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Young Bond author Charlie Higson debates the best Bond

27-Oct-2012 • Bond News

Has Daniel Craig eclipsed Sean Connery as James Bond? Film critic Boyd Hilton and Young Bond author Charlie Higson debate whether Skyfall marks the point at which the current 007 steps out of Connery's shadow in a new piece for The Observer.

BH: ...now I've seen Skyfall. OK, it is admittedly early days for Daniel Craig. He's only starred in three Bond films compared with Connery's six (proper ones). But two of Craig's – Casino Royale and Skyfall – are easily among the best of the series, and even the famously disappointing Quantum of Solace is actually perfectly watchable due in no small part to the steely, brutal, uncompromising charisma of Craig. He may not look much like Ian Fleming's conception of Bond but through the sheer unrelenting single-minded brilliance of his acting, he has now usurped Connery.

CH: ...I think Daniel Craig comes a very close second. Let's face it, though, if it wasn't for Connery Daniel Craig wouldn't even be up there on our screens. Dr No was by no means a guaranteed success, but as soon as Connery was revealed at the gaming table and he delivered his famous catchphrase there was no looking back. It was the birth of a new kind of hero

BH: ...Craig's Bond exudes single-minded toughness, but we sense, also, the complex psychology of the orphan James, the man who's licensed to kill, but who has deep-seated emotions, too. I just think he now brings more to the role than all his predecessors, even Connery.

CH: ...I agree that Daniel Craig is a terrific actor, and his combination of toughness and vulnerability is superb, but you've made the schoolboy error of thinking that James Bond is a real person. He's not.

BH: ...Oh of course Bond is a fantasy. I hope I didn't imply otherwise. But just as Christopher Nolan's magnificent Dark Knight trilogy managed to deepen the fantasy figure of Batman, and add vivid new layers while never skimping on the entertainment value of such an archetypal character, so I believe the three Daniel Craig Bond movies (yes, even Quantum of Solace), but especially the new one, have taken the fantasy and made it somehow seem richer.

CH: ...Oh, don't get me started on The Dark Knight (or Batman, as I call him), he's a man in a rubber bat-suit fighting a clown, for God's sake. The concept cannot possibly carry the ponderous weight of glum import that Nolan loads on it. Give me the cheesy fun of the Avengers any day. Not for a moment that I'm advocating a return to Moonraker-era Bond silliness, but I do wish Craig had been allowed to just let rip and go for it a bit more.

Click here to read the full debate.

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