Assessing Daniel Craig's performance as James Bond
Oh, now this isn't fair. When Daniel Craig took on the role of Bond no one was really looking at how he would do in the role, per se. They were looking at how he stacked up against the others that have played Bond in the past - or at least, that's what I'M going to do.
The following aspects are critical to be a good Bond. We're going to rate them on a scale of 1 (Timothy Dalton) to 5 (Sean Connery).
Smoothness: Bond always has to be cool under pressure and never show stress no matter how intense the situation. He's one of those guys that every antiperspirant wants doing their ads. Craig for the most part was pretty good throughout "Casino Royale", but he did lose his cool more than once. In this category he gets a 4.
Sex Appeal: This has always been a Bond staple. He has to find a "Bond Girl", have his romantic way with her, watch her die, and then find another one by the end of the movie (who might also die). Craig pulled this off with gusto and style landing him a solid 5.
Action: Every Bond film has to have action sequences that take no less than fifteen minutes to resolve. Despite the fact that Craig was stuck in a movie that was mostly about boring games of Texas Holdem (in the book it was baccarat, but most people have no clue what that game is), Craig was able to take us through some exciting chases on both foot and in his gorgeous Aston Martin. Unfortunately, these parts of the movie were too few and far-between leaving with not enough room to properly assess. I'll have to leave that at 3 for now (future films might increase this).
Inventiveness: Lacking the benefit of Q's gadgets and other niceties offered by MI-6 this Bond was forced to deal with things on his own. It was reminiscent of the early days when Sean Connery was using strands of hair on his doors to see if someone had come in his door while he was gone. Craig did well enough, but the average Bond fan wants to see 007 use all of his clever gadgets to get him out of tough spots. This is why we pay to see these films. I'm afraid that Craig being forced to go "retro" nets him only a 3.
Attitude: This is the one thing that has always set Bond apart from other action characters. Bond can't just kill someone; he has to kill someone and say a great line to go with it. He has to be able to screw around with Q's gadgets causing great annoyance. He has to be able to make every woman want him and every man hate him. The best that Craig was able to do was to annoy M every chance he got (admittedly, an agitated Dame Judi Dench is aways fun to see). I really hope that in future movies they give him better lines because I was not sold. For this he only gets a 2.
After adding all these stats up Daniel Craig comes out to an average of 3.4. that puts him squarely between Roger Moore and Piers Brosnan. Not a bad start for his freshman performance in the world of 007. Only time will tell how he'll do in future films.