though it’s the complete opposite of what Fleming had in mind.

Though some movies do veer into the goofy and ridiculous, I still think Moore’s performances were quite good.

Favourite Moore Bond films: Live and Let Die and The Spy Who Loved Me

3. Pierce Brosnan (1995-2002)

Pierce Brosnan, in my opinion, is exactly what a real James Bond would look like.

Now, the problem with his run of James Bond is there’s only really one good movie and a lot of filler but they are the first Bond movies I remember watching so there is some nostalgia factor to it. And of course, GoldenEye 64 is another big reason for my love of James Bond and seeing Brosnan on the cover of the game is another reason he ranks so high.

Like Moore’s later films, after GoldenEye the movies start to veer into a campy mess the longer it goes.

Favourite Brosnan Bond film: GoldenEye

2. Daniel Craig (2006-2020)

Daniel Craig may very well be my favourite Bond when all is said and done, but for now, he takes the second spot.

Even though Craig has blonde hair and Bond had always had black hair, aside from the colour of his hair, his portrayal of Bond is almost identical to how Bond was written in the books.

He’s willing to kill any target, angry at the world and the grittiness he brings back to the character that wasn’t seen since Sean Connery was a welcomed addition.

Casino Royale was a huge reason I was drawn back to James Bond in the mid-2000s and while some of his movies aren’t the greatest, his James Bond is still flawless in every outing.

Favourite Craig Bond films: Casino Royale & Skyfall

1. Sean Connery (1962-1967, 1971)

When I think of James Bond, the 1960s Sean Connery portrayal is the first thing I think of.

Without Sean Connery, I don’t think the James Bond film franchise would be as big as it is. They absolutely nailed the casting with Connery and much like Daniel Craig, Connery brings a certain grit to James Bond, which is what I prefer.

While some 1960s movies may feel dated in 2020, those Connery Bond films still hold up and that’s a major testament to Connery who brings a certain suaveness to the character and he’s just a complete badass.

Who didn’t pretend they were James Bond at one point or another, and I always aspired to be as cool as Connery’s Bond.

Favourite Connery Bond films: From Russia with Love and Goldfinger

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