The greatest compliment I can give to Daniel Craig as he stops playing 007 after the current movie No Time To Die is that he has made the huge, charismatic character of James Bond his own.
From the moment he took over as Bond in Casino Royale in 2006 – alongside Goldfinger, my favourite 007 movie of the lot – Daniel has nailed the role, stamping his own mark on one of the most celebrated parts in the history of cinema.
He’s not the only Bond to do so. Sean Connery, of course, to millions across the world remains the essential, the original James, the actor who started off the whole shebang. Until Daniel came along I too thought there would only be one Bond, one Sean. His successors were awful, only Pierce Brosnan coming anywhere close to an authentic 007. But Craig has been the only one to do what Sean did – while we are watching, making us believe he is THE James.
I’m not giving you the plot or even a review of No Time To Die, as almost certainly you are going to see it and if you’re no Bond fan by now and you’re not then no amount of blah blah from me will be of interest. Suffice to say the movie is very good indeed, a very worthy movie in the canon and Daniel Craig is excellent. It’s not up there with Casino Royale or Goldfinger but that would be asking perhaps too much.
Daniel Craig is a very interesting actor indeed. Able to be fulfil the grand role of Bond with dynamism, humour, intensity and pathos but equally at home with softer, more sensitive roles as in the hugely underrated Flashbacks of a Fool, intriguing parts as in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the recent Knives Out and the much earlier Road to Perdition.
In all of these films when you look at the screen you always look at Daniel Craig - the mark of a true movie star.
It will be fascinating to see what films Daniel makes next – now free of James Bond he must be looking forward to the change and the opportunities being an ex 007 will present.
His future movie career may not create an unforgettable character like James Bond to ‘make his own’ but I wouldn’t put it past him.