It is with great sadness and nostalgia that we approach the end of Daniel Craig’s era as James Bond, marked by his final performance in the upcoming feature No Time to Die. Craig has proven himself to be iconic in this part, bringing newfound dimensionality and cementing himself as one of the best 007s to date. To celebrate his reign and enormous contributions across 5 films, we’re looking back at 5 of Craig’s finest moments as James Bond.
Istanbul Train Chase, Skyfall
Bond’s thrilling opening pursuit in Skyfall sees Craig jump, duck, dodge, dive, and do just about every other possible maneuver across a moving train. On orders of M, Bond is following an evasive mercenary Patrice through the streets of Istanbul when his target mounts a moving train – Eve following alongside in an MI6 Land Rover. Bond and Patrice engage in a bloody gunfight which results in Bond being shot, prompting him to use a bulldozer as a makeshift weapon. After bulldozing a healthy portion of the train, Bond engages Patrice in close, bloody combat and we watch in horror as 007 is accidentally shot by friendly fire. Eve’s botched snipe sends him straight off the edge of a cliff into running waters below. 007 does all this while barely breaking a sweat, looking particularly dapper as he falls off the edge of a train in a well-tailored suit.
Bond is poisoned, Casino Royale
Daniel Craig’s Bond never fails to entertain, excite, but also scare its audience – frequently reminding us of 007’s mortality. In Casino Royale, we genuinely fear for Bond’s life when he is poisoned by nemesis Le Chiffre during a high-stakes poker game. We quickly discover the culprit is a toxic martini (oh, the irony) which sends Bond into a horrific state of discomposure, a series of heart palpitations and violent tremors ensue. A queasy cam follows along as Bond attempts to make himself sick, before fleeing to his car and self-administering an antidote and defibrillator (which very nearly fails to bring him back). After all this, Bond returns to the poker table with a cracking one-liner “Sorry, that last hand nearly killed me”.
Day of the Dead Celebrations, Spectre
Spectre opens in Mexico City on the Day of the Dead, as crowds of people meet to celebrate and commemorate loved ones who have passed; yet unbeknownst to them, a major terrorist bombing plot is underway. In one of the greatest single-shot cinema scenes (ever), we follow a disguised Bond through crowds of elaborately dressed celebrators. We watch as 007 jumps between rooftops with ease, eventually shooting and exploding a case of explosives, naturally. After narrowly escaping a crumbling building and landing safely on a plush couch, Bond runs through crowds of people to reach the enemy operative. They fight in the brutal confines of a spiralling helicopter above a sea of people. After a mighty struggle Bond manages to kick his attacker out the open door to his death, but not before stealing his ring for good measure!
Opening Car Chase, Quantum of Solace
If you like high-speed cars and fast-paced action sequences – you’re in luck, as this scene sees Bond absolutely race through the streets of Lake Como, Italy. Quantum of Solace leaps into action with Bond driving to Siena in a sleek Aston Martin, swarmed by a series of aggressive pursuers. 007 weaves between cars, leaps off cliffs and swerves through construction sites to evade his attackers – narrowly avoiding scrap metal and machine gunfire. We’re on the edge of our seats as the jerky camera snaps back and forth between tires, pedals and every hazard known to man. After somehow managing to wreck every chase car but his own, Bond arrives in Vienna and opens his trunk to reveal his captive, Mr White. Bit of a bumpy ride for the old fella.
The Shanghai Fight, Skyfall
Another honourable mention for Skyfall (because the movie is really bloody good) has to go to the Shanghai fight scene between Bond and Patrice. The scene is set on a tall Shanghai skyscraper, entirely backlit by stunning neon blues and oceanic projections, and sees 007 engage in rough physical combat once again. This must be the most aesthetic fight scene in the entire Bond series, boasting mesmerizing cinematography and impeccable choreography. We watch the shadowy silhouettes of Bond and Patrice battle it out grudge-match-style against a backdrop of abstract jellyfish before Patrice is thrown over the edge of the building – held precariously by 007’s hand. It’s a quick, dirty fight and a most impressive display of Rodger Deakin’s cinematography. Job well done by all parties involved.
Daniel Craig has delivered us some extraordinary moments in his time as Bond, remaining unparalleled as cinema’s greatest international spy (in our opinion 😊). We’re sure we’ll see even more stand-out moments in his final appearance as 007 for No Time To Die, coming to cinemas November 11. It’s sure to be the send-off of the century, even if it is a reluctant goodbye.
We’ll miss you, Bond
(Aka Palace Cinemas)
Click here for more information on Craig’s Final film as Bond in No Time To Die