James Bond, to me, was always the black-and-white comics published in the ’80s in a popular magazine in Hungary and the novels by Flemming (which did not age very well, admittedly). He is suave, confident, sophisticated, resourceful but also ruthless, cold and calculating. You know a guy men want to be and women want to be with. So I was really happy when I watched Casino Royale (the new one). It is probably the best Bond movie ever made, even though it only shows us “Bond in the making”. And this is where the series slipped with Craig I think. Casino Royale is a kind of origin-story: how a special forces type of person becomes the legendary Bond. This Bond was still somewhat rough in the edges (yet), but the movie held the promise of showing us Bond in his peak, so to speak. This promise was sadly never delivered. We never seen the suave, confident, cool Bond played by Craig (OK, we got like 1 minute of this Bond at the end of Quantum of Solace). He was always shouted at by someone, in every single one of his movies. Either because he was too inexperienced, and tended to kill everyone, or later because he was too old and outdated. One wonders why he kept his job so long.
Quantum of Solace was somewhat a bungled mess (still OK I guess), but M kept complaining about needing to keep him on a short leash, and by Skyfall Bond was already over his peak physically (and mentally if the tests to be believed), and was seen as a dinosaur, a relic by mostly everyone. Yes, this view was changed by the end of the movie, but still, this Bond was already in decline; that did not change. If the trailer from the new Bond movie is to be believed, this trend only continues in Craig’s last outing: he seems like a hollow shell of a man, a has-been, who is disrespected in his own movie, someone who just takes all the insults and have nothing to say in return. Even Moore was not depicted as pathetic as Craig when he was playing Bond close to retirement age, and you were always worried about him breaking his hips when he made a jump. Oh well. I really liked Craig as Bond; I think he was one of the best, next to Connery, but let’s hope the next Bond delivers. After all, this is only a silly movie, so apart from a sad post, this whole issue is not worth much more than that.