How the Pierce Brosnan era presaged Daniel Craig’s serious take on James Bond.

How the Pierce Brosnan era presaged Daniel Craig’s serious take on James Bond.

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  1. Brosnan will always be MY Bond. I like the other Bonds to varying degrees….but Brosnan was the pinnacle for me.

    Even when Pierce is in other films, I just assume he’s Bond undercover. He was THAT GOOD.

  2. >Brosnan, the ultimate in-betweener, is seemingly considered almost nobody’s favorite. He’s the compromise Bond who ushered the franchise through a changing blockbuster landscape, then was abruptly dropped before he could really fulfill his vision for the character. (This despite each of his movies making more money than the last.)

    Brosnan resurrected the franchise. No doubt.

    Whatever you think of him, Dalton had not won over the sceptics and casual audiences (especially Americans) were perplexed why this handsome, but supercilious schoolmaster was playing Bond when the answer was so obvious.

    The below clip of Carey Lowell is brutal. She mentions enjoying the stunts, Wayne Newton and the performances of Connery and Craig. And Dalton doesn’t get a mention. He couldn’t win over his leading lady. How could he win over the audience?

    After “Licence to Kill” and a six-year hiatus, Dalton would not have been able to pull the crowds back to see the film. Dalton just isn’t a star and, at THAT point, Bond needed a star. Brosnan had to ensure that Bond had a place in the 1990s and he did that. Brosnan’s “fresh” appearence was pivotal to the film’s success.

    Other actors were considered (including Fiennes, Neeson, Gibson, McGann), but Brosnan was, in many ways, the ONLY choice and was selected a month after Dalton had the dignity to step down from the role.

    Because of his complicated connection to the franchise, Brosnan was able to sell Bond as old and new.

    Beyond “Goldeneye” and preserving the brand, however, there was little cultural significance to his representation of the character. He was a Bond for the shallow, Clinton-era ’90s. While Dalton was trying to return the character to his roots and delve into the psychology of the man (to mixed results), there were no first principles to Brosnan’s version. Each film felt like a reaction to the previous one and that led to less relevance (although Brosnan himself improves each time).

  3. For me, Brosnan was when the Bond movies crossed over into being actual fun blockbusters – doing away with the campy throwaway genre vibes of Moore and the darkness of Dalton.

    We take for granted that they’re mega money event movies now, that really started with Brosnan.

  4. Actually, for me it didn’t, I mean, Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond was something really far apart from Daniel Craig’s one and that’s what made Craig so special bc he really did something different from the past 007’s. Actually, by now I only wish to see a more elegant 007 to kinda change the winds for a while, I would like someone like Tom Hiddleston in the role.

  5. Something the Bond films have struggled with since Connery began to show his age keeping the character modern and fashionable within the stories. Today we all have come to identify dark suits, aviator sunglasses, martinis, classic Austin Martins, etc as Bond’s style but that make Bond a caricature of early installments. Connery’s Bond had that style because that was the sophisticated fashionable style of the day. Bond was a bit vain. Looking good and being modern was his thing. Martinis were what people were drinking, his Austin Martin was a new car not vintage. Bond’s aesthetic was not retro. Additionally Bond movies use to contain cutting edge special effects. Bond franchise was an industry leader in creating action sequences.

    As styles changed film makers did try to make Moore’s look march currently styles. Moore often was put in more color sport coats with soft materials like silk. It never worked though because Moore was in his 50’s. There are not many trend chasing 50yr old ladies men out there whom don’t come across as comical. The effects and action scaled down as well. There we’re good individual stunts but the films no longer pushed the industry. With Dalton they attempted to make Bond more of a series professional. The more superficial parts (his clothes, drinks of choices, cars, etc) just a means to an end.

    By the time Bronsan was called the original Bond feel was gone. The shagging, swinging, hip Bond spoofed in Austin Powers was a relic. What Bond would be in the modern world was unclear. Bronsan’s Bond attempted to bridge the gap. In Goldeneye Bronsan’s Bond is cold a cold war relic and confronts a villain scared by the past. Yet Bronsan’s Bond genuinely seems to enjoy luxury clothes, hotels, vodka, and beautiful Women. Bronsan’s Bond drives BMWs but that is the ‘it’ car of the time and seems happy with his life. Bronsan’s Bond movies also made special effects front and center again. In the opening of GoldenEye alone Bond bungees down a dam and skydives into plane. To date one of the best openers ever. Tomorrow Never Dies has one of the best car cash scenes ever as Bond drove from the back seat via cellphone remote. Ultimately though as with more Bronsan was a little to old and gave off a few too many dad vibes.

    Craig’s Bond was just a full embrace of the retro Bond aesthetic with none of the vanity or fun. Craig’s Bond drinks because he is masking pain, sleeps with women because he is lonely, etc. Bond’s Charm and modern trendiness are gone. The more realistic action scenes also mean the special effects as scaled back. During Craig’s run Tom Cruise has been the more traditional Bond over in the MI series. Cruise has been pushing what’s possible on the stunts/special effects side, Ethan Hunt genuinely enjoys fast cars, nice clothes, and Women.

    Bronsan’s Bond was important. His Bond should be the model movie forward. They just need someone with more physicality than Bronsan had. Neither Tom Hardy or Henry Cavill strike me as pleasant enough. Both are always bruting in their films. They need someone who actually has swag. Idris Elba would have been perfect 10yrs ago but has age out.

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