I'm a bit of a James Bond fan.
For my 30th birthday party I made it a mandatory theme - everyone had to come dressed as a character from a James Bond film. Villian, Bond Girl, Henchman #7, the sky was the limit! I chose to dress as a member of the Pussy Galore Flying Squad. It was pretty awesome.
The peak of my 007 Fandom was when I was sixteen, and my best friend and I would stay up late laughing at Goldfinger, cheesing out on Live and Let Die, or slogging through the endless underwater scuba sequences of Thunderball. Even though I grew up accustomed to Roger Moore as James Bond, Sean Connery became the only Bond for me. No substitutions accepted. Timothy Dalton was fun, and George Lazenby - well, aww, that poor guy.
When Goldeneye came around I was pretty excited that Pierce Brosnan might become the new 007 Hotness (my mom, for one, had been praying for YEARS that Remington Steele would lead him to Bond). But with each passing Brosnan Bond movie I became less and less impressed. As far as I was concerned, his legacy only provided the world with two worthwhile things: Famke Janssen and Michelle Yeoh. I didn't bother watching most of them. Halle Berry trying to redo Ursula Andress's combat bikini? Oh no they don't.
Modernizing Bond just seemed to be a problem. I mean, he's a cocky a-hole who treats women like Mrs. White treats her husbands. But Brosnan just seemed to look pained and guilty about it all the time and it was kind of a downer. Even though it's not cool that Connery went through like five women in Goldfinger - one ending up being painted to death and one decapitated - I still wanted the free-wheeling, hard-hitting Connery days back again. Go away, sensitive 90's Brosnan.
So when Casino Royale came out, (and by that, I mean of course when Daniel Craig came out of the water in a mankini), amidst all the OH MY GOD CAN YOU BELIEVE JAMES BOND IS A BLONDE controversy, I think we all knew that Bond was back. And that Daniel Craig was gonna do this shit right. Casino Royale managed to peg Craig both as a brute who could crash through walls AND as a trained killer willing to throw in the towel for love. Which was exactly what we all were waiting for.
The Craig Bond Legacy has also done something else amazing - made the movies connect to one another. Bond movies used to be individual occurrences, each floating through the void. Every now and then they'd throw in a 006 or Felix the CIA agent would reappear, but they were basically all separate. Any attempts to make things sequential in Bond World resulted in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (and we all saw what happened to Lazenby). So the fact that Casino Royale can contain characters that still connect through to Quantum of Solace was amazing. You mean we don't have to wipe our memories for each Bond film? Priceless!
And after seeing Skyfall, it's clear that this generation of Bond is going to continue kicking ass and breaking boundaries (omg Javier Bardem and Judi Dench!), all while remaining true to the Bond Legacy. Really, how hard is it? You take one part suave, muscular man + women in dresses with secrets + martinis + female agents + car crashes = Bond magic.
So here's to Daniel Craig and this era of Blonde Bond. I can't wait to see what else they do before moving on to the inevitable next breakthrough ... Idris Elba Bond!!