Casino Royale, Skyfall, Dr. No: The Best of all the James Bond Films

Casino Royale, Skyfall, Dr. No: The Best of all the James Bond Films

As the trailer of the upcoming release No Time To Die releases with Daniel Craig as the lead, we list down some of the best 007 films of all times

The latest of edition of the world-renowned James Bond series is coming out in 2020 in which Daniel Craig, once again, takes up the mantle of 007 to kill the bad guys and thrill the audience with utmost class, immaculate precision and, on many occasions, brutal firepower in No Time To Die. The trailer for the April 2020 release is out now and it shows that 007 is being asked to come out of his self-imposed retirement and save the world from yet another impending catastrophe. This makes the time right to revisit some of the best Bond movies and see which actor and which movie trumps all others.

1. Casino Royale (2006)

Opinions may differ on who is the classiest and the best Bond in the 007 business, but no one can disagree with the casting of Daniel Craig as the newest MI6 operative with a license to kill, only after the release of Casino Royale. Craig’s deep understanding of the Bond character, even in his first movie as the super spy, was clearly visible when he played the protagonist against Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) in Casino Royale. The movie gave a new face to the Bond movies where apart from action-packed scenes and female leads, 007 was seen entrenched in a psychological war with his enemy during a high-stake poker game. The plot sees Le Chiffre in dire need of big bucks to pay back what he owes while Bond thwarts his plan by coming out as the eventual winner. Casino Royale’s success was also fuelled by the rest of the cast which included Eva Green as the Bond girl Vesper Lynd, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) and Judi Dench back as M.

2. Skyfall (2012)

Daniel Craig one again features in one of the best Bond movies but the movie doesn’t come directly after the box office hit Casino Royale. In between the two movies, came Quantum of Solace, which couldn’t match the standards set by Casino Royale. However, 6 years after the release of Casino Royale, came Skyfall, where director San Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins helped Bond rise from the ashes like a phoenix. The movie shows Bond going off the grid; throwing away all of his commitments to the British government, but coming back after MI6 is threatened. Bond decides to come out of hiding, a move which gives the audience a deep dive into the psyche of the super spy. It also shows how important MI6 is to Bond. Raul Silva played by Javier Bardem, a former 00 agent who feels betrayed by M and MI6 goes after Bond to try and sway him to his side. The villain makes him question who he can trust and who MI6 truly values. The plot is compelling and leads to one thrilling, cinematic climax.

3. Goldeneye (1995)

The only other Bond the millennials can relate and refer to as 007 is Pierce Brosnan and in his debut as the British intelligence’s favourite spy, he took the world by surprise with his tidy performance. After moving on from Timothy Dalton, studios decided to hire a new comer, Pierce Brosnan. He seemed tough and brooding but also had a hint of being suave and cunning. The plot pit Bond against one of his toughest foes yet; his friend and former partner 006 (Sean Bean). Considered as one of the best storylines of the Bond movies, Goldeneye saw Bond fight against 006’s ideologies even after having an emotional connection with him. The dilemma proved to be worth it when the audience saw one of the best conclusions to one of the best story plots. Goldeneye also features some of the most memorable villains and side characters. Characters like hacker Boris Grishenko (Alan Cumming) with his hilarious, “I am invincible!” One-liner, the tough and capable Bond Girl Natalya (Izabella Scorupco), the first appearance of Valentin Zukovsky and femme fatale Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssan).

4. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

The third Bond in 007’s on-screen chronicles, Roger Moore, is one of the main reasons The Spy Who Loved Me is considered one of the most iconic movies with MI6-trained spy fighting villains. The actor’s perfect balance of humor, physicality and seriousness makes him one of the most beloved James Bond ever. The plot puts Moore against a female villain Karl Stromberg (Curd Jürgens), who is hell bent on starting a new world order, but it is not her that Bond has to fight in the end, but instead Stromberg’s 7 feet tall henchman Jaws, who wears a set of metal teeth hence the name. The Spy Who Loved Me is also one of the very few Bond movies where the Bond girl is shown an equal to the super spy in all aspects.

5. Dr. No (1962)

The very first movie of the franchise makes it to our list for only two reasons, firstly it featured the award-winning Sean Connery and secondly it was the very first movie which started it all. Apart from these two reasons, there is nothing that is special about the very first installment of the James Bond movie. The action and the plot all seem dated and nothing is relevant if one sees the movie in 2019. Another disturbing factor, if you ask for more, is that Joseph Wiseman plays the antagonist Dr. No who is supposed to be Chinese. It becomes evident from the very start that the casting directors didn’t give much thought to the idea before hiring an Englishman do to the role. His army does include Asian henchmen, but the boss doesn’t look what he should like at all. Also, the Bond girl in the movie is more like a damsel in distress and less like the warrior queen, fighting shoulder to shoulder against enemies to help Bond. The movie gave the world only two things, Connery’s dialogue, “Bond… James Bond,” and the idea that a Bond girl must always be introduced by coming out of the water.

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By Shaheera Anwar
A multimedia journalist who keeps a keen eye on the latest happenings in the world of entertainment and often writes reviews along with opinion pieces on some of the most-talked-about debates