The Bond Verdict: And my personal favorite James Bond film ever is…

Recently I had some brief but unexpected additional free time, so among many other things I decided to catch up on my movie library (there were quite a few films I hadn’t watched since I got them long ago). 
Among these was my 2012 issued 50th Anniversary James Bond BluRay collectors’ edition. It includes all official Bond Films (with the exception of Skyfall and Spectre, which I bought at a later date, and the unofficial Never Say Never Again -a Thunderball remake starring Sean Connery).
Before I write down my choice, here are some caveats for anyone who decides to do the same exercise:
You have to watch these taking into consideration the time period when they were made: Dr. No, for example, was the granddaddy of the modern era spy action films, so there are a lot of elements that now might seem clichéd, but were quite revolutionary for its time (so much so that it did launch one of the longest-running movie franchises).
Technical issues should not be considered. There was a lot of green screen and very evident stunt-double work on the first films which were standard moviemaking at the time. Also, each film represents a time period and reflects that period’s sensibilities.
Taking all that into consideration, my very personal opinion comes from the level of enjoyment each film gave as a movie (interesting characters, engaging acting, humor, drama, provocative scenes, exciting action, interesting gadgets, eye catching locations…)
So, drumroll please… my favorite all-time Bond film is:
Yup. Skyfall: it has everything you want from a Bond film: great acting, a spectacular opening sequence, a truly engaging story (it feels very personal for the characters, and the stakes are high in many levels), a memorable villain (Javier Bardem’s sinister baddie is one of, if not the, best), exciting action, surprising twists, eye popping locations (the neon lit scenes in Shanghai and the Casino in Macau really stand out, but the more quiet scenes with the Scottish landscapes as backdrop near the end are breathtaking), the iconic Aston Martin, beautiful women, one of the best Bond theme songs ever –performed by Adele-… it truly is a tight piece, not only as a Bond vehicle, but as a film in general. Also, it’s the first one where the classic Bond elements come together after Daniel Craig took over and the franchise was rebooted.

Everyone knows I’m a huge Sean Connery fan and I thoroughly enjoyed all his Bond films (Goldfinger is my second favorite in the series and probably the most iconic spy genre film ever), but I liked him even better in his later, post-Bond performances.

Just a quick note to mention that it’s impressive how they managed to sustain this franchise for so many years… watching the behind-the-scenes featurettes it’s evident they were aware they needed to keep revamping the character very early on (this, and the promise of how the new Bond girl would be an equal match to Bond, were staples of most of these interviews). Also, the painstaking process of choosing every actor for each time period is evident. Connery, Lazenby (yeah, even him), Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig were all inspired casting decisions. They are all effective and did an adequate job in the vehicles they were given.
But yes, Connery and Daniel Craig stand out from the pack as the most accomplished and believable (if such a thing is possible) Bonds.

So there you go. To each his own. And for me Skyfall is the best Bond movie ever.

Bond will surely be back (and hopefully, so will I).


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