I’m sitting here watching Die Another Day on Spike, and thinking to myself that Brosnan-era Bond really failed to live up to its promise. Of the four films one is genuinely excellent (GoldenEye), one is a solid contribution (Die Another Day, with an outstanding first half and a terrible second half), and two are mediocre to poor. Brosnan was certainly a superior Bond to Dalton, but that’s not saying much; it’s hard to evaluate Dalton’s films as part of the canon because they simply don’t feel like James Bond films. I would rate Moore’s tenure marginally higher because of the quality of the first two films, although Roger appeared in some awful clunkers.
In any case, the Brosnan era was characterized by exceptionally well crafted opening bits. The title sequences in GoldenEye and Die Another Day are probably the best in the franchise, although the mediocre Tina Turner song detracts from the former. There’s nothing really surprising about this, given that so many directors today have gotten their starts in music videos, and that a Bond opening sequence is really just a video with some extra action thrown in.
I still don’t know what to think about Daniel Craig.