It’s no secret that Daniel Craig has been one of the best actors we’ve had to step into the shoes of James Bond. His poise and elegant exterior make a great cover for his rugged and violent tendencies, which we began to peel back film after film. Here are his 5 best moments as the infamous agent.
Casino Royale: The Death of Vesper Lynd
As sad as this story of love and betrayal is, this was the turning point for our beloved Bond. After following Vesper Lynd, the woman he fell madly in love with, Bond discovered that she might’ve been dealing with the wrong people, therefore betraying his trust when he was beginning to do just that. Across Venice rooftops, Bond pursues Vesper and the man she was dealing with, until they eventually wind up below a sinking, collapsing building. Vesper becomes locked inside of an elevator underwater, and Bond has no choice but to leave her behind and save himself. This single scene transforms the agent, making him cold-hearted, disorderly, and fueling a fiery rage inside that grows across the next three films.
Quantum of Solace: Lake Garda Car Chase
We can all expect at least one good car chase out of a Bond film, right? How about a great one? How about one that they tried to make so big and thrilling, that one of the stuntmen actually died while filming it? Well, that’s what you get with the opening scene of Quantum of Solace; the car chase around Lake Garda, Italy. The scene is filled with winding roads and bullets passing back and forth as Bond’s Aston Martin battles the enemy’s Alfa Romeo. Cars are thrown off the sides of cliffs, rolled down hills, and ultimately the Aston Martin is shredded until it looks like a rolling bucket of scrap. Not only is this one of the best car chases we’ve seen in the Bond franchise, but possibly one of the best we’ve seen ever.
Skyfall: The Train
This sequence embodies everything that Daniel Craig brings to the Bond character. During the opening of Skyfall, Bond leaps onto a moving train from a motorcycle in order to pursue the enemy. Dramatic, right? I can assure you that’s not the end of it. As Bond and his rival begin a back and forth game of “hide and shoot”, Bond decides it will be a great idea to hop in the conveniently placed excavator, in an attempt to knock his opponent off the train. This plan doesn’t exactly work out when the train cars start coming apart and Bond has to leap from the excavator to the next one. What happens next solidifies the coolness of Daniel Craig as the 00 agent. Bond pauses after he lands on the next train car to fix his cuffs. Now if that doesn’t say “shaken not stirred”, I don’t know what does. Ultimately, Bond is shot by Moneypenny when she accidentally hits him in an attempt to eliminate the enemy. This causes a downward spiral leading to his inability to fully trust M, who ordered the shot and focus on what he does best.
Skyfall: Atonement at the Lodge
Wrapping up Bond’s emotional torment and instability is one thing that Skyfall delivers on, among many others. We see M and Bond travel back to Skyfall Lodge where he was raised as a child, hoping to bait and kill the villain known as Raoul Silva. It’s there that we meet Kincade, the gamekeeper for the Bond family estate. Together, all three of them prepare for Silva’s arrival and when it happens, a lot is lost. From a helicopter crashing into Bond’s childhood home to M ultimately being shot and killed by our antagonist, the finale is another key element in the traumatic timeline of Daniel Craig’s Bond. It’s another point where he has to take punches on the chin and keep it moving.
Spectre: Day of the Dead
We’ve already learned by now that Daniel Craig’s Bond movies have had some very strong opening sequences. Spectre is no different, other than the fact that it might have the strongest one. It starts out like any other of the previous sequences; Bond sees bad guy, Bond follows bad guy, bad guy sees Bond, bad guy runs. During the pursuit through a Mexican City Square during the Day of the Dead celebration, our antagonist hops into his getaway helicopter where Bond jumps on as well. The two begin an intense fistfight while the pilot maneuvers the helicopter to try and throw Bond off. What makes this scene so intense is how low the helicopter actually gets to the crowd of people on the ground. After 007 kicks his opponent out of the helicopter, he then goes on to try and take down the pilot, who causes the aircraft to do a full upside-down 360. Bond eventually subdues the pilot, kicking him out of the helicopter, and pulls the control column up just in time before it would crash into a sea of people in the square. To top off the composure and coolness of Daniel Craig, he then rides off into the sunset in his stolen aircraft.
No Time to Die will release exclusively in theaters October 8th.