Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Similar Standards: Daniel Craig

Welcome to a semi-regular weekly feature here at Movies with Abe. On those weeks where reviews are sparse, I’ll be taking a look at an actor or actress whose body of work boasts many roles that may not be as diverse as those taken on by other actors or actresses. This is hardly a judgment on their abilities; rather an analysis of the kind of parts they play so well.

Daniel Craig

This hot British actor has become almost universally recognizable to American audiences over the past eight years as a tough-as-nails, cunning, creative mystery man with superb physical abilities. Taking on the iconic role of super-agent James Bond just further shows that he’s extraordinarily skilled at playing slick, cool guys that women can’t possibly resist.

Layer Cake (2004): His pre-Bond agent XXXX was slick but hardly as sure of himself, nearly thrown off the side of a building by enemies yet confident enough to figure out a solution to the complicated, violent life.

Munich (2005): He was merely one of the supporting characters in this powerful drama about the Israeli-sponsored hunt for the architects of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, as a South African driver committed to the cause.

Infamous (2006): He wasn’t a good guy in this less famous dramatization of the Truman Capote story as Perry Smith, the murderer who forged a deep personal connection with the author chronicling his story.

Casino Royale (2006) & Quantum of Solace (2008): His hair color may have been lighter than past portrayers’, but Craig easily assumed the age-old part of 007, boasting extensive hand-to-hand combat experience and a penchant for getting himself into and then creatively out of trouble.

The Golden Compass (2007): In this adaptation of the popular Philip Pullman novel, Craig played Lord Asriel, the formidable father of the curious main character, with a secretive past and a commanding presence, loyal to his daughter above all.

Defiance (2008): Craig was firmly committed to his cause as real-life freedom fighter Tuvia Bielski, who led a large group of Polish Jews through the forest during the Holocaust and enabled them to survive persecution and avoid certain death at the hands of the Nazis.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011): Craig played second fiddle to Rooney Mara’s prickly hacker, as Mikael Blomkvist, a dedicated journalist obsessed with finding the truth and clearing his name following false accusations.

Anything different?

Not that I’ve seen, though his early British work in the 1990s may include other roles.

What’s next?

The next James Bond film, “Skyfall,” is slated for release this November.

The verdict?

It’s hard not to find Craig irresistibly cool, and there’s a reason he tends to do action films rather than straight dramas – he has the right physical presence and he’s believable in tough guy parts without being unlikeable.

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