Are you saying, therefore, that both of the Craig movies are "generic action flicks"? I can dig up a few pointers that prove you otherwise, including great character development (which was sorely lacking in the Brosnan, and even Dalton, eras)...
TLD is not the best Bond ever, but it is, I would say, the last 'real' Bond film. After TLD they became generic action flicks with the possible exception of GE.
The question is whether either of the Craig films would be very different if he was not in them. I think not. Doesn't that suggest that they're generic?
Great point here.
There are plenty of aspects of Craig's films that prove that they're generic action flicks. Though the half-assed characterization helped a bit in "Casino Royale", it still had the standard, generic action flick qualities -- things that don't belong in the Bond flicks. This include falling houses, tanker-hopping at Miami International, and crane-jumping. And aside from being a generic action flick, it also mucked up Fleming's story quite a bit. That whole "Ha Ha, my balls are being mutilated." bit was pathetic and shameful.
The main problems are Purvis and Wade. After "Die Another Day", how would you expect them to write anything of extremely high quality? And it doesn't seem like Paul Haggis helped a whole lot; wasn't he the one who suggested Vesper's death in an elevator?
Then, with "Quantum of Solace" ... non-stop action, lazy plot holes, the lack of characterization. As Ambler mentioned, you could've replaced Craig with any actor, and it would've came out the same way ... Vin Diesel would've fit perfectly.
In saying TLD was the last "real" Bond film, you are also basically saying its predecessors, AVTAK for example, was more of a Bond film than Casino Royale.
And I'd hardly call LTK a generic action film as it actually had a story that tried to differentiate itself from what went before. To each his own, I guess.
The only generic action in a Bond film I can think of is TWINE, where nothing really stands out, DAD to a lesser degre. Other than that, I can think of numerous scenes in the other post TLD films that stand out from the likes of, say, Die Hard With a Vengance or practically anything in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Since when doesn't creative action, more so in the case of CR such as the parkour sequence, not belong in a Bond film? There was much less of it in that film and it created a better film. I don't see how that puts it in the same class as a Vin Diesel film, as you point out.
As for CR's script, if you hadn't read it ahead of time, who'd have seen the whole balls thing coming? I was shocked in a good way. That's creative screenwriting, IMO.
Many critics and fans pointed out the writing as a high point in CR along with several other elements, not just Craig.
To compare the Craig era with Vin Diesel, well, all I can say is enjoy your TLD DVDs. It's a great time to be a Bond fan for the rest of us.