Film Review: Casino Royale

24 Nov

Plot: Based on the first Bond book written by Ian Fleming, the story, which has never been told on film until now, recounts the making of the world’s greatest secret agent. Daniel Craig stars as “007” James Bond, the smoothest, sexiest, most lethal agent on Her Majesty’s Secret Service in “Casino Royale.” James Bond’s first “007” mission leads him to Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), banker to the world’s terrorists. In order to stop him, and bring down the terrorist network, Bond must beat Le Chiffre in a high-stakes poker game at Casino Royale. Bond is initially annoyed when a beautiful British Treasury official, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), is assigned to deliver his stake for the game and watch over the government’s money. But, as Bond and Vesper survive a series of lethal attacks by Le Chiffre and his henchmen, a mutual attraction develops leading them both into further danger and events that will shape Bond’s life forever.

As of this writing, I have seen this film 3 times in the cinema and I never seem to tire of it. Before Daniel Craig was cast, I am one of those in anticipation as to who will be the next Bond and having seen some of his previous work – Archangel, Road to Perdition, Munich – I am really thrilled to see him take on this role and prove all his skeptics wrong, and he did.

As I’ve mentioned in Filmstalker, I grew up watching the 007 films because of my father being a huge fan of the films but all I saw was a father figure in Roger Moore’s Bond and even when Brosnan took on the role I felt it was too campy, by then losing its appeal. I have only seen one film with Connery playing Bond so I can’t really say much about him. So casting a much younger, grittier Craig is just what this dying franchise needs.

I also loved that the film afforded the character a beginning, as we see Bond in his formative years, still human, allowed himself to fall in love, still capable of hurting, and so this is a James Bond I can actually fall for. Here you see a Bond with a sense of humor which is very refreshing that you really care for him. I loved the banter between him and Vesper Lynd when they first met on the train en route to Montenegro, and one of the defining moments was when he wore that tuxedo before the poker match, my heart was beating like a wild man, 007 is born.

The film has three major action scenes that by the time you’re trying to catch your breath, there goes another one. There is an obvious lack of gadgetry with the film’s timeline being pre-Q, but the Aston Martin DBS saved the day. Seeing James driving a Ford earlier wasnt that bad but you know his perfectly formed arse deserves better. If you are still unsure whether to see this film or not, you owe it to yourself to go and believe me, Craig is Bond and he will not disappoint.

Casino Royale: 5/5

3 Responses to “Film Review: Casino Royale”

  1. Simone November 26, 2006 at 8:55 pm #

    I caught this comment from Cinema Fusion;

    I’m a firm believer in opinions—but if you’ve watched Casino Royale and still think Daniel Craig was not a great James Bond, your opinion officially does not matter.

    Great one!

  2. Jonathan November 27, 2006 at 1:26 am #

    Hey, I recognize that quote. Haha.

    Anyway, I liked Daniel Craig in Road to Perdition, loved him in Munich, and when I saw Layer Cake, I absolutely knew he was going to be an incredible Bond. I wasn’t let down.

  3. Simone November 27, 2006 at 10:27 am #

    Hey Jonathan, I did say in my comment at Cinema Fusion I will plagiarise it, didnt take too long did it? Hehe The made for tv film I saw Craig for the first time was in Archangel right there and then I thought he can be a good Bond, dismissing it right away because I did like Brosnan too. I have just added Layer Cake in my rental queue, I’ll tell you what I think.

    Thanks for dropping by, I will pop around Cinema Fusion every now and then too! ;D

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